Archive for March, 2017
Regular readers of this blog will have seen me say many times that marketing, and mobile marketing in particular, runs on numbers. Facts and stats are the lifeblood of informed marketing, that’s for sure. However, we also know that marketing loves food for thought and it really loves it in the form of bite-sized quotable quotes!
Pearls of wisdom are what marketers love and it’s been a while since we featured some wordy wisdom. So, courtesy of Mobile Marketing Magazine, here are some quotes from our thought leader peers designed to get us all thinking about the power of mobile.
According to someone called Paul Barnes, of AppAnnie, “Mobile is becoming the glue between physical and digital, and retailers are already adopting this. We’ve seen it really successfully from Starbucks, where seven or eight per cent of their orders are now done via their mobile app and picked up later. McDonald’s are now rolling it out, with the added feature of using GPS so they don’t start cooking until you’re getting close.
These examples just go to show that retailers’ misplaced fears about bricks and mortar being replaced with bits and bytes are largely unfounded. Just us mobile media is complementing traditional media, and vice versa, so mobile is emerging as a valuable asset to physical stores. Consumers want convenience, and physical shops will always be part of the greater convenience that mobile enables.
Anil Lamba of Teads has been quoted recently as saying that “Video is 62 per cent more effective in getting your message across”. Imaginatrix can advise brands and their agencies on the most appropriate formats and content for video-based campaigns. While including video in the mobile mix does boost customer engagement, it can never be mindless: “brands need to respect consumer preferences, and balance making themselves disruptive with avoiding annoying consumers into switching off,” adds Mr Lamba.
Addressing how mobile is impacting how firms communicate directly with customers, James O’Hare of Esendex has also been quoted by Mobile Marketing Magazine as saying his firm made the sensible switch to SMS for measuring customer satisfaction and was “able to increase response rates from three per cent to 27 per cent.” Food for thought indeed!
Here’s a nice quick factoid for a Monday. That respected resource for the self-made, Entrepreneur Magazine, says that mobile marketing is no longer the ‘in-thing’, nor is it ‘the future’. Now how could that be a positive development, readers may ask? Well, it is because the magazine says it’s all because mobile’s domination of the marketing world is complete. Forget emerging, mobile’s here, it’s mainstream, and it’s here to stay.
This brings us to the next topic of today’s blog and that is that new research shows that the majority of mobile marketers have approached the discipline with such enthusiasm in the recent past, that they’re now unsure of how to find new customers.
MediaPost reports that a survey of 300 senior marketers found that 61% of marketers still aren’t fully confident in their ability to find new profitable mobile customers; 58% are not fully confident in their re-engagement efforts to alleviate customer churn; while more than 50% aren’t confident in their ability to acquire new customers and re-engage lost ones.
After seeing some recent media reports about South Africa’s efforts to deal with cybercrime, maybe marketers will feel more confident about their ability to capture new mobile customers if they push the fact that mobile users are far less likely than desktop users to encounter cyber criminals. This really could be a huge selling point in the drive to connect with more mobile customers.
A quick survey of relevant research on the web reveals that fully 82% of fraudulent online accounts originated from desktop machines compared with 18% from mobile platforms. This is according to fresh findings from security research firm DataVisor. Regardless of platform, cyber criminals are thriving on desktop – what a great new reason to go mobile!
A recent article by Mobile Marketing Magazine served as a reminder of the ‘good old days’ of advertising and marketing. The story stated that, in the 21st century, “Retailers were focused on bricks and mortar, supported by above-the-line advertising and in-store promotions.” That really was it, wasn’t it? While it didn’t seem so then, our lives as marketers were quite simple.
The only problem is that our lives were simple because we were, in fact, data-poor. The magazine reminds us: “While we only had one channel to manage, most of our customers were anonymous.” Today, mobile marketing has emerged to join the dots and create the ultimate prize which is the single customer view. It does all of this because marketing today is a data-rich journey of really getting to know our customer. For the first time ever, we can engage with current and potential customers in real time.
