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Messaging is the most important part of mobile strategy: Forrester analyst

NEW YORK – A Forrester analyst at Forrester’s Marketing 2016 Forum stressed the importance of connecting to consumers through mobile messaging, as they are likely to follow up, but the content must be relevant and retailers are not yet getting it right.

During the session, “Five Mobile Myths From A Millennial’s Perspective,” the analyst revealed that the millennial mentality of expecting immediate access to products, information and content through smartphones will spread to the rest of the population soon. A survey revealed that 57 percent of consumers are likely to take action after receiving a notification from a retailer, but will only do so if the content is relevant to them, meaning it has to be to the right person, at the right time.

“We at Forrester believe that today mobile messaging is the most important of your mobile strategy,” said Nicole Dvorak, data scientist at Forrester Research. “Why?

“Because our data tells us that almost every smartphone owner receives some kind of message,” she said. “Not only that, but we know that consumers respond when the message is good, when it is relevant to them, when it delivers contextual, relevant information.”

Millennials’ mobile messages
While millennial values for mobile are rapidly growing to other age groups and demographics, the effectiveness of mobile messaging is as well. But marketers and retailers do not yet know how to effectively do so.

Forrester’s research shows that 90 percent of consumers opt out of notifications, likely because they do not want irrelevant messages to interrupt their experiences. But as one survey taker revealed, helpful notifications such as a bank informing a user of a low balance are highly beneficial for the consumer.

Retailers should be tapping into data to determine how to best serve the right content to the right individual at the best time.

If you build, they will not always come
The analyst also revealed that retailers should not expect all of their customers to download their mobile apps, and that most customers will not. However, those that do are the most loyal customers and the most valuable, which makes apps vital.

Mobile users are leveraging mobile Web sites and apps for very different reasons, which means that marketers need to focus on creating relative content for all platforms. Forrester’s research shows that consumers are taking to mobile Web for browsing capabilities for things they are not likely to return to.

For instance, users on mobile Web are going to this platform for search, research and product prices or reviews. Consumers take to apps for repetitive actions such as checking a bank balance, visiting social media and music.

“Our data is telling us that most of your customers will not download your app,” Ms. Dvorak said. “So really, only your loyal customers will download your app.

“Everyone else will go to your social media profile, or your Web site or something else,” she said. “But only your most loyal customer will download your app.

“Let’s take Walmart, for example. Our panel tells us that 62 percent of the panel are Walmart customers but only 17 percent are using the app on a monthly basis.”