Consultants at digital engagement specialist CoreMedia – the company that works with leading retail organisations including Homebase and Office Depot – have identified ‘Five steps to mobile marketing success’ – a guide designed to help retailers create great experiences that empower rather than limit their mobile customers.
“The global explosion of mobile devices is more than just a change in how consumers access content and buy products online – it represents a fundamental shift in the way consumers interact with brands and each other,” said CoreMedia’s global directot of product marketing, Doug Heise. “This new breed of consumer is more informed, more empowered, and less reliant on brands to make shopping decisions.
“And, as consumers smarten up, marketers and e-commerce professionals are facing new challenges including: identifying and communicating with customers across channels; overcoming the effects of mobile screen size “compression”; managing the avalanche of data from multiple touch points, and – most importantly – undoing the multi-year impact of fragmented teams, broken systems, and siloed data repositories that contribute to so many poor online experiences. Addressing these challenges is not easy but it boils down to five critical best practices.”
Understand what a customer needs when using a mobile device – then fulfil it
What is the right way to speak to the mobile consumer? How do they want to buy? How do they want to discover and explore? How do they want to interact with brands online?
Retailers are responding by experimenting. Trying different strategies to see what sticks. But there are few hard and fast rules and the ecosystem is constantly changing.
The first step towards effective mobile marketing is to understand your customers and how they move between channels. In many ways, mobile marketing seems much more complex than traditional marketing because there are so many more touch points and devices.
Customers have many more choices these days and they aren’t afraid to exercise their autonomy from brands and traditional, mass-market messaging. But ultimately, the basis steps in the customer journey (from initial awareness and discovery, through purchase and fulfilment, to ongoing use, support, and advocacy) remain the same – regardless of device or channel.
The key to understanding the mobile customer is data. Learn how to track and analyse customer data in a secure, private, and centralised way to ensure relevant experiences on all channels.
Personalise the experience with progressive relevant content
The next step is to take all of this data and turn it into useful, relevant, experiences. The experiences need to be customer-driven, not company-driven. Smart companies recognise that the customer wants to be in control of the experience and gives them the tools they need to accomplish their goals.
The mobile customer expects to be recognised and welcomed on any channel. They expect to be able to pick up where they left off. The whole point is to make things easy for the customer – save them time and money, eliminate redundancy and reduce the hassle of interacting with brands online.
These experiences need to be dynamic and real-time so that they reflect the current experience of the customer. In some respects, mobile marketing is a moving target. Neither the technology nor the customer is ever going to sit still.
Build rich interactive and immersive experiences
One way to make these mobile experiences relevant and engaging is to make them visually appealing, interactive, and immersive.
Visually appealing experiences are based on flexible templates, attractive layouts, responsive design, and rich media like photos, image maps, video, audio, and a wide range of related document types. As attractive and appealing as these experiences can be, however, they can’t be one-way experiences.
Mobile consumers do not want to be “talked-at”, they want to have a conversation and they want to feel that they have some control of that conversation. Therefore, consumers should be given ample opportunity to talk back the brand – to personalise the experience, to provide feedback, select functionality, and steer the conversation.
Finally, these new mobile experiences need to be immersive – meaning that they seamlessly market content and product data to create relevant, interesting stories. Some consumers know exactly what they want — others don’t. Some are driven primarily by price and availability, whereas others have an emotional attachment to a particular brand that is best addressed through storytelling.
Empower your business users with an integrated, intuitive and information
A grow-as-you-go approach ensures that operations won’t be disrupted while evolving to experiential commerce. A fixed price rapid deployment offering, aligned with tangible business value and delivered within as little as 10 weeks, is provided.
Innovate incrementally to ensure success and minimise risk
The final key for delivering true experiential commerce stores is perhaps the most critical – the ability to transition incrementally and intelligently from your existing platform to a new set of tools and business practices.
The desire to change everything overnight in response to pressing market challenges is understanding but is usually a recipe for failure.
Complex, custom, one-off projects increase risk and limit opportunity. In fact, the Kinsey Group found that 45% of large projects run over budget and 56% deliver less functionality than predicted.
Shifting from transactional to experiential commerce — is not something that can happen overnight. Companies need an approach that allows them to manage their level of risk by taking an evolutionary and predictable approach that lays a sustainable foundation for future growth