Redefining What Constitutes Mobile Marketing

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, May 25, 2017

Mobile marketing has been used for years to reach customers with contextually relevant messages on the go. And while most marketers would think the mobile device was the first tool capable of achieving that, they’d be wrong. The first truly “mobile” device was the car, where marketers would use mediums such as billboards and radio to reach the masses.  

Today, marketers are able to use cars in an even more powerful way. By combining Internet functionality with the traditional automobile, the connected car has become one of the most robust yet relevant and impactful mobile marketing platforms around.

Over the past few years, the connected car market has grown significantly.

As cars get smarter—75% of new cars will be equipped with Internet connectivity by 2020—there is a huge opportunity for marketers to deliver contextually relevant offers to consumers on the road.

But that opportunity doesn’t just exist in the future, it’s happening now. General Motors (GM) has over a million connected cars on the road today and 35% of new cars connect to the Internet, per Statista.

So how can marketers maximize this new channel and opportunity now?

Let’s take a look at what is unique about the connected car, and the data it offers.

Imagine a driver in a connected car who gets a dashboard notification that their gas tank is running low. In addition to alerting the driver of the low fuel, the car can also help recommend a list nearby gas stations, including those offering special discounts on items in their store.

By attaching geo-targeted offers based on real-time needs and behavior, marketers can not only drive more targeted campaigns, but also extend the life of the in-vehicle experience to a purchase in-store.

Consumers are in their connected cars an average 46 minutes a day notes Martech Advisor, as they complete the rituals of shopping, dining, and increasingly, living life on the move. Until now, engaging them in the vehicle has been limited to the mass messaging approach of radio and out-of-home.

But through the connected car, marketers are exposed to a new range of connectivity with their consumers, presenting the opportunity to offer them extremely targeted, personalized offers, within the most relevant and convenient time frame.

This is only possible through the data that the connected car captures. From personal experiences and preferences to daily commutes and preferred routes, the connected car equips marketers with a treasure trove of powerful information. 

The opportunity to capture and analyze that data got even bigger this past fall when GM’s OnStar and IBM’s Watson partnered to deliver the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. In addition to providing drivers with enhanced safety features and greater levels of efficiency, the integration also provides marketers with an unprecedented opportunity to create contextual offers based on unique personality traits in addition to location.

That explains why connected car campaigns see click-through-rates 10 times higher than the industry average for a traditional media buy.    

The bottom line is this: Marketers that want to stay ahead of the competition and engage their customers in meaningful ways, cannot bypass the connected car. The key to maintaining a competitive edge into today’s marketplace is by reaching consumers where they are at the right time and the right place.

No channel offers that more than the connected car.

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