Brands and marketers can use the mobile channel to increase their brand affinity, recognition and customer loyalty.
So said Michael Becker, vice president of mobile strategies at iLoop Mobile, San Jose, CA. Mr. Becker conducted a solo panel at the Mobile Marketing Association’s Mobile Marketing Forum in the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
“The attraction to mobile is the channel’s ability to acquire new customers, increase customer loyalty, generate brand awareness and affinity, the opportunity to monetize content and the fact that it lets marketers provide convenience to consumers,” Mr. Becker said.
There are approximately 4 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and 64 percent of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone.
Mr. Becker said that mobile has propagated faster than any other media channel.
“Mobile is different because it allows marketers to converge all their media,’ Mr. Becker said.
The mobile phone is not one channel but many, with sub channels such as SMS, apps, Web, IVR, email, Bluetooth, MMS and video, to name a few.
Also, consumers get a unique experience via mobile, especially with technologies such as RFID and NFC.
In the United States, mobile access is high, with 86 percent of the population having at least one mobile phone.
It’s no surprise that the industry has seen a 100 percent year-over-year growth in daily users of mobile news information.
What’s interesting is that the channel is changing the way people communicate. More than half of mobile users use SMS as their primary communication channel.
Also, 20-27 percent of consumers use the mobile Web regularly. As smartphones become smarter and unlimited data plans become more popular, this number will increase.
Mr. Becker said that 20 percent of the U.S. population has turned off their landline and just use mobile.
Internet is the second largest activity on mobile. Other major data activities are SMS, app downloads, LBS and full-track music downloads.
With all this reach, it’s no surprise marketers are racing to reach consumers on their mobile phones.
“Before starting a mobile campaign, marketers need to consider who their audience is, what the value proposition is and what the campaign’s objective is,” Mr. Becker said. “Then decide if mobile is the way to go.”
“Consider every stage of the customer’s life-cycle,” he said.
Mr. Becker listed a few things for marketers to consider before creating a mobile campaign:
• What do you want to accomplish and by when?
• Are you building awareness or generating ad hoc transactional business?
• Are you building a permission-based list that you can remarket to in a precise and targetable fashion in the future?
• How will you maintain the dialogue? The conversation?
In terms building relationships via mobile, Mr. Becker suggested that all brands extend their Web sites to mobile, enabling all mobile content delivery including images, music and video.
He also said that companies should include an SMS alert opt-in template, so that consumers can shoes to be even closer to the brand.
But like any marketing channel, mobile too has its challenges.
“Mobile Web implementation can be complex and challenging,” Mr. Becker said.
Interoperability, discovery, user experience and usability, measurement and choosing the right partners are some of the challenges Mr. Becker mentioned.
Mr. Becker gave some examples of companies that really nailed it with their mobile sites.
Victoria’s Secret, L.L. Bean, Barack Obama and Best Buy, were some of the brands he named.
“I think Papa John’s proved that mobile can help companies make money when it launched its Web site last year and sold more than $1 million dollars worth of food via its mobile offering,” Mr. Becker said.