Realising that mobile is more than a channel
As mobile is on the seemingly endless upward curve, the digital marketing community is talking more and more about the best ways to utilise mobile…
One of the key questions that we ask ourselves is how is mobile viewed to begin with. Many traditionalists are viewing it in the same line as print, TV, digital and even as a marketing channel; just another way to advertise products and messages to potential customers.
There’s no doubt that mobile can be an extremely effective way to deliver promotional advertising and messaging; the numbers show that click-through rates from mobile adverts like banner ads, SMS campaigns, and email are much better than digital and most other channels.
This can most likely be attributed to the fact that the mobile device is always with the potential customer and almost always on. But this is just the beginning of what the mobile device can be used for – those who view mobile as a channel only are missing the enormous opportunity to connect with their customer and grow a long-term relationship with their community.
Sustainable business strategy
From a marketing viewpoint, a channel is normally a delivery mechanism for a predefined one-way message – this is where we have to change the century-old traditions of the one-way push marketing. For years, businesses have been preoccupied with the idea of acquiring new customers, which is and will always be a key strategy, but it’s become more and more prevalent that taking care of the customers you already have is probably the most sustainable business strategy.
Mobile goes beyond any channel that we’ve ever marketed on, and, as we have often seen in marketing circles, people are slow to adopt new practices and rather approach it with tried and tested methods like banner advertising and other one-way delivery mechanisms. This is what we are accustomed to as an advertising-based promotional and awareness model.
A lot of mobile development houses are still treating their apps in the same way and merely creating a delivery mechanism for their client to push promotional advertising instead of creating a solution to their customers’ needs and on-the-go lifestyle.
The Branded Utility tool
If we look at mobile as a tool first, we start to think of it in a completely different light to traditional media channels. A tool is a companion to your customer; it gives them help when they need it, it helps them solve an ongoing frustration in their life, or it informs them of what’s happening around the world.
A tool delivers a solution to your customer and takes you away from the one-way pushed promotional advertising. Think of your mobile approach as a way to get into the heart of your community, to create engagement and conversation, go beyond the traditional promotional advertising, and deliver functional solutions that will make your customers more loyal and less likely to brand hop.
The Branded Utility goes beyond the thinking of creating a product catalogue or an online purchasing app; it’s about creating a useful companion for your customer and fulfilling a need that your client base longs to be filled.
Mobile brings the emotional aspect of marketing back and helps to build the relationship between you and your community. The need for advertising, promoting, and awareness will always be there, but keeping your current customers engaged, happy, and loyal is more important in the long run.
Mobile is probably the fastest growing and most exciting marketing tool we have ever seen; use it to its full potential though, don’t just stand by and think “I’ll do it later” … it will inevitably be too late.
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