Marketing for the Masses
The idea that 2015 is "The Year of Mobile" is starting to get real. (Cue the sound of marketers' frustrated groans.) After years of being oversold on the next big thing (with underwhelming results), why should anyone continue to buy into hyped-up declarations? The answer can be found in the latest figures.
eMarketer, an independent market research company, predicts the number of global smartphone users will surpass two billion by 2016. And Ovum, an independent analyst and consultancy firm, suggests that 13 percent of the population (i.e., one billion people) will connect to the Web exclusively through mobile devices by the end of 2015. In other words, mobile is kind of a big deal.
The popularity of digital devices has changed the culture of communication—and it's on marketers to keep up. Long gone are the simple days of overcoming spam filters. Brands are now expected to deliver a seamless, high-value experience across varying screen sizes.
Whether you're still on the fence about mobile or ready to get involved, these five tips will help you create an effective campaign.
1. Plan It Out
Customers expect brands to anticipate their needs. When mapping out your business plan, think about what motivates your clients. "What do they need from you most on mobile devices?" asked John Foley Jr., president and CEO of interlinkONE, Wilmington, Mass. "Is it coupons? SMS/text message alerts? Directions? Click to call? Whatever it is, that's your starting point.
"[...] Too often companies think they can just throw something at the wall and see what sticks without having a clear understanding of exactly what their customers need, and what they need to do in order to serve their customers best through mobile," he continued.
Jeff Hasen, mobile strategist, author of "The Art of Mobile Persuasion" and founder of Gotta Mobilize, a Seattle-based mobile strategy consultancy, agreed, citing poor planning as one of the biggest mistakes marketers make. "We continually hear from businesses that they need a mobile app. But when you ask why, there often is little regard for the customer, and his or her preferences," he said. "Is an app the best way to engage with them, or does the fact that there are millions of apps create challenges like discoverability and repeated usage?"