Multichannel is key for mobile strategy

Posted on July 25, 2011

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Mobile Marketer  SAN FRANCISCO – A Dell executive at Mobile Shopping Summit said that companies should not pick and choose whether they want applications, a mobile site or SMS in their mobile initiatives, but rather use all three to build a strong mobile presence.

During the “Mobile Roadmap Part III: Delivering On The Promise Of A Truly Unified Shopping Experience – Moving The Needle With Mobile Merchandising,” panelists discussed how mobile has impacted their companies.

The session was moderated by Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta.

“It’s not apps versus browsers versus text,” said Brandon McGee, mobile strategy of consumer business at Dell. “In my firm belief, the right solution is all of the above.

“You don’t want to force your preference down a customer’s throat,” he said. “If they want an app, do that.

“If they want Web do that. SMS allows you to start the conversation, whether it’s a call to action or something else.”

Mobile preference
Mr. McGee said that it is important to give consumers a choice and use whatever their preferred channel is.

“It really is all about the multichannel integration,” Mr. McGee said. “If you simply leverage all of your existing channels and forge those relationships with the right people, you will find that there’s no shortage of enthusiasm over mobile.”

The executive said that companies should not forget that their consumers might not always be on the go.

Many customers may be sitting on the couch and all of a sudden have a desire to buy something. However, instead of walking over in the next room to get their laptop, they simply reach for the closest thing to them – their mobile device.

“Don’t forget that people are purchasing when they’re sitting on their couch,” Mr. McGee said.

Great impact
Jared Miller, managing director of self service and emerging technologies at United Airlines, said that mobile plays a very big impact in the company’s overall strategy.

“Mobile is a proverbial kiosk in a consumer’s pocket, if you will,” Mr. Miller said. “It’s all about capturing that opportunity and that convenience.”

Mr. Miller also said that it is all about location-based services.

Many of United Airlines’ customers have time before they have to board a plane and that provides the company a good opportunity to help target offers to consumers.

“Location-based services can help consumers get into a deeper level of detail to who all the concessions are and where the ATM is, for example,” Mr. Miller said. “It’s about helping the customer plan and navigate their journey through the airport and make the best use of their time.

“At the end of the day, give them something that’s customizable to their needs and wants,” he said.

Although the company has not put in a full-scale effort of mobile marketing, it has done billboards and signage promoting its mobile properties.

“Consumers expect a mobile site, app, solution or whatever else there is,” Mr. Miller said. “We’re trying to figure out how we can drive that.

“You have to find the right bit of real estate,” he said. “Our customers are walking around with their mobile device and we are capturing that opportunity and making it more convenient for them.”

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