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Why a piecemeal mobile strategy does not make sense

By Brian Deagan

Mobile is the most direct and personal line of communication a brand has with a consumer. Use it well and you will reap the benefits, such as higher levels of perceived value and loyalty with customers.

However, approaching mobile technology in a piecemeal fashion results in opportunities lost.

As the adoption of mobile technology soars amongst consumers, many companies have approached the mobile channel with a try-it-and-see pilot mentality.

These marketers have been very scattered in how they approach their mobile marketing: an SMS campaign here, an application there, and maybe a mobile Web site thrown in somewhere along the way.

Mobile is now a mandatory marketing channel.

Support entire customer lifecycle
Over the next five years, mobile is projected to evolve into one of the most dominant channels between businesses and consumers.

Now is the time to get out of the pilot mentality and into a more comprehensive strategy that spans all channels – SMS, mobile Web, device-specific applications, locations-based services and tagging.

These various sub-channels go beyond capturing a prospect at the start – they must be able to span and support the entire customer lifecycle.

The hallmark of a successful comprehensive mobile marketing strategy maintains a strong focus on creating value for the consumer.

This often requires a realignment of approaches to span the lifecycle of a customer, and being holistic in how you view the customer through mobile channels.

Let us look the mobile Web as an example.

The mobile Web is often incorporated as part of a marketing campaign because of its call-to-action.

However, if the tactic is viewed from a different perspective – such as providing value for the consumer – myriad of options are created.

Indeed, the mobile Web can be used to provide customers with quick contact information or check the status of an order.

One might consider providing customers with information to help them make a purchase decision while in-store.

For example, a store can offer the option of sending a shopping cart from an online store to the consumer’s mobile device, making the shopping experience smoother. Or an airline can give the customer the option of checking in for a flight and receiving flight information via a mobile Web site.

When customer service is an important aspect of your business, taking a customer-centric approach using the mobile Web can enhance the brand.

Profile management is key
To accomplish all of this, you need a software platform integrated with a robust universal profile management native to its software.

Such universal profile management captures vital customer information such as known customer attributes, preferences and behavioral data, then stores that marketing data in a centralized location within the system.

With each bit of customer data captured and stored, marketers are then able to create specific audience segments, and deliver relevant content to those segments through any number of sub-channels.

This customer-centric targeting helps to create a high-value mobile experience for consumers. Once you know who they are you can then deliver what they want, creating a stronger brand experience through multiple channels.

Having a holistic mobile strategy means making a real commitment to scalable programs – ones that a good mobile partner can help to design and implement.

Such a partner understands how to strategize and execute a successful holistic mobile strategy to simplify the process for you. It will provide insight on the mobile environment, then formulate and execute a winning complete mobile strategy tailored to the goals of the business and the needs of its customers.

Marketers must continue to resist the temptation to craft a mobile strategy bit by bit.

Instead, what they really need is the ability to embrace an integrated approach – crafting a holistic, inclusive and well-thought-out mobile strategy that spans SMS, the mobile Web, applications, location-based services and mobile tagging – one that maximizes value and efficiency for the customer while moving the needle for the marketer.

Brian Deagan is CEO of Knotice, a direct digital marketing solutions company in Akron, OH. Reach him at [email protected].