I spent most everyday in conversations with CMOs, loyalty program director, CIOs and executives across a variety of industries- and while many are still struggling to catch up with, and better leverage, the new behaviors of social media and the real-time web, almost none have a mobile strategy worth bragging about. Why is this?
Everyone understands mobile phones are part of a daily consumer check list (keys? wallet? phone?). Consumers with disposable income or not, have a phone and consider it their most important device.
Consider this from an extensive Cisco study: By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world's population at that time (7.3 billion). Source
Yet, I hear it every week-- ‘we’re looking at the potential of mobile, but haven’t cracked the code yet”. And I think the last part is most important, marketers are spending so much time trying to “crack the code” that they are forgetting the “fail fast fix it” mantra that drives mobile and web innovations- and as a result, they aren’t doing anything or they are doing it wrong. By neglecting the importance of optimizing the content of the message-- not just to the individual but to the channel in which it is received, marketers are often caught trying to push a square peg into a mobile hole.
In this day and age, when sms remains important but people don’t want to be interrupted, when apps can be engagement vehicles yet they are often lost in a sea of more than a million possible downloads, there is a good reason for companies to wonder how . There isn’t an easy answer, per se, for using mobile to generate new customers.
But what marketers often forget in their never ending quest to find new customers in every possible channel-- maybe mobile isn’t just about new customers right now. As I often point out, because of the in-the-pocket access mobile represents, this is a channel with promise and peril. The peril is, well, pissing off customers and pushing away potential newbies. The promise, however is exceptional when and if marketers can just see-- it’s the ultimate loyalty tool.
While your consumers aren’t your friends, letting them know they can count on you in the same way they do their friends-by using their phones to get questions answered, services delivered, products ordered-- is a viable pathway to help the bottom line.