Targeting prospects and customers with mobile presents exciting opportunities in modern marketing. Mobile devices and the way consumers use them presents the brand marketer the opportunity to connect, engage and transact with the consumer unlike ever before.
The path to purchase
You can target and tailor messages and programs to consumers at every stage of their path to purchase of your products and services. Increasingly, your targeted messages can be tracked and optimized along the way as well.
Awareness: You can add a mobile call to action in your traditional advertising to extend awareness and induce engagement, or you build a database of consumers who have opted-in to receive alerts from your brand.
Consideration: Giving consumers a way to connect with your brand via mobile when they are “in market” can only improve your marketing ROI. Whether via SMS or an app, consumers can let you know when they are ready to connect more deeply with your brand.
Intent: Mobile behavior, especially when it comes to search, research or interaction via bar codes, allows you to know when your prospect or customer is reaching the “moment of truth” with your brand. Be ready with your targeted mobile message or offer so you don’t lose the opportunity.
Purchase: Unlike any other media, the opportunity to complete or enhance a transaction via the mobile device needs to be considered regardless of your product category. A CPG mobile coupon, an SMS incentive to demo equipment, or a mobile video delivered right at the point of sale can help you close the deal with your customer.
Customer Relationship: Consumers are so in tune with their mobile device, interacting with it for all sorts of practical and fanciful reasons, it gives you the opportunity to fit right in. However, you must remain sensitive to how the consumer wants to engage with you, not the other way around. Offering targeted programs for consumers to opt-in to, such as for loyalty rewards, new product updates, special events or other deals and incentives, puts you squarely in the hearts and minds of your best customers.
Mobile offers the unique advantage of context in targeting consumers. Context gives marketers an ability to understand where and when consumer engagement occurs, which in turn provides insight deep enough to target a mobile marketing experience.
Location: By far the most important aspect of context with mobile, location is also the most sensitive. With smartphones and tablets being “location aware” on their own, it is incumbent on the marketer to:
1) Consider whether location is a useful and necessary targeting criteria
2) If so, seek out and gain end-user permission (via clear notice and opt-in/opt-out choices) to use this.
The privacy implications of using location in targeting are yet to be fully understood and best practices yet to be classified, so caution is advised.
Time: Much less sensitive than location, using time as a targeting criteria can be useful when sending messages relevant at certain times of day, week or month. The immediacy and suitability of a well-timed mobile message can improve ROI of the overall effort. Consider connecting with customers when the seasons change as you would in your regular marketing.
Proximity: Knowing that your customer is nearby or within your store, or ready to make a purchase, gives you the opportunity to deliver hyper-local and very relevant messaging or offers. Again, this criterion is a sensitive one, requiring you to get consumer permission to engage and interact in such an intimate way.
Device: Tailoring and targeting to select devices or operating systems is not necessary, but it can be useful and profitable. Leveraging the unique capabilities native to a device can allow you to create very compelling and interactive advertising experiences. Volkswagen Jetta introduced an advertising campaign exclusively through the iPhone when it first came out, and the results were both positive and profitable. Another advertiser used the swipe function on tablets to crash a car into the left frame (it was an insurance company) to get maximum consumer engagement.
Considering the targeting opportunities in mobile is an exciting exercise, made even more compelling when you integrate the path to purchase with context. Adding mobile to your marketing and advertising mix can provide real leverage at key consumer decision points, and the precise targeting options will really help improve marketing ROI.