The Art of Mobile: How to engage customers on the go

By Chris Lee

Recent figures suggest that by 2019, global smartphone penetration will have exploded to 60 per cent from the 25-30 per cent it is today. The prevalence of smartphone and tablet use by today’s consumer makes mobile a key channel for marketers to employ, engage and interact with their audience.

This is the view of Anthony Wilkey, strategic client director of cloud marketing platform SmartFocus. The way consumers access and interact with content on mobile devices has evolved considerably over the last five years, Wilkey argues. With the advent of smartphones, browsing, purchasing, staying on top of email – be it personal or for work – and keeping up to date with social media and the latest news ‘on the go’ has never been easier.

In a mobile state of mind

Just as data is critical for fuelling relevant and engaging campaigns, it is equally critical for organisations to understand the driving factors behind their customers’ mobile mind-set when developing their mobile marketing strategy, Wilkey told NMK.

“Knowing how subscribers engage with their devices will help ensure you are creating a positive user experience for those on the go, on their couch, or at their desk,” he added.

In the UK, 78 per cent of business people use their mobile device to check email and the way people check their inbox on their smartphone differs from how they check them on other devices, such as tablet or desktop. Time is often at a premium and smartphone owners are likely to review their inbox during their commute or on a break between meetings.

Bringing the mobile experience to life

As strategies are established, Wilkey argued that it is important to make sure actual campaigns are optimised for viewing on a mobile phone or tablet. If email, web pages or forms are hard to view or slow to load, it will be difficult and often impossible to keep visitors engaged – especially if the information is not relevant or of value to them.

“When promoting a purchase or sharing information by email, it is important to consider the experience that is being provided,” he said. “Unlocking this behaviour can be achieved by testing campaigns in their mobile state. Findings can identify how many subscribers are opening the email campaign, what device they are using, how long they are viewing the email for and whether or not they are clicking through to links. For example, if it is found that most mobile users will access their device during their commute at 8am – why not use this information and inject it into future campaigns and make sure to send a compelling and relevant email when they are most likely to see it, read it and respond to it?”

Using mobile to build on a traditional marketing approach

Rather than replace traditional strategies entirely with new online and mobile channels, Wilkey advises organisations consider building on their marketing foundations and extending these offers across the channels with which they engage.

“It is important to recognise that mobile experiences are one part of a multi-channel marketing approach that is constantly evolving,” he concluded. “As part of an integrated strategy, it has the ability to complement a brand and become a cornerstone of marketing efforts.”

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