Multi-coloured smartphone screen

Getting started with mobile customer acquisition

Following from my last blog post, the tips below are designed to help retailers and businesses across the board who want to develop a fully considered mobile strategy. It is important to ensure that mobile is capitalised on in order to secure sales in the short-term, while building long-term loyalty and customer engagement.

So here are 2ergo Australia’s top 10 tips for setting up an effective and targeted mobile strategy:

1. Understand your customers’ behaviour

Until you know how your customers want to interact with your company or brand in the mobile space, you won’t be in a position to develop a strategy that meets your business objectives. A common mistake made by businesses is to start with the technology first and then wrestle it into something that resembles a solution to a business need. Although a shiny new mobile application might feel like a good idea for your business, you need to look beyond the technology. By investigating and understanding your customers’ mobile behaviours, you will generally find that you can only really engage with them if you have a mix of propositions across different platforms.

2. Consider how many people access your home page via mobile now

Gartner predicts that in two years time, more people will access the internet through their mobile than through their PCs. Nielsen research suggests that 47 percent of Smartphone internet users already use their phone to access retail websites. Brands need to capitalise on this by mobilising their websites. A recent study by Stamford Interactive revealed that out of 100 prominent Australian businesses, 74 percent did not have a mobile optimised website. Stamford Interactive’s Director Lisa Wade, likens this to having a retail store-front with blacked out windows. If you have a traditional website, how does it look on a mobile device? If it’s not easy to read and browse, you could be losing out on revenue. Take a look at how your mobile visitors are using your site; which devices are they using to access your site, what keywords are they using to search within your site, which pages are they visiting and are they able to make purchases and instigate contact with you through their Smartphone or tablet?

3. Australian Shoppers are open to influence

When shoppers go online to research or purchase products, they have made some, but not all key decisions. Nielsen research shows that 31 percent of Smartphone users use their mobile phones for price comparison reasons, 24 percent for finding their nearest store and 20 percent to read product reviews and recommendations. Companies need to implement targeted marketing and promotional strategies that include the mobile device and provide potential customers with the right combination of information and offers in order to sway the purchase decision.

4. Take advantage of advertising

Mobile advertising is quicker and 39 percent cheaper to implement than desktop advertising (Latitude). It also commands a very extensive reach as it can be seen by anyone with a mobile phone – over five billion people globally. Most of these people are within arm’s reach of their devices for over 90 percent of their waking day, meaning that mobile advertisements experience a greater percentage of click-throughs (4.8 percent) than compared with desktops advertisements (3.1 percent) (Latitude), delivering a huge return on investment. Mobile advertising revenue looks set to overtake that of online advertising in three years time. For evidence of this, you need only to look at Google’s recent acquisition of mobile ad start-up AdMob for $750 million – the company’s third largest acquisition since the $1.65 billion YouTube purchase in 2006. Make sure mobile targeting, either through banner campaigns or offer-driven ads, is a key consideration in your strategy.

5. Personalise the experience

To get the most out of your ad placements you need to ensure maximum exposure to your target audience. Achieve this by using the correct tools to configure the campaign and by strategically selecting the data from your profiling. As we all know, Smartphones and Tablets come in varying sizes which means that a different experience is needed for every device. While many people don’t like to admit it, our phones are almost part of us and we are certainly never far from them. Due to their importance in our lives, our relationship with them is personal. It is important that you make sure this is reflected in your campaigns. Consider the best time to target people – most mobile searches are done whilst on the bus or train on the way to and from work and in the evenings and weekends, as people surf from their sofas.

6. Use the technology

A smartphone internet user surfing the web on a fast connection will expect more than someone with weak or patchy connectivity. Having said this, levels of connectivity should always be considered. Each second of latency can result in a 7 percent decrease in customer conversion rates (Google Analytics). Your mSite should be light while offering enough functionality to ensure that consumers can access all the information they require. Be careful not to neglect page design either. Specifically, shoppers rely heavily on three kinds of content; product information, peer reviews and personalised ratings and recommendations. Retailers increasingly need to look for ways to provide this kind of content ensuring that it is timely, accurate and relevant.

7. Bridge the consumer gap – use mobile vouchers to entice customers back into the store

Supermarkets in the UK are leading the way with targeted mobile marketing to customers who show a change in their behaviour triggered by specific rule changes. For example, a customer who stops shopping at his or her usual store for an extended period will receive a mobile coupon to entice him or her back. The major operators are already doing this with their pay-as-you-go mobile customers, sending personalised, targeted communications once customer spend ceases or drops below a specified level.

8. With SMS, small is best. Keep the message snappy and the call to action easy

97 percent of all text messages are read within three minutes of them being received and mobile campaigns are proven to deliver the lowest cost per lead, coupled with the best response rates. You can use text messages for everything from customer service to marketing and customer lifecycle management, enabling you to reach consumers in a targeted manner at every stage of the purchasing journey, thus driving customer acquisition.

9. Use location based services to your advantage

It is now easier than ever for business to take advantage of location services. Location-aware phone functionality means customers can be increasingly tracked and pinpointed, with brands able to communicate with customers based on their location. Most handsets/Smartphones also allow integration with GPS from within an mSite, delivering even more benefits to businesses and brands.

10. Track the results

Finally, it is vital to capture and analyse all the information available. Mobile marketing campaigns provide an abundance of raw data. Taking the time to make sense of it will benefit you greatly in the long run.

Conclusion

Mobile marketing doesn’t come in a box; it’s an enabler and comes in many shapes and sizes, however, it can be launched very quickly. There may not be a need to invest heavily in mobile platform infrastructure to get your message out there. In fact, if you are concerned about getting a mobile strategy up and running, working with a partner is an excellent way of testing out various methods and tactics to see which work best for your existing customers and prospects.

The future is most definitely mobile. How you choose to market your brand now will be critical for future customer acquisition and loyalty. The businesses and brands prepared to take a step up to true mobile engagement will be the ones achieving long-term success and profitability.

I am more than happy to chat to you about how your business can capitalise on rising consumer demand for mobile, or simply answer any burning questions you might have. My email is roger.woodend@2ergo.com

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