Top 10 Ways Marketing Will Be Smarter and More Personalized in 2016

In 2016 and beyond, mobile engagement and marketing is moving towards reaching the individual consumer, at scale.

According to a recent report from Forrester Research, 1:1 mobile moments pervade through all stages of the customer life cycle, and with industries such as retail, hospitality, and banking seeing more than half of their web traffic from mobile devices, these mobile moments have become the next battleground for firms to win, serve, and retain customers.

To stay competitive businesses of all sizes will need to think about incorporating new strategies, technologies and tactics to engage with consumers on a more personalized level.

Here are 10 key ways marketing will become smarter and more personalized in 2016 and beyond.

Data will enable mobile marketers to see and use the whole picture. According to a survey performed by Survata Research and commissioned by FollowAnalytics and GigaOm Research, 97 percent of marketers surveyed said that to deliver a great customer experience, it is “extremely or somewhat important” to share mobile CRM data with existing marketing systems. No matter where data resides, integrated CRM, marketing and business intelligence systems provide brands with the ability to seize the moment, act faster and win the battle for mobile mindshare.

Mobile content will trump SMS deals for driving loyalty.  Some of the early mobile successes certainly came from SMS-based clubs that saw the dissemination of two-for-ones or buy-one, get ones and these continue today for some businesses. At the same time, however, more brands are driving in-app loyalty through individualized communications and rewards – and this should only grow in 2016. Intelligent brands are providing value in the form of exclusive content that is relevant and wanted by individual mobile users — without having to discount.

Apps will be more integrated into consumers’ daily lives. Brands will increasingly connect to and monitor customer behavior using mobile engagement automation technology.  For example, Allianz insurance uses this technology to personalize promotions and services and increase customer engagement with more relevant interactions. With the introduction of its newest mobile application, My Connected Driving, an app tailor-made for automobile drivers to have easy access to great services and be eligible for new lower-cost insurance models, Allianz has seen a 60 percent increase in user sessions per month.

 Push notifications will be more relevant for improving lead quality. In 2016, marketers will grow even more sophisticated in their use of mobile marketing engagement platforms and content strategies. Brands will want to leverage intelligence about their customer from a variety of internal and external data sources to decide when an urgent push should be sent and what constitutes a suitable push as opposed to a message that would be better served with an email.

Traditional segmentation strategies will give way to deeper personalization methods. The new strategy for mobile, email and social media marketing campaigns will include personalizing by behaviors such as browsing history and pattern of buying along with preferences and information culled across a wide variety of data sources and channels. For example, Louis Vuitton, a leading luxury retailer, uses enterprise focused mobile engagement technology to segment and set up relevant and timely push notification campaigns, reengaging a large part of their dormant user-base and spiking their number of daily active users.

Brands will prioritize retention above acquisition efforts. According to Apptentive, average retention rates over the first 12 weeks plummet below 10 percent by week five when there is no interaction with an app user. Conversely, nearly one third of app users are retained for seven weeks if the app maker has proactively reached out to users in some way. With a renewed understanding that it is less expensive to keep a customer than find a new one, more and more brands will create mobile content strategies for creating greater engagement opportunities.

Personalizing campaigns across different channels will become quicker and easier. More brands will build campaigns across different marketing channels that are relevant to an individual’s in-app behavior. But instead of ripping and replacing current tagging plans for each new campaign, marketers will increasingly make use of solutions that allow them to leverage existing tagging information across all vendors and platforms. As a result, brands will keep the mobile marketing momentum going without missing the historical perspective of a customer’s interactions.

There will be an even greater emphasis on omnichannel strategies. Brands will feel increasing pressure to deliver a consistent customer experience at scale across all marketing channels.  This will require that they centralize intelligence from multiple sources to determine what message is best to send, what platform is it best to send it on or what channel should be used. In 2016, marketers will also need to fold their mobile efforts into broader marketing strategies.  For example, a retailer might leverage transactional, in-app behaviors to encourage social engagement.

Creating personalized, mobile moments will boost engagement and increase sales. Apps from Airlines and banks offer alerts around gate changes or updates on account balances. Other industries lend themselves to creative campaigns that are often not core to the company’s line of business. However all of these eventually translate into revenue. For example, Louis Vuitton’s City Guides, available on iOS, provides nightlife, culture and dining suggestions in 25 international destinations, offering a unique experience to build long-term loyalty.

Consumers will expect brands to put all marketing messages in context. Marketers will combine geolocation triggers with the ability of consumers to initiate brand communication, creating multichannel experiences that easily transition from digital platforms to brick and mortar stores. Using a real-time geo-triggered campaign, cosmetic company, L’Oreal, can send a text, letting a customer know that a nearby store has a sale on lipstick. She walks inside, makes the purchase, snaps a selfie and shares it online, triggering a similar series of events with three of her friends – a great example of why L’Oreal attributes 20 percent of its eCommerce sales to mobile.

By implementing these and other strategies, marketers can look forward to creating genuine one-to-one experiences at scale that foster lifelong loyalties and monetize into increased customer lifetime value (CLTV).

Samir Addamine is the Founder of FollowAnalyitcs