Commentary

Beyond The Device: How Mobile Is Driving The Entire Campaign

Mobile’s influence on consumers transcends the device and its features; it has actually inspired an entirely new breed of consumer habits and expectations. This shift affects more than just mobile, however; it is shaping consumers’ interactions with all marketing channels. As a result, phrases traditionally used to describe mobile characteristcs such as “on the go,” “when and where you want it,” and “in real-time” are now being applied to every type of media experience and campaign. 

Whereas marketers once questioned the need for any mobile strategy, their questions have since morphed into ones about extending mobile practices to other marketing channels: How do I make a TV commercial or billboard drive real-time activity? How can I sync mobile content delivery with consumers’ needs at the exact moment they arise? How can I use several marketing channels to build a story rather than tell the same story over and over again?

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Here are three ways that mobile best practices can be used as the driving force behind multichannel campaigns.

1.      Make mobile the alpha and the omega… and whatever lies in between

In the beginning there was strategy… As with any campaign, developing an effective overall mobile-driven strategy means understanding your target audience, knowing your goal, and figuring out how to unite the two.

Thanks to mobile and online data, we have more information about consumer behaviors and needs than ever before. We know where they are (in the shopping aisle, at the stadium, shopping online, watching a live TV event), what they’re searching for (from specific products to half-baked ideas), and what they respond to (discounts, relevant offers, and content). We also know our goal: make consumers aware of the problems we solve -- which are coincidentally problems they have -- and offer them our convenient method of solving it.

We can use all of this knowledge to create a campaign blueprint that integrates several channels into a unified experience. Mobile comes in to bridge the gaps between the series of moments that comprise the resulting campaign.

2.      Replace storytelling with storybuilding

Marketers have traditionally approached storytelling campaigns by altering a single story to make it appropriate to each of the individual channels they are using. There’s the 30-second-TV-spot version of the story, the Facebook version, the billboard version, and so on. The result is a single story, disseminated in all shapes and sizes. This approach may offer consumers a consistent experience, but also a redundant one.

Storybuilding results from assigning each channel a different role in the telling of a larger story. It creates a cohesive experience that is relevant in a range of consecutive moments. This approach can be frightening for marketers, as it is seemingly leaves to chance whether consumers will come into contact with each piece of the narrative. But storybuilding isn’t a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best; it’s the effect of recognizing the on-the-go nature of consumers and using the aforementioned behavioral data to predict the likelihood that they will come into contact with certain channels.

Consider the case of Walmart. The retail giant has vast amounts of offline and online customer data, which it puts to work through its new mobile app. By introducing new experiences for engagement between online and offline touchpoints, Walmart drives the narrative flow from the beginning (piquing initial interest) all the way to the end (final purchase).

3.      Use mobile content to seal the deal in real-time

In a mobile-driven campaign, the goal is to conclude the story with the delivery of some form of mobile content the consumer can use to satisfy the real-time need the rest of your campaign made him/her aware of. This content can be anything from coupons and gift cards to mobile voting opportunities and instant app downloads.

In the case of Walmart, their app seals the deal by:

  • generating custom shopping lists for customers based on their past purchases and current promotions
  • tapping into users’ location data to provide offers and coupons that are specific to the store they’re already shopping at or nearby
  • providing a range of product information, such as real-time pricing, reviews and availability
  • allowing them to place orders directly through the app

Although mobile has drastically altered what consumers expect from and interact with media, it has also breathed new life into traditional channels -- which can now be activated in real-time, on the go, and when and where consumers want it.

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