“With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behaviour is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment.”
The above quote is from an article I penned back in September titled appropriately enough Mobile Marketing Too Large For Brands To Ignore.
It was said by Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of mobile and I found it so telling I repeated in a column I wrote about a month later Mobile Marketing – The Elephant In The Room For Marketers.
Mobile marketing has become quite ubiquitous I would say as it seems not a day goes by where we are not reading about something relating to mobile marketing. For example last week’s announcement by Orbitz highlighting the fact that smartphones now account for 1 in 5 of all their bookings.
Of course all is not rosy in the land of mobile marketing as witnessed by the news that Papa John’s is facing a $250 million spam lawsuit related to blasting customers with illegal text messages.
This suit should serve as a reminder to all marketers that mobile is a highly personal channel and marketers interested in leveraging mobile for marketing must now, more than ever, take a relationship-first approach. So how do you build a relationship-first approach with mobile marketing and SMS?
Well to find out, I consulted with an expert, in this case my colleague – Michael Della Penna, SVP of Emerging Channels at Responsys. And yes I would say mobile marketing qualifies as an emerging channel wouldn’t you?
Here are some tips Michael passed on to me which I now gladly pass on to you:
- Design & build a mobile experience. Yes, it’s about the journey. Every great marketing program starts with building a strategy that not only considers the customer, but their journey. Map out how mobile or SMS messaging can plug into the customer journey. Consider your various personas and segments and plan your strategy accordingly.
- Ask for permission, confirm and approve. Leverage key traditional, as well as digital, touch points to build your addressable audience and to communicate the value of a subscription. Use industry best practices and implement a double opt-in process to assure consumers who receive your messages are bought in. Last but not least, if you’re an organisation thinking about distributing access don’t forget to establish a review and approval process. Implementing a strict set of internal controls can go a long way and if it is supported/integrated into the your SMS platform even better.
- Grow engagement & conversion. Gather preferences and critical information during the opt-in process and leverage your CRM data. Combine those preferences with segmentation data and customer insights to create high value messages that target users based on their preferences, needs and interests.
- Timing is everything. The “when” in mobile is essential not only to be relevant, but to avoid a potential issue and complaint. Implement triggers based on key consumer behaviours, but also take care to avoid sending SMS promotional messages on off hours. Nothing is more annoying that be awakened by a company sending you a promotion in the middle of the night. analyse and leverage data such as mobile site/app usage to better understand consumer engagement.
- Make technology your friend and build a dialog/create loyalty. Select the right platform and partner. Look for technology that can support programs and use-cases throughout the marketing funnel and consumer journey. It is about building a great experience, after all. Be sure your provider includes support for multiple-use cases including:
- Awareness: Text Alerts Consideration: Text for response Intent: Text for location Purchase: Purchase and shipping notifications (triggers) Experience: Polls, surveys, and text to speak to a customer representative Loyalty: A loyalty statement
- Awareness: Text Alerts
- Consideration: Text for response
- Intent: Text for location
- Purchase: Purchase and shipping notifications (triggers)
- Experience: Polls, surveys, and text to speak to a customer representative
- Loyalty: A loyalty statement
In addition, the platform partner should also support multi-step program creation and API integrations to create an ongoing dialog and to trigger relevant messaging based on an individual’s specific behaviour. Finally, also think about the experience post-click. optimise corresponding landing pages to create the complete mobile experience from start to finish.
- Tag, monitor and opt-out. Gauge reaction to text messaging by tagging landing pages to understand response and conversion to individual messaging. Monitor and process opt-out and use surveys and polls to further optimise key messaging streams. Use dedicated keywords to assure opt-out “Stop” texts are tied to individual messages and not all messaging is tied to a short code.
- Orchestrate cross-channel programs and optimise. Great marketing is all about sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time. But it also takes understanding a consumer’s channel preference. Use your preference centre and customer insights to understand the preferred channel of choice for key messaging including mobile, and orchestrate and optimise accordingly.
It’s clear the world has gone mobile and case studies highlighting the success of leading brands like Orbitz showcase the enormous opportunity this burgeoning channel offers marketers across all industries.
But doing mobile right requires:
- A focused relationships-first approach that includes adhering to best practices (check out the Mobile Marketing Association guidelines)
- Creating great user experiences by thinking through the customer journey
- Supporting that strategy with great technology, capabilities and marketing know-how
What do you think of Michael’s tips? Agree? Disagree? Have others you want to share?
And what is your opinion of what happened re: Papa John’s?
Look forward to hearing, er reading, what you have to say.
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions.
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