What should top CMOs’ mobile marketing to-do list for 2011 and Beyond? Industry Experts weigh in

Posted on July 19, 2011

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Mobile Marketer Daily– Multichannel will be key

Steve Timpson, president of Siteminis, Atlanta, said brands should focus on creating a truly robust mobile strategy.

“Mobile is the most transformative technology to come along since maybe the telephone to create the one on one opportunity to engage your customers,” Mr. Timpson said. “Don’t just check the box that your company has done mobile.

“This space is a living-breathing entity that needs constant attention as a most critical arrow in your quiver to increase sales,” he said. “It may not seem like that now, but it will be.”

Recommendations
1. Make sure your organization has a mobile evangelist and that person has some authority to work and impact the verticals of your company.

2. Understand the requirements, goals and needs of the enterprise.

3. Do not let IT rule your mobile strategy execution; it could be a deathblow if the competition gets to market first with something better.

4. At the very least, if you have not done so already (shame on you) do something in mobile: texting, coupons or email. Your customers are already using the device, don’t wait another year.

5. For those that do have a mobile [presence already, work hard in 2011 to better the mobile Web experience.

6. Make sure mobile threads through all the verticals of the organization, meaning that when developing any marketing strategy, mobile must be included not just a one-off experiment.

7. If building an application, define how to utilize the native operating systems of the mobile device to give the customer a more useful experience, beyond just that of a mobile Web.

8. Budget mobile appropriately.

“Keep in mind that multichannel in the sales world by definition is offering customers more than one way to buy something,” Mr. Timpson said. “To translate that to mobile multichannel is to define more than one way for a retailer or brand to interact and transact business with a mobile device or form factor.

“A multichannel mobile strategy will be key for 2011 and beyond,” he said.

The holidays have come and gone, 2011 is here. So, what should be on the agenda for brands and retailers in terms of mobile marketing and commerce for the year ahead?

With the explosion of smartphones – 35 percent of subscribers in the United States are using one – there is no two ways about the importance of having a mobile presence. Thank goodness, most brands and retailers have something they launched in 2010. So what now?

“Smartphones and tablets like the iPad are becoming common place which will only accelerate the adoption curve of activities like mobile shopping,” said Bob Cell, CEO of MyBuys, New York.

“More importantly, consumers expect their favorite brands and retailers offer a personalized mobile experience, so for those willing to make the investment, they will benefit from increasing consumer traffic and sales from their mobile site,” he said.

Personalization
Personalization will be a key advancement this year. Since most brands and retailers have a mobile Web site in place, they should focus the next year on finding ways of improving the mobile Web experience for site visitors.

There are different ways to do so. Following and tracking a consumer throughout there activities on a branded site is one way.

For example, Jane Smith is browsing the Steve Madden mobile site. It is winter, but she is going to Hawaii on vacation and needs to buy some sandals and beach shoes. Jane is not interested in the boots that are displayed on the homepage due to her location.

Jane clicks on the sandals section of the site and all of a sudden is served a coupon code for 30 percent off of flip flops. Now that is a deal that Jane will not pass up.

Social integration
According to Webster Lewin, senior vice president and director of digital innovation and strategy at MSLGroup Digital, Atlanta, brands need to find ways to become a regular part of consumers’ mobile lives.

Therefore, fully leveraging the mobile services of social networks like Facebook and Twitter will also play a key roll in the chief marketing officer’s planning in 2011.

Mobile applications, Web sites, SMS promotions, everything a brand or a retailer does on mobile, should somehow tie into social media.

“The bar for success in mobile applications will rise steadily as consumers demand more usability and innovative features, while app discoverability issues continue to grow,” Mr. Lewin said.

“In general, we would encourage brands to invest in the mobile Web and mobile messaging services first,” he said. “Gain an understanding of how the brand’s customers use mobile services and grow those services based on results.

“Each brand has unique aspects and mobile may offer great ways to support their existing customer base, or to grow a new base of customers.”

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