Ask any marketer what is capturing most of their attention these days, and the answer is likely to be mobile. The promise of mobile -- and the data that goes along with it -- is like catnip when it comes to customer acquisition and retention. But, it seems many marketers are getting into it without having a clear strategy.
According to Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital consulting at Accenture Interactive, marketers have got to get it right because consumers will be more inclined toward companies that effectively use the mobile platform to create experiences that are relevant and engaging. Hartman spoke with Marketing Daily about what it takes to develop a true mobile strategy.
Q: Is it true that many marketers don’t have a mobile strategy? And if so, why?
A: People are getting into mobile, but they’re looking at it from a campaign-centric approach rather than a strategic one -- and that can be a way to dip a toe in the water, but it can be tough if you want to replicate success.
Q: And why are they looking at it through campaigns and not strategically?
A: It’s part of a broader challenge about learning more about new channels. A lot of it is still campaign-driven and siloed by different functions within companies. The more they integrate and try to incorporate mobile into these more holistic experiences, the more effective they’ll be in the long run. When you’re thinking about mobile there’s lots of different tactics you can look at: QR codes, emotional interactions, rich media or banner advertising. For each one, you can probably think how much more effective they would be if they’re more connected to other experiences.
Q: What is the most important thing marketers need to be looking at when they’re trying to plan a mobile strategy?
A: One is to really start to think about the consumer and the experience you want to deliver. How do you drive relevant and connected experiences? What is that contact strategy? What is the experience you want to happen? And most important, what are the outcomes you’re trying to drive? Is it engagement? Is it conversion? Is it something else? That’s where I would start, and I would reverse engineer around that.
Q: Why are so many marketers not doing that? How hard is it to know what you’re looking for?
A: It’s hard to organize around it. Let’s hope most marketers would say they know the outcome they want. It can be challenging because often the departments are still siloed -- there’s no way to track cross-channel experiences. Sometimes when you launch different campaigns on the Web, it may drive different channels.
It’s not easy to connect the dots on those conversions, especially across channels. There’s high demand for relevant experiences by consumers and customers. If you don’t get it right, whoever does will outpace you in a big way. It doesn’t have to be a “boil the ocean” strategy. There are ways to be able to make incremental improvements and successes to be able to start to prove this out and get adoption internally while you’re having success.
Q: Such as?
A: From a strategic standpoint, you have to take a look at the role of mobile as it relates to that outcome. You have to be ready for multiple devices. People are going to be using mobile devices. They’re going to be using them simultaneously. They’re going to be using them sequentially. You have to understand what that experience is and start to embrace that. And there are some basic things too: mining your customers, find out when they’re adopting mobile, and maybe going after your best customers.
From a tactical standpoint, looking at different ways mobile are being used. Smartphones are always with people and they’re using them in a different way than tablets are being used. Tablets we’re seeing used for entertainment and e-commerce. But your smartphone is a more in-the-moment contact. Campaigns can be optimized for understanding how your best customers are using mobile.
Q: It seems like marketers and companies have been talking about breaking down silos since corporate organization began. How can you do it?
A: They key thing is if you can’t get someone to do one simple thing: put the customer at the center of what you’re going to do. Once you make the customer experience the center of what you do, then you can drive around an experience across multiple channels. Once you can do that, you can find people come together on that behalf and break through some of the silos.