Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

Americans admit to spending the majority of their waking hours with their mobile devices – from their alarm clock, reading the news, checking social media, updating their calendars, and being entertained. In terms of retail, consumers rely on their mobile devices to research products, compare deals, and make purchases, but mobile’s reach extends far beyond transactions. Deloitte estimates that while 5.1% of in-store purchases are influenced by a smartphone in 2012 that number will be close to 20% by 2016. To fully leverage the mobile channel in their marketing efforts, brands need to find an expert partner who can share best practices, lessons learned, and industry insights. Selecting the right mobile partner is a key decision for any company considering a mobile marketing campaign.

But how do you find the right partner? According to a CMO Council study, 68% acknowledged that business partners were essential to maintaining their competitive edge and excelling at customer service. To discover which mobile partner is right for your company, you must begin with a strong internal foundation. Not just in your executive team and marketing department, be it traditional or digital, but also with IT, sales, and customer experience. Once this is set, the answer to, “Which mobile partner is a good fit for us?” will become clear.

Follow these steps to get started on the road to mobile marketing success:

  1. Get commitment from your company. Make sure real budget dollars are reserved and you have buy-in from management. Agree where mobile marketing ownership lives within your organization.
  2. Think long term. You want to be raising the conversation level from just one-off mobile campaigns to creating consistent ongoing mobile experiences. Mobile is a valuable asset throughout the customer lifecycle.
  3. Focus on your customers. Make sure you can answer these questions: What’s in it for your customers? Why should they interact with you via their mobile phones?
  4. Plan ahead. While some programs can be launched quickly with a shared short code and simple mobile landing page, dedicated short codes can take 6-8 weeks to be provisioned across all carriers, and rich mobile sites can take months.
  5. Don’t forget the fundamentals. Think about each step of the user experience for mobile programs. For example, make sure you’re not committing a ‘fail’ by linking a QR code to a web site that is not mobile optimized.
  6. Be aware of the rules. While a good mobile partner will ensure you’re in compliance, it’s still important to know the CTIA Handbook and regulations for mobile marketing. You cannot buy a mobile database so you must get consumers to opt in, and you must use very specific wording when promoting your programs. Poor compliance management can be costly.

Mobile marketing is a long-term strategy that requires a strategic long-term relationship. Begin with these six steps and then find the right match for this important journey to mobile marketing success. For additional information on how to create, execute, and report successful mobile marketing programs, download SoundBite’s Mobile Marketing Best Practices. In addition, if you are attending the Loyalty Expo this month, I will be speaking on creating and utilizing mobile databases for loyalty programs.

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