Mobile marketing and the cookie-free future: challenges and opportunities

Mobile marketing and the cookie-free future: challenges and opportunities

There is increasing evidence to suggest that people are more obsessed with their mobile phones than ever before. For marketers and brands, this obsession is turning into an incredible opportunity, especially as third-party cookies crumble and relationship marketing becomes the king of the marketing paradigm.

Smartphones are often the first thing people check in the morning and the last thing they touch at night. In the UK alone, it is estimated that people spend on average four hours they click, touch, swipe and look on their mobile devices every day – that’s at least a quarter of their waking hours. Without a doubt, mobile has become an inextricable extension of the modern consumer and as such has emerged as the heart of relationship marketing.

Challenges, trends and opportunities

Popular forms of A2P (text-to-person or business SMS) messages include marketing campaigns, promotional codes, appointment reminders, account security codes, bank alerts and delivery notifications. Many large industries such as retail, banking, healthcare and telecommunications have adopted A2P technology to send messages to their customers. It’s a growing trend.

However, some brands and organizations are still hesitant to embrace the mobile marketing trend. That reluctance can be attributed to a number of factors, including start-up problems, investment justification, and regulatory intimidation.

To eliminate these barriers, it is crucial for the industry to embrace bodies as they are Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) that packages thought leadership into small, consumable information that businesses can learn. This can drive more organizations to adopt A2P, helping them to increase the value to customers related to the services they provide.

Here are four ways to use mobile marketing to create lasting customer relationships:

  1. Create an exchange of value: Before any marketing can take place, you need to get consent to communicate with your audience and learn about their true interests. First, the organization must identify its value proposition where the customer feels there is a compelling reason to access that value by enrolling in a loyalty program. This is not limited to promotions, but could be for convenience, better service, information updates, exclusive access to content and the list goes on – this is called creating a “value exchange”.

Once the value is set, it’s time for the brand to spread the word. This is where mobile plays a significant role, as it raises user awareness and allows logging in beyond the laptop, casting the network further into any other environment. This could be adding a QR code or short code to banners, TV, receipts, shop windows or a hotel nightstand – directing customers to use their mobile phones to interact with the brand. Simply put, mobile offers unlimited flexibility to provide a gateway to value in any environment.

  1. Drive real-time contextual engagement: In the digital marketing space, it’s about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. Mobile is key to achieving relevant and effective user engagement in real time.

There are a growing number of markets where mobile penetration is greater than 100%, and this provides an ecosystem where brands can be confident that they can serve any of their customers at any time. It’s not just the ubiquitous nature and “always on” accessibility that differentiates mobile, but also the immediacy it can offer compared to other channels.

That’s why time-critical and business-critical messages are sent through mobile channels. In banking, this could be for two-factor authentication or fraud alerts; for a restaurant this could be sending a booking reminder; or for retail this could include shipment delivery notifications – the list goes on. But the power of immediacy is what makes an old technology like SMS continue to see double-digit growth year after year.

  1. Combine loyalty and marketing: There is a lot of talk about communication channels that are not in silos. And for good reason – customers’ circumstances can evolve as they experience changes in geography, disposable income, relationships, preferences, or because they are influenced by competitive interactions. Simply because a customer is enrolled in a loyalty program, it does not mean that he/she is an advocate, nor that your brand is his/her first choice. This is important for success in fostering longer lasting customer relationships.

With that in mind, it’s important that businesses actively seek customer feedback, listen to their preferences, and continue to check in with them. Mobile offers the ability to gain additional insights, reach out to all users, and drive contextual engagements in real time. We see brands using mobile apps as an effective solution to increase customer loyalty and take advantage of this environment.

Customers who download a business application and choose to communicate have actively chosen to have a closer relationship with the brand; these are some of your most valuable customers. They need to be nurtured and taken care of, and the loyalty program is just for that.

  1. Become a customer expert: The ability of marketers to effectively communicate with customers is highly dependent on having access to key data sources and the right tools to act on that data at scale.

As former data assets are increasingly handcuffed by policy, regulation and a more data-conscious consumer, mobile apps can offer a unique environment from which brands can gain great insight into customer behavior.

Mobile apps offer insights such as customer frequency, recency, pages visited, products clicked, and more, which can help businesses better understand their customers. This helps to serve them in the best possible way.

The new era of mobile ‘relationship’ marketing

The value of mobile devices in the digital age is enormous. When engaging with a brand, consumers interact with several digital touchpoints that are rarely connected. However, these channels can almost always be accessed on a mobile device, with SMS, browser, email, apps, social media and wallet readily available on most smart devices. Therefore, by making mobile the core of any digital communications strategy, brands can align data and use it to power more personalized, frictionless experiences across all touchpoints.

Mobile marketing offers businesses and brands the ability to send messages to users easily, efficiently and instantly. In fact, once an SMS is sent, the immediacy is profound – approximately 90% of messages are read within 90 seconds.

Moreover, whether the recipient is eight or 80 years old, there is no barrier to understanding how to operate a text message. With that level of engagement, one that gives up to 45% response where there is a call to action; it is very compelling for more and more organizations to jump on the trend. Relationship marketing bridges the gap between data and contextual engagement, ensuring that brands and organizations can easily and fluidly understand their customers, activate insights and effectively deliver personalized experiences across all channels and touchpoints. The relevant and timely messages that SMS and apps so seamlessly deliver are key to educating customers, minimizing friction, building purchase consideration and developing deeper relationships.

Are you interested in the world’s leading brands personally discussing such topics? Learn more about World Digital Marketing Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.

Tags: cookies, Mobile marketing



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