Since about 3 to 4 years, ‘mobile’ is said to be on its way up, or even the “magic money making machine” according to Tomi T. Ahonen. Until now, opportunities are still considered limited, compared to web or even tablets. What’s holding us up? Functional battles (different operating systems, limited screen size), lack of knowledge and/or creativity and, mainly, fear of testing and spending budgets.
Having that said, consumers are bombarded with mobile apps, one even more useless than the other. Surely this can´t be the benefit of Mobile as a medium to connect with consumers?
The fact that apps are relatively easy to build and spread is appealing to many brands and companies. It seems that you’re not on top of your game if you don’t have an app in the app store.
I personally doubt the effectiveness of many brand-powered apps. An app should not be something that is downloaded, used once and remaining forgotten in the outskirts of a mobile phone memory. Working at an agency, I know that brands very often think: We need to do something with mobile, let’s build an app. The fact that not everyone owns an iPhone is not considered, excluding a large part of the consumers if an app is only build for one type of OS.
Although I do think it’s important to see how mobile can fit into the marketing- and media strategy, just randomly building an app might not the solution. Why just create an app, when there are so many more ways in which mobile and mobile technology can be used?
To begin with, Mobile distinguishes itself with a couple of important characteristics from other media:
– level of cultural integration
Take these characteristics into account and then consider your objective. What do you want to achieve? And how can mobile help you with this? Think out of the box and don’t take the creation of an app as your starting point. Maybe your goals are best achieved through a mobile site, an sms-initiated campaign or a mobile payment based service.
In my opinion Mobile is the perfect medium for CRM, activation, branding and creating engagement. One condition: it has to be actually relevant.
Relevant use of Mobile
Mobile can be used in numerous relevant ways. Two examples of relevant mobile apps that are CRM tools, but will also increase the prospect pool and expected to increase sales:
– An app by a utility company that enables a user to regulate temperature at home (even when he’s not at home).
– Offering consumers a mobile payment solution with mobile wallet by Google or NFC.
What I think often is forgotten is one of the main aspects of Mobile: personalisation. Personalizing means less waste of data and more relevant targeting and messaging. Mobile offers many options for personalisation, especially when a client database is available.
If a campaign is initiated via text message (personalized, obviously), the only logical next step is a personalized landingpage. For instance ideally, Amazon would know my preferences based on my web account and relate that to my mobile profile to enhance browsing.
With developments in Mobile like mobile payment (NFC, Google Wallet, etc), AR, the decrease in operating systems and the economic crisis, I think we’re (finally) moving into an interesting point of acceleration, where brands are forced to have a critical look at who they want to reach, where their consumers are best contacted, how mobile is integrated in the entire marketing strategy and how they should put their plans into practice.