Why mobile marketing is not a “fringe channel”
Context, automation, and predictions are just some of what mobile marketing offers in this highly connected region.
As the mobile marketing industry has been growing at an unprecedented rate, what can marketers do to keep abreast of dynamic developments and productively engage consumers? Scott Anderson, chief marketing officer, Sitecore, says mobile marketing doesn’t only involve tablets or smartphones as much as it does the actual mobility of the consumer who’s always on the go.
“The consumer is now mobile. Not only via tablets or smartphones but now travelling in connected cars, wearing fitness bands, and installing connected appliances,” he notes. “Marketers should focus less on designing for the small screen and focus more on how to maintain a smart and on-going conversation with individuals, wherever they are, on any device, at the precise moment when they require assistance.”
In pursuit of context
Anderson cites a survey by Sitecore and Vanson Bourne, which says 61% of consumers have a mobile device on and near them for an average of 10 hours per day, whilst a whopping 84% say they research on their mobile device before purchasing online, with 80% considering the mobile experience as a priority in the purchasing decision. “For brands, it all starts with the mobile mindset. Understanding consumer habits and preferences in a rapidly changing landscape is the starting point. Consumers want marketers to deliver what they need ‘in context’ to whatever it is they are trying to achieve right at that moment,” he says.
Nicholas Kontopoulos, global vice president of fast growth markets, audience engagement marketing, SAP Hybris, reckons mobile marketing automation is empowering marketers to be smarter with content and messaging across all devices. “As marketers, we are constantly looking to create a better, more compelling, and engaging experience for our customers,” he says. “Mobile marketing automation seeks to enable marketers to provide that magical dimension known as context – engaging each consumer personally and as an audience of one.” Kontopoulos says automation can come in various forms to take mobile marketing to the next level. “Technologies and capabilities like GPS, geo-fencing, and beacons can be leveraged to present marketing messages based on a consumer’s real-world location and proximity seamlessly. Coupled with the ability to contextualise, mobile marketing can elevate your brand’s ability to engage even further in 2017.”
Social media involvement
There will be growth in mobile usage along with an increase of social media usage to find and share various information, shares Geraldine Wong, chief marketing officer, SEEK Asia. Social media sites have a “buy” button where purchasing occurs on those sites instead of through a third party, she notes. Mobile marketing comes in custom apps and mobile-targetted campaigns to specific customers. “Moreover, increasing usage of mobile apps will be seen as part of our daily lives. Mobile marketing will increase its popularity as it can help businesses to reach a specific group of audience more effectively as well as building better customer relationships,” explains Wong.
Wendy Johnstone, VP marketing, APAC, Salesforce, notes that Asia Pacific is home to half of the world’s mobile phone subscribers and the largest number of wireless Internet connections. The online commerce landscape is dominated by the region, primarily driven by mobile devices. “By 2020, there will be 6.1 billion smartphone users in the world, with nearly 2 billion coming from Asia Pacific. Suffice to say, mobile users are a force to be reckoned with and rightfully be at the centre of a marketer’s marketing strategy and plan.”
Mobile is here to stay
Johnstone also cites a survey amongst marketers globally, where 79% say mobile is core to business. “Mobile as a marketing platform (such as mobile apps) and a marketing channel (such as SMS) has seen a surge in usage between 2015 and 2016, hitting a triple-digit growth within a year,” she notes. The percentage of marketers who are realising a return on their mobile investment also jumped 147% from 2015 to 2016. “Once a fringe channel, mobile marketing has become a mainstay,” stresses Johnstone.
She adds that predictions will rule the future, and the marketing world, especially content marketers. “There is a paradigm shift in the way consumers want to be engaged. They expect brands and marketers to proactively engage them,” explains Johnstone. “If I bought a six-month vitamins supply, I expect the brand to send me a reminder that my supply is running out and even come to expect a loyalty discount so I make a repurchase.”