Commentary

Marketers Can Cash In On Mobile Moments

Google recently came out with a study about “mobile moments,” those instances throughout a person’s day when they are using their phone to do something that a marketer might care about, from making a purchase, to watching a video or downloading an app.

My typical customer journey from three years ago did not include a smartphone. Yet, today, perhaps half  (or more) of a consumer’s brand engagement activities will take place on their phone. Consumers do so much on their phones now that many brands are starting to adopt a “mobile first” marketing strategy. 

For the average brand, this is a big transition. CRM systems are built around email address or other PII that can’t be easily translated to a mobile environment. Media is bought and sold using GRPs and impressions, and tracking is with cookies, which don’t always translate to mobile either.

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Yet, I see many marketers whose concept of mobile is already outdated. For marketers just forming a mobile strategy, it’s important to plan for the future of mobile, not the past. Here are five mobile innovations that should be in every marketer’s plan.

1. Beacons:  Google’s study contained data that shows 82% of people turn to smartphones to help with a purchase decision while in a store. As a marketer, there is no better way to connect at the place of purchase than with beacons. Many big retailers such as Macy’s and Lord & Taylor have deployed in-store beacons which product manufacturers can use push offers and discounts to consumers.

2. Mobile Payments: There is a wholesale shift taking place in the payment industry – we have moved from cash, to credit cards, to online payment systems (e.g. PayPal) and now to mobile payments (e.g. Apple Pay). In countries like South Korea, your customer’s phone is their credit card already. In the U.S., adoption has been a bit slower because of a less pervasive wireless footprint. However, new technologies like host card emulation (HCE) allows for mobile payments to happen without a connection to a SIM card.

3.  Mobile Wallet: Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet are just a couple of examples of virtual wallets that are not just looking to replace plastic payment cards, but also aim to create one safe environment where customers can store all their loyalty cards, rewards and coupons.  Men’s Wearhouse recently ran a promotion where different offers could be unlocked and saved to a consumer’s mobile wallet automatically.

4.  Biometric Data: Biometric data serves two purposes:  identification (figuring who that someone is) and authentication (verifying that they are indeed that person). Benefits for consumers to adapt biometrics in their daily lives are numerous and range from security and accuracy to speed and convenience. High security activities, such as banking, on mobile devices will benefit from a fingerprint or eye scan for example.

5.  Wearables: Wearable technology is expected to grow in the coming years. Wrist-worn devices (e.g. iWatch, FitBit) are dominating the market now, but we will see a number of new wearable technologies emerge in the coming years (e.g. clothing, eyewear, earwear). For example, marketers could tailor an offer based on how warm someone is, or recommend a different pillow based on sleep disturbances. WeightWatchers has created an app that will sync with a member’s FitBit or Jawbone and has promoted the partnership with a campaign called “Help with the Hard Part.”

The stakes are high as mobile technology advances. The mobile devices of tomorrow will be even more personalized and more deeply intertwined with consumers’ lives than they are today.

Marketers must be prepared to take advantage of all of the new data, conveniences and connections that a mobile device offers a consumer in order to stay not only credible, but relevant.

While many of these advances make it easier for marketers and consumers to interact, if a marketer’s mobile strategy is not well tailored to a consumer’s life and purchase journeys, it will be easier than ever for them to shut the marketer out.
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