When it comes to running a successful mobile marketing campaign, some of the most experienced and successful in mobile marketing wisely suggest a common-sense approach to the channel.
Here are five practical strategies to follow:
1. Stay current
You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry moving faster than mobile. In many ways, that’s great for marketers. We have more ways to reach people on their most personal devices, mini-computers that they carry with them 24 hours a day. But behaviours and interests change fast. If you read something in 2011 and think you have this whole mobile thing down, don’t bet on it. The winds of 2012 change may knock you over.
2. Take a walk in your customer’s shoes
“Do what feels right,” Mario Schulzke, IdeaMensch founder and senior director, digital strategy, WDCW, told me in research for my book, Mobilized Marketing: How to Drive Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Devices.
“Build a marketing programme around tactics that make sense for you,” Schulzke said. “I have many clients who are overwhelmed by Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and the like. But when we talk about creating content that provides value to existing and potential customers, they get that. Having a roundtable discussion on Twitter is no different than going to a networking meeting. Crafting a webinar and capturing leads via email is no different than speaking at your local Lion’s Club.”
Specifically for mobile, Schulzke recommends that marketers walk in the shoes of their customers and prospects.
“Do what makes sense to you, and always think about the value you provide to your audience,” Schulzke advised. “Focus on the fundamentals. Respectfully communicate with your customers via all channels. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, and do the right thing.”
3. Think beyond a generic digital playbook
“What most people have,” according to Steve Mura, director of digital marketing, MillerCoors, “is what I call a generic digital playbook, meaning trying digital is important so, ‘We’re going to use digital. We’re going to use Foursquare and Facebook and Google and all these folks.'”
“What happens is every technology is fair game,” Mura continued. “What happens when you get a clear strategy is you say, ‘Here are my goals in digital. This is what I need digital to do to help me sell more beer.’ There are other people who built really cool businesses and have really good technology, but they won’t help you get to where you need to go.”
Mura strongly advises marketers to fully understand and apply only those technologies that will positively affect their company’s bottom line.
“That’s the fundamental place we are in as an industry,” Mura continued. “There are those who get digital and know how to use it to help their business, and those who know digital is important and just go out there and flounder in the space for the next couple of years because they’re going to say ‘Facebook is just as fair game as Google search or as Foursquare.’ What they’re going to find is half of those things weren’t intended to build their businesses. That’s a costly and long lesson to learn.”
4. Dive in with transparency and thick skin
Terence Reis, a former Mobile Marketing Association managing director and the current director of operations and partner at Pontomobi Interactive, sees mobile as the vehicle to a value exchange between brands and their prospects and customers.
If you’re not doing mobile, “you’re losing an opportunity to start a unique conversation with your customers,” said Reis. “You’ll find customers on mobile will start a conversation only if they trust you and they expect transparency and good services. You’ll be forced to learn how to talk to people again. And your company will find that it’s not only a matter of talking. The negative points of your products will be thrown mercilessly at your inbox.”
“But if you have the guts,” Reis continued, “you’ll be in control and will have the chance to improve your product and your relationship with your audience.” Of course, understanding the technology behind mobile can make you a better marketer. That’s common sense.
5. Connect with industry leaders
In the hyper-connected, fast changing and challenging business world, it’s no easy task to stay on top of industry trends. Marketers must constantly develop new strategies to build and manage their brands, and engage with today’s empowered consumers. One of the best ways to stay on top of the latest marketing trends is to constantly connect to leaders in industry. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Accelerate your rate of learning by finding out what’s working for top brands in your industry.
Join me at the Chief Marketing Officers Conference, taking place from 11–12 September 2012, to help address these challenges and highlight the opportunities and realities of preparing for the future of marketing. The programme is specifically designed for CMOs, Marketing Directors and Senior Marketing & Sales Executives, and provides a unique platform for high-level discussions. Reserve your place today.
By Jeff Hasen, Hipcricket Chief Marketing Officer and author of “Mobilized Marketing – Driving Sales, Engagement, and Loyatly Through Mobile Devices.”