Relevancy Is Key

Mobile marketing is one of the most fascinating emerging platforms for today’s marketer.  Realizing this statement is opinion-based, let’s take a look at what works for creating successful campaigns in this new medium and why brands should be embracing the technology.

Mobile is inherently and incredibly personal.  Mobile devices contain everything about us from our contacts and calendars to photos of our family to our credit card information and browsing history. Used in concert with other databases, such as point-of-sale (POS) purchase data or credit card purchase history data, you would have one powerful marketing tool!

The most critical steps to a successful mobile campaign are: relevancy, call-to-actions, and preparing for challenges.  From research and from my own experience with a campaign, these areas seem to be the most fundamental, if not most essential.

RelevancyMobile is one of the most customer-centric mediums available in a marketer’s arsenal of tools.  Since this medium is extremely personal and targeted, it is imperative that the message is relevant to the recipient.   Due to mobile’s immediacy, it’s highly probably that the majority of sent messages are actually received and processed very quickly by the recipient.  I learned this recently with the launch of our organization’s iPhone app. The developer sends out push notifications as soon as I send them to him.  The rate and speed of message delivery is astounding.  To date, we have approximately 2,000 downloads; it is utterly fascinating that 2,000 people received a message that I literally just sent.  Furthermore, not only did I just send the message, in many cases I just created  it as well.

ActionableI think sometimes marketers (or C-level managers) get hung-up on the definition of calls-to-action.  Calls-to-action are not necessarily about making a purchase, but rather they can be some other action such as increasing foot traffic in a brick-and-mortar store, visiting a web site, or ‘liking’ a Facebook page.  Evian water recently launched a mobile campaign that utilities this idea.  Positioned on the Pandora app on phones, the banner ad reads, “The Evian Babies Are Back. Click to Watch.”  The user is then taken to a YouTube channel where they view a short spot for the water company.  They are not only boasting their presence in the mobile space by being on smartphones, but they are also engaging with consumers and building brand awareness. 
ChallengesOne of the most important issues to consider when developing a mobile marketing plan is where the campaign might fail and how to account for it.  Marketers must consider things like if the ad or app or timing are relevant, what’s the desired action item, and placement (meaning which device or medium) makes the most sense.  Will the ad be a banner ad or does using advergaming make more sense? What if we know our audience better than we know ourselves and it still fails?  We must develop a contingency plan that can be activated immediately in the event of campaign failure.