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February, 18th 2014

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Jay Henderson, Strategy Director, IBM Smarter Commerce

Jay Henderson, Strategy Director, IBM Smarter Commerce

By Jay Henderson

It’s 2014 and time to stop using the phrase, “mobile marketing.”

It’s that simple. Mobile is no longer the side dish to an organization’s main marketing strategy. It’s neither a nice to have nor a need to have. Mobile marketing is all marketing and requires new thinking and a shift in our language from mobile to the idea of mobility.

It’s well understood that 90 percent of mobile phone users keep their devices within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time. As such, in every industrialized nation, where marketing has the ability to influence intent, the closest channel to a human being is now their smartphone. And while just a few years ago the common practice was to first adapt existing websites to function on mobile devices, and then to create a mobile website, followed by mobile apps, today it’s different.

Today, everyone and everything is mobile. And it’s important for marketers to remember, mobile isn’t a single channel, it’s a device with many channels.

It requires marketers to support a wide range of mobile tactics, including mobile websites, mobile applications, mobile email, SMS, push notifications, mobile advertising, mobile search and more. In other words, we are well past the days where it is acceptable for marketers to simply have a side project called mobile marketing. Instead, marketers should resolve to do away with regulating their “mobile marketing” initiatives to silos and instead embrace mobility in its entirety.

Digitally-savvy consumers are completely uninterested in generic marketing. Instead, consumers crave personalized and tailored experiences. Mobility solutions do just that and more. They create a more intimate and targeted brand experience for consumers, and provide marketers with mountains of information through Big Data and analytics capabilities. Whether it’s providing location-based information, or telling marketers how consumers experience their brand, mobility is transforming entire marketing communication strategies.

For example, it’s important for marketers to understand what channels consumers use to shop versus to buy. The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark recently reported that the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, consumers were more likely to browse via their smartphones, but actually purchase gifts for their loved ones on tablets. This type of information can be extremely valuable in designing a mobile phone versus tablet experience.

A tailored experience also applies to reaching customers in a tailored location. Instead of reaching customers in a specific state or town, mobility allows marketers to drill down and deliver messages to consumers exactly where they are. Whether consumers are walking past a store, or leaving an airport, marketers have the ability to tailor a message to a customer simply based on where they might be at any given time.

Today Geo-based solutions are proliferating and helping retailers transform the in-store customer experience. For instance, marketers can tap into intelligent location-based technology to engage shoppers in real-time, and deliver contextual dialogue around offers, deals and promotions as they move through the store. In fact, location-triggered notifications have proven to be most successful.

Those sent through real-time location-triggering campaigns have demonstrated sustained action rates three times that of non-geo triggered messages, relying on time of day, user responsiveness, real-time location and customer segment to ensure delivery of content when consumers are most likely to need and act on it.

Mobility does away with the spaghetti-at-the-wall approach and instead delivers a bull’s-eye, giving the customer what they want, when they want it, and most importantly, where they want it. It’s time to resolve to do away with siloed mobile marketing approaches and embrace all that mobility has to offer. Your customers will thank you.

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