As a marketer, you need to ensure that your business is where your customers are. So if your customers have gone mobile, then the mobile device is clearly the place to be.
“There is no ignoring the fact that mobile is where your customers are,” says Keith Jopling, SVP at KAE. “A study by eMarketer estimates there will be 34.6 million smartphone users in the UK by 2014; that represents 53.7% of the population – not really a figure you would want to overlook.”
Indeed. But marketers need to tread carefully in the mobile world. While the smartphone is a gateway to direct contact with a vast proportion of the public, many people have a very personal relationship with their phones, and so clumsy attempts to engage with them on this platform can be viewed as deeply intrusive and therefore extremely damaging for your brand.
To complicate matters, Daniel Rowles, author of Mobile Marketing, and a course director for CIM on digital marketing, notes that the rapidly changing mobile technology, and our relationship with that technology, is constantly moving the goalposts for marketing.
“The mobile device bridges the online world and the real world – most of us have got Facebook on our phones and we check it numerous times of day, and we check our emails on it, so we’re a lot more connected to what’s going on,” he explains. “It is very personal, and it is becoming more personal. You’ve only got to think about how we feel when we lose our phone – that sense of displacement.
“Computer power is also going up and up so we can cram more power into smaller devices and do more with them. And that exponential curve is getting faster. So for marketers it is very easy to get lost in the tactics. But strategically this is changing, and society is changing, so keeping up with that as organisations is a real challenge.”
As Ilicco Elia, head of mobile at LBi notes: “Success doesn't come from investing in multiple seemingly random mobile projects anymore. And if you are unsure of the outcomes you are looking to accomplish you can't measure how well you've done. Because mobile is cross-discipline, there has to be a concerted effort to point everyone in the same direction, otherwise multiple people in multiple disciplines will pull in multiple directions, otherwise known as causing havoc.”
How to approach mobile
All of which raises the question of how marketers can therefore adopt a more sophisticated, structured and strategic approach to their mobile marketing efforts.