Mobile is an action-oriented medium. Mobile shoppers are moving targets, so stationary forms of traditional branded engagement need not apply. Effective mobile marketing strategies accentuate the unique strengths of the medium and must work to solve the numerous elements of variability associated with marketing in the moment. The mastery of managing this volatility will prove to be of great worth as the opportunity to engage consumers in a contextually relevant manner, based on knowledge of both time and space, with campaigns that provide increased interaction and social relevance, is unrivaled in any other communications medium.
The variables associated with a successful mobile marketing campaign are the immediacy, mapping, interaction, and collective aspects. Each variable must be planned for to deliver a relevant experience between brand and customer, and to strengthen this mutual connection. Today's digital-native consumer is empowered with more information and access to brands than ever before. They are also hyper-connected to an influential social graph where tribal knowledge is constantly being shared. As such, successful marketers can no longer simply market at consumers. They must learn to market to context and, in turn, remain (or become) relevant. The margin for error in any connection is slight, so considerations must be made for each changeable element to ensure the experience is on brand and on point.
The mobile medium is in the moment. Unlike other communications vehicles that are stationary and heavily presentation-oriented, the mobile medium is actionable, time sensitive, on the go, and always on. Given the limited time intervals of engagement opportunity, brands must ensure that communications are crisp and the call to action is clear, concise, and quick to participate in.
One of the primary differentiators of the mobile medium is location awareness. Engaging in a contextually relevant way assumes an entirely unique perspective when brands can determine the location of a consumer. Brands are then able to interact with customers instantly, with location-based relevance, through the intensely personal smart device that is always within arm's reach.
Today's hyper-connected customer actively seeks out true engagement with the brands they most admire. A unidirectional, one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, from a mobile perspective, undermines the strength of the medium and fails to deliver truly interactive experiences between the brand and the consumer. Successful mobile strategies encourage customers to participate in the connection encounter with the brand.
Mobile marketers must learn to market within the social graphs of their consumer base. A natural byproduct of increased access to information in the hands of the digital native is shrinking levels of brand loyalty. Word-of-mouth is still the most effective form of marketing. Providing contextually relevant, engaging experiences with consumers compels them to share. It draws upon a very basic human need to be altruistic and communicate experiences that help others. Marketing to the collective requires an understanding that the power of shared experiences has far reaching implications beyond the immediate in the moment interaction.
The mobile medium represents the most powerful mechanism for delivering contextually relevant consumer-brand communications yet experienced in marketing. However, to take advantage of its unique capabilities, successful marketing strategies must evolve beyond the employment of a unidirectional approach to communicating with customers. Hyper-connected consumers seek contextual relevance in their engagements with brands. Their experience is defined not only by the message itself, but also the context in which the message was presented. Marketers who effectively solve the variables associated with the mobile medium will provide unique experiences for consumers, irrespective of the constraints of time or space, in ways differentiated, highly relevant, and intensely personal. Only then will they realize the power and influence of marketing in the moment.
Scott Forshay is Creative Director for stageLEFTdigital.
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"Young couple doing online shopping with smartphone" image via Shutterstock.
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Great piece! Mobile holds such opportunity for marketers. But it's a sensitive space, and the variables above shed some light on how marketers should act in regards to launching a mobile campaign. One way to combat is to hire a mobile agency that specializes in the space. They offer the expertise of understanding how consumers interact with their mobile phones, and assist in launching strategy and tactics that will yield actual ROI.
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