March 18, 2013
Think about the past 24 hours: What have you done with your mobile phone? Did you send a text message? Check your email? Read any articles? Challenge someone in Words With Friends? If you said ‘yes’ to any of these, chances are that you may be one of the rapidly growing segment of perpetually connected customers that Forrester has been talking about. Welcome to the club!
Being one of these super-connected, mobile-savvy people is exciting. You can sit on your couch browsing a store’s catalog on your tablet while simultaneously messaging with friends on your smartphone. You can get a notification from your favorite store’s app about a flash sale happening that moment. You can search for the best dinner spot nearby and check reviews while walking down the street. You can find out more information about the TVs you are deciding between while in-store through the mobile Web or scanning a barcode. The options are endless!
Now put on your marketer hat. It’s an exciting time from this perspective too because the opportunities available to reach this consumer anytime, anywhere also seem endless! So yes, it’s exciting, but — let’s be honest – there is a lot of pressure to successfully meet these consumers’ demands, and it’s a little daunting to wade through the endless options to discover what tactics are right for your brand and how to get the programs launched.
Don’t know where to begin? Look at your mobile marketing strategy. Smartphone ownership tipped the scale in 2012, now including more than half of US consumers (and growing!), making smartphones a key touch point to reach today’s perpetually connected consumers. To successfully launch mobile programs, marketers need to:
- Understand all tactics available and if they matter. Mobile is a hard landscape to navigate because ‘mobile marketing’ isn’t just a single tactic or channel — mobile is an access point to experiences and an enabler of new marketing pathways. While this is daunting, it’s time to catch-up to your mobile-savvy consumer by understanding the tactics available and determining which are pertinent to your brand today and which to keep an eye on for the future — from adapted digital channels like ‘mobile’ search, to mobile-specific tactics like SMS, to emerging tools that bridge the online and offline world like augmented reality.
- Build a bullet-proof business case. Unlike more established channels with KPIs and existing budgets, mobile marketers today struggle to make a compelling business case for mobile —which can mean the difference between falling behind in mobile for another year and seeing your transformative mobile program concept become a reality. But it’s not hopeless. By anchoring your business case in consumer value, enhanced engagement with existing assets, and the need to grow mobile maturity even in the face of uncertainty is a strong start.
- Identify the people that matter. Mobile programs can’t exist in a vacuum, and you will need dedicated resources to launch the program and maintain it — Hello, IT folks! Your program will also likely create a ripple effect throughout your organization — whether it’s the in-store experience or changes to call-center volume. Map out and secure support from the people who hold the purse strings and those that are needed to operationalize the program in the long term.
If you’ve successfully navigated any of these steps, please share some thoughts with us about what worked (or didn’t) in your experience. I’ll be exploring these topics more in my upcoming reports about how to navigate mobile tactics and secure executive support, and I will also be speaking about this topic at Forrester’s Forum for Marketing Leaders, April 18-19 in LA. I look forward to seeing you there, or you can join my colleagues at Forrester’s Forum for Marketing Leaders EMEA, May 21-22 in London to learn more about creating brand advantage with perpetually connected customers.