A pleasant first kiss doesn’t always lead to a happy, lasting marriage. Similarly, in the digital world, securing a first purchase from a new customer is just the first step of a much longer journey – a journey that requires ongoing investment of time and energy.
Mobile marketing is a brave new world where winners become winners by cultivating authentic customer relationships and, in turn, brand loyalty. The communication may happen online, but the relationship should never be treated as virtual.
Why All The Fuss About Mobile?
As the number of active smartphones approaches a staggering 2 billion, it is safe to say that mobile marketing plays an increasingly vital role for all businesses, large and small. More than one quarter of the global population now uses smartphones and more than a third of the global consumers are estimated to be doing so by the year 2018.
The rate of smart phone penetration has seen exponential growth in recent years. As inexpensive new models flood the market, new opportunities are opening up for commerce in emerging markets where consumers once had little or no access to the Internet. Meanwhile, in established markets, the saturation of smartphone ownership is changing the way that people consume media, forcing marketers to become more mobile-centric. Reports from 2012 show that, at that time, Internet users typically spent around 74 minutes on mobile Internet services per day. By 2015, that figure had almost doubled to 119.4 minutes per day, up from 112.8 minutes per day the year before.
When analysing mobile Internet access, it seems that age is a noteworthy variable. In 2014, Millennials (16-30 years) demonstrated the highest level of mobile Internet penetration at 74 percent. A comparatively low 39 percent of Baby Boomers (51-64 years) worldwide used their mobile devices to access the Internet.
As more people, young and old, are being seduced by the convenience of mobile Internet, it is worth noting how people are spending their additional time online. In June 2015, the majority of mobile users worldwide were preoccupied with emailing, visiting social media sites, and reading news. Commercial activities such as online shopping and online banking also account for a significant chunk of the time that mobile users are spending online.
This surge in mobile Internet access isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. As mobile technology continues to develop, and penetration continues to expand, the one sure place that you can expect to find your customers is online.
How To Master Mobile Marketing
By 2018, half of the world’s mobile users will most likely have smartphones. For savvy mobile marketers, that’s quite an impressive captive audience to connect with. So if you are one of those people who is afraid that their business might be left behind in the mobile marketing stampede, fear not. By adopting a few simple, strategic methods, you too can optimize mobile reach and improve your retention numbers.
1. Getting To Know Your Customers
Mobile engagement begins with personalised communication, so you need to work out exactly who your customers are and segment them accordingly. You don’t need to be an IT prodigy to grasp the fundamental principles of mobile marketing. In fact, the most effective mobile marketing methods are based on some very simple, sensible and time-tested customer service traditions. If you take the time to get to know your customers, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of their behaviour, allowing you to cater more effectively to their consumer needs.
2. Content Marketing
Once you know who you’re dealing with, create and distribute customised content for each segment. Depending on the nature of your business, that could be content in the form of podcasts, eBooks, articles, exclusive tutorials or instructional videos. In the digital landscape, out of sight equals out of mind – so you should always have something new to tell or offer your customers. The underlying motivation of content marketing is to generate interest in your brand. But remember, content must be relevant and of value to your target audience – not just barefaced self-promotion.
3. Push Notifications Via A Customised App
The majority of Internet users prefer the interface of a native mobile app over a website. By building a customized mobile application for your business, you can develop a direct channel of communication with your customers. A well-designed app will bypass the chatter and distraction of other channels, like social media and over-crowded email inboxes, with direct push notifications. Once a customer downloads your app, you can engage with customers anytime, anywhere with push notifications.
4. Respond and Adapt To Customer Feedback
In the competitive world of mobile commerce, the almighty customer review wields a frightening amount of power. Online reviews and customer feedback can literally make or break a business. But if you play your cards right, you can leverage that power in your brand’s favour. Never ignore negative reviews – silence tells readers (your potential future customers) that you’re indifferent to what your customers think about your product or service. Essentially, it’s all about building trust. By responding, you show that your business is dynamic and capable of righting its wrongs. You may not appease every unhappy customer but, by engaging with complaints, you show that you’re committed to customer service.
5. Reward Loyal Customers
Once you know that a customer is interested, your challenge is to inspire loyalty and ensure that your business stays top of mind. Acquiring new customers is much more difficult and costly than keeping existing ones. So, once you have established a relationship with a customer, invest time and resources in simple gestures and tactics that will strengthen that rapport. Offer them an occasional ‘loyalty discount’ or ‘VIP gift’ to keep them in the fold. Make your regular customers feel appreciated.
What mobile marketing strategies have worked best for your brand? Have you learned any tough lessons along the way? Share your experiences in the comments below?