Marketing to mobile – why is it so different?

Marketers know how to market on websites, in stores, in catalogs and through call centers. But what about mobile marketing? Most companies have mobile websites and some have mobile apps, but do they treat them any differently?

Too often the answer is no. However, these channels are different and marketers need to deliver a different experience to capture and retain their customers in this sales channel, one of the newest in the cross-channel environment.

Our now traditional channels are typically managed through a sales funnel to a transaction, with marketing activity following that funnel. This starts with getting attention or awareness, moving through interest, consideration and desire, and then moving onto action or purchase with the final step being post-purchase loyalty.

With mobile, this no longer applies. The mobile world is always on. Shopping becomes a continuous process as we interact with store displays, adverts, friends and the world around us. It is permeated by gaps, as other activities such as phone calls or text messages occur on the mobile device, but mobile users are heavily influenced while on the go.

So, how does that change what we do and how we do it? Here are 4 questions marketers can ask when engaging in the mobile channel.

  1. Who is my mobile customer? Most mobile customers have accounts with you and you have their contact information in your customer database. This allows you to better identify them by the channel in which they are interacting with you.
  2. Can I contact my mobile customer?
    Marketers should determine if the consumer contact data is accurate, complete, validated and has been updated recently. Data Quality is critical to any marketing effort, mobile or otherwise. In addition, be sure to seek permission from your mobile customers before contacting them through this channel to stay in accordance with any regulations.
  3. How do I understand my mobile customer?
    Now that you know who they are, you need to understand what their preferences might be so that the most relevant content is displayed to them in the space you have. Real-time data enhancement can help you understand their preferences and propensities.
  4. Has the content been optimized appropriately?
    You only have a small screen so it is important to only put relevant content on the screen and have the content match the screen size. The concept of “content snacking” is important so only the most relevant products, services or adverts are displayed and not your entire inventory.

Mobile is different. Shopping on mobile is a continuous process rather than a sales funnel so the approach we take is different. Once you understand who your customer is, how you can contact them, and what they want, you can more effectively reach them and incorporate mobile into your cross-channel marketing strategy.