Mobile is not a single channel for marketers, it involves email, web, social media, direct messaging and location-based marketing, said Blair Reeves Product Marketing Manager for IBM during a recent webinar.
The IBM-sponsored webinar discussed the proliferation of device choices, real-time channel data and the need for consistent, customer-centric marketing create huge new hurdles for digital marketers and levels the playing fields between those organizations that respond and those who don’t.
The proper way of looking at mobile is looking at new opportunities to designing customized and relevant marketing to all customers, according to Reeves.
In 2012 smartphone ownership rose to 53% in the United States, said panelist Jennifer Wise, Interactive Marketing Analyst for Forrester Research. Customers are now perpetually connected to each other, brands and stores using various devices including tablets, laptops and smartphones.
“Mobile has changed the way customers shop and make brand decisions inside the store and out,” said Wise.
According to Wise, there are three key principles of the mobile experience: Immediacy, simplicity and context. Immediacy gives information so customers can act on right now using push notifications and others. Simplicity allows the marketer reduce steps required to execute a task on their site. And context includes time of the day, physical location, personalized contact such as photos in the phone, real-time location and relevant customized content.
Crafting a mobile strategy involve a lot of options including mobile website, mobile e-mail, apps, text messages, location-based social networks, news and emerging technology that allows a bridge between online and offline gaps.
Wise said marketers have to navigate these tactics and channels, and make sure they are making having the right experience in the town they want to have it in and it’s going to be consistent.
“Craft a customer centric and technology agnostic strategy,” said Wise.
Panelist Rey Abelardo, Sr. Web Analyst for Petco, said using digital analytics allows them insights to what devices customers are using, what images are being clicked in e-mails and screen resolution can play a part in losing the attention of guests.
Reeves asked when segmenting a mobile audience, what kinds of insights can be found and whether Petco can optimize the experience from the different parameters.
“We have had the opportunity for testing in the past. You can present different versions of a page based on a screen resolution than a device type,” said Abelardo.
Wise said it’s good to track which devices customers are using to access your mobile site. Approaching a mobile strategy can be costly. It is good to have that information on which device customers are using.
Abelardo said they are constantly testing the website, from changing the store locator, the search box size and borders.
“You need navigation to be simple. People are looking for information they can access immediately. They have to know what their customers are trying to accomplish,” said Wise.