Previously, unsophisticated reward schemes were our only way of collecting data on consumer behaviour. Enter the smartphone and immediately the bar is raised.
We now we have the opportunity to identify the individual and their unique behaviours and, in exchange for all of this, we can provide consumers with the ultimate in personalised shopping experiences. The best thing about all of this, in my humble opinion, is that mobile enables data to be collected in real time and usually without the customer having to do anything. Before, any consumer wanting more than a one-size-fits-all commercial experience, had to – usually – spend a great deal of time with a marketing research assistant and fill in reams of paper.
Mobile Marketing Magazine reminds us just how far we have come: “Mobiles are not just vehicles for engagement, they are tracking devices, facilitating relevant real-time engagement.”
As mobile marketers, we are today in a pivotal and leading position. We have made the transition from being our own channel, to becoming the golden thread that connects all the other channels together.
Mike Laws, managing director of Imaginatrix.mobi, says recent news that Snapchat is finally moving forward with a long-awaited listing reminds us that mobile is now firmly entrenched as the primary way consumers interact with apps and content.
Tweaking the Imaginatrix website recently had me counting exactly how many services we offer. I think I impressed even myself when I got to item number 15! Mobile marketers often say that they ‘commercialise’ mobile products and services and the best example is the ‘Please Call Me’ service with its advertising text tags that yours truly helped launch. However, what does ‘commercialise’ actually mean?
It means correctly enabling many smaller services like the 15 mentioned above so that the larger goal of purchasing on or using a mobile device is made possible. So, for example, enabling in-app messaging assists the overall consumer purchasing mission. This means me to the topic of today’s blog. One of the many websites offering marketing advice in cyberspace has said that in-app messaging outshines its bigger brother, the push notification. Let’s find out why…
I’d say one of the biggest advantages in-app messaging has for the mobile marketer is that one can combine it with a particular event trigger. This could be as basic as the mobile user opening the app. The great thing for app owners is that in-app messaging removes all guesstimating – a clear yes / no action provides actionable results. Mobile marketers also call this the “if-this-then-that” framework. What a treat for the marketer to be able to rely on real-time contextualisation!
While mobile marketing automation of the kind provided by in-app messaging is still relatively new, there are already some key learnings that are beginning to pop up. You can leverage in-app messaging to deliver greater turnover while boosting customer loyalty. To do this, you need to ensure you have a clear goal for your in-app messages and this, once again, comes down to proper personalisation. There’s just no point having potential customers download the app for the latest and hottest vegan joint in town and then having the in-app messaging system blitz them with a steakhouse special offer as soon as they open the app. In-app allows you to communicate directly with highly-engaged users – understand them and and property align their behaviours with your in-app funnel stages.
I am sure regular readers of this blog will have noticed how the folks at Imaginatrix like to pepper these pages with sprinklings of interesting tidbits from around the web. A thought occurred this morning how facts and stats gleaned from the learned pages of the worldwide web are useful back-ups to the argument for mobile, they shouldn’t form the crux of the move to mobile. This is because the best reasons for marketers to implement mobile strategies boil down to common sense. So, for the start of this new working week, let’s look at the obvious reasons that immediately spring to mind when we think of why exactly marketers need to get down with mobile:
Mobile strategies are an investment in the future. Or, written differently, we could say that investments in mobile marketing are insurance policies for your future brand health. What we mean here is that it is so patently obvious that mobile technology adoption is sitting at well over 100% amongst the young future consumers of tomorrow. From fast food outlets to the playground, young South Africans are in love with their mobiles, and that love’s only going to get deeper – it’s up to brand owners, agencies, and mobile marketers to capture the love for our shared commercial success!
Mobile is affordable. There just is no reason to spend mega-bucks on creating beautiful-looking, artsy TV commercials that ‘build the brand’ when you can build mobile campaigns in half the time, at a quarter of the cost, that immediately ‘sell the rand’. For brands eager to get into the market and start generating revenue, there really is no better option that mobile. It is fast, affordable and simply the best way to get earning.
