Mobile marketing is critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We know this.
Now, we need to talk about what engagement looks like in this new world of the on-the-go customer. We understand that consumers don’t engage in a meaningful way with SMS/MMS campaigns, and, generally speaking, mobile banner ads on the web and within native mobile apps perform exceptionally poorly (and when you do get tap-throughs, usually half are accidental; a phenomenon widely accepted by the industry and lovingly referred to as “fat finger clicks”).
And why do these channels fail for marketers? Because no matter how flawlessly these campaigns are executed, they lack the critical component that makes your message compelling to a consumer right then and there: context.
Mobile marketing automation is a new practice area that enables marketers to provide that magical dimension known as context – engaging each consumer personally and as an audience of one.
There is a rapidly growing set of SaaS tools and platforms that give marketers the keys to the context kingdom. Through the mobile web (i.e. someone exploring the Internet on their device through a mobile browser) and native mobile apps(i.e. someone experiencing an app that they’ve downloaded to their device from an app store) marketers can now create truly contextual experiences through smart, automated messaging.
We already know what mobile marketing automation is and how marketers can automate activities through smart rules based on proximity, behavior, buying stage, sequencing, and throttling.
Now, how might this look across different verticals; say, for Retailers? This is probably the most obvious application of mobile marketing automation. Beacons can be triggered contextually throughout a brick-and-mortar store. At the front door with an offer, on the New Arrivals table with dynamic product pairings and combinations, by the register with an email capture and loyalty tie in. Connect the automated experience with your CRM, and personalize your messages to provide even more context. The possibilities for retail are tantalizing, and the retail proximity marketing space is crowding quickly with the likes of Swirl, Nomi, and inMarket.
How about for the Auto Manufacturers and Dealers? The web and on-premise at a dealership represent very distinct buying stages, and your marketing can be automated to include that context layer. If I’ve shown interest in an auto on the website or within a native mobile app, then I can be alerted once I reach the dealership that it’s ready for a test drive. The dealer can better manage their customers at their individual buying stage, and then in combination with their CRM, provide an extra service layer for on-going maintenance. Not to mention the widely covered beacon opportunity for auto manufacturers and the Google Open Automotive Alliance, dedicated to bringing beacons and the connected driving experience to life.
And what about Hospitality? One of the most important factors in hospitality marketing is loyalty, and what better way to breed loyalty and advocacy than by creating a personalized and contextual experience in and around the hotel. The front desk can prepare for a guest’s stay through beacon integration at the front gate or parking garage. Relevant notifications can be pushed throughout the hotel campus, activities can be reserved, and purchases can be up-sold (or ‘comped’) based on a guest’s recent behaviors in the real world. Starwood and the SPG Apphave already started to integrate beacons and Bluetooth LE with a keyless checkin. The hotel becomes smarter, and every guest instantly becomes a VIP through mobile marketing automation.
We’re just now starting to see the shift to mobile marketing automation, which empowers marketers to get smarter about their content and messaging across all devices. In the end, we, as marketers, are all looking to create a better, more compelling, more engaging experience for our customers.
It won’t be long before mobile marketing automation is playing a critical role for digital marketers everywhere.
Jed Singer is the President at Socialight Media Marketing, based in Philadelphia, PA. Previously Jed was the Vice President of Product Marketing at Stuzo, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and LaSalle University. Follow Mr. Singer on Twitter.