Last week I spoke at the Mobile Marketing Association Forum in New York, “Mobile’s Role in Closing the Loop along the Path to Purchase.” The MMA’s events are always must-go for marketers as every day is packed with new and interesting ideas on how marketers use mobile to engage consumers in ways that were unimaginable just ten years ago.
Reflection upon all sessions, creative drawings (see below), hallway conversations, and tweets (#MMAF2013) reveals three key themes that rose to the top for me:
1. Marketers need to make mobile an indispensable part of the marketing mix.
Countless statistics, case studies, and expert analysis illustrate that consumers use their mobile phones 24/7 and declare that marketers who fail to communicate via the mobile devices have missed the boat. Industry best-selling author Tomi Ahonen reported that consumers check their mobile phones 200 times per day. That’s once every 5 minutes (and even more for Nomophobes: people who can’t live without being connected to the mobile phone)!
The mobile phone is the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we look at before bed. If you’re not enabling mobile to be a significant part of your marketing mix, then your customers and prospects are sailing away and you must get on board to prevent losing them.
2. Mobile engagement needs to occur throughout the consumer lifecycle.
The path to purchase is no longer a straight line. Given that consumers follow an indirect path to purchase every pre-sale touch point is extremely important. One speaker, put it well, “The path to purchase is now like a pretzel to purchase.”
Not only does the path curve and bend, but it also includes multiple screens and endless influences. Consumers cling to their devices while watching TV, in-store shopping, and even while bicycling.. This way of life also influences customer behavior after the point of purchase. How a brand handles its satisfaction surveys, both for connection (an outbound dialer vs. text interaction) and action (a closed-loop process) works to drive customer satisfaction, improve brand advocacy, and reduce churn.
3. A brand’s mobile strategy needs to be ubiquitous, not just an app or a keyword to a short code.
Many of the case studies focused on one type of mobile engagement, such as an app or text program. Several, however, noted that this type of approach isn’t actually enough. An effective mobile strategy encompasses several facets with complementary factors including voice, text, email, app, and web experiences. Consumers have preferences, and brands’ ability to know and leverage these preferences will convert prospects to customers and keep them engaged.
Mobile marketing is the next wave in consumer engagement- before, during and after the point of purchase. Take advantage of mobile’s power to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Mobile makes the path to purchase one that is real-time, always on, and always engaging.
If you want to start your brand on the path to purchase using the mobile device, download our Mobile Marketing Best Practices document.