Mobile is all about constant feedback. Mobile provides instantaneous feedback to the mobile marketer through a huge array of measurement and reporting tools. This not only means that it is immediately apparent if a campaign is working or not, but campaign can also be tweaked in real time to find that magic combination that translates goods and services into hard currency.
There are so many other reasons to make the move to mobile; but a future-proof, cost-effective and real-time technology ticks important boxes for me.
For those of us who think “Out of Africa” is just a 1985 movie with an inventive storyline involving Denmark, Kenya, writing and philandering; the phrase actually stems from an ancient Greek proverb. It’s amazing to think that these commonly-used words, strung together in this way, have been in use by human beings since Aristotle first wrote them down more than 2 300 years ago on the shores of the Mediterranean. “There is always something new out of Africa”, he wrote in his book on natural history. I don’t know what’s more amazing – the fact there was writing 23 centuries ago, or the fact that some people were choosing to write about natural history in a time of no traffic, no pollution; just olive groves, swimming and such like. Amazing.
When we come back to down to Earth after such lofty dreaming, we realise that there is likewise always something new out of mobile marketing. From those very early days when the sum total of the industry was represented by pages of short code ads in newspapers and magazines, or SMS-based competitions (still popular, rightly so: they work!), today we are getting to grips with Artificial Intelligence (AI) deployed for marketers in the form of chatbots, automated helpdesk features and so on. This all seems to be some sort of CRM heaven.
Unfortunately, when something is too good to be true, it probably is. While every year there’s a new technology which seems to dominate mobile marketing, the industry is still a long way off from leaving it in the capable care of robots while we all go swimming.
‘Cognitive computing’, as one commentator calls what’s emerging in mobile marketing and what we hope later on will run CRM, is not a replication of the human mind. At this stage, AI and similar technologies applied to marketing and which we’re all trying to get to run on automatic, are simply a set of formulas that fill in customer service gaps where we have limitations. The fact that AI is still a back-up, and a limited one at that, became abundantly clear to me when I was reading about this week’s Design Indaba. The programme features speakers from Google, AirBnB and such like. There’s simply no way any form of AI could have come up with the founding concepts behind these two modern-day marvels. AI can support what we create, and for now, that’s about it.
Amazon’s launch last year of a check-out free convenience store is a bricks and mortar retail model mobile marketers would be well advised to emulate.
‘Amazon Go’ is a real-world grocery store that enables you and I to simply grab the stuff we want and walk out. Magically, the order debits your Amazon account afterwards. There are no cashiers and no annoying fumbling for a credit card. This really is the future of retail in the same way the department store was light years ahead of the nineteenth-century counter service model where assistants would physically go and fetch items ordered from behind an imposing counter.
I mention all of this in a blog dedicated to mobile marketing because, in a discipline dedicated to the advancement of commerce conducted on and via mobile devices, we see precious little simplification of the check-out process. A casual surf through the web reveals the consumer is expected to jump through all manner of hoops just to order an item online. Few m-commerce sites recognise repeat customers through their IP addresses, even fewer offer a simplified check-out process for these repeat customers. Fewer still offer any form of loyalty programme. Note to mobile marketers: greeting mobile shoppers by their names (after they log-in) is not the alpha and omega of a loyalty programme!
We all know that informing mobile customers of where they are in the check-out progress by way of a visual indicator is a great first step in the commercialisation of mobile marketing, but what else should we be doing to make the check-out process simpler?
Request only the essential information you need from a purchasing mobile client. Design slick forms that don’t have two fields (first name and surname) for a customer’s name, where one field would do, for example. Also, offer a number of check-out options and give customers the option to either sign in as a guest, create an account or sign in as a returning customer. Finally, errors happen so make it easy for customers to correct their order mistakes without having to re-submit the whole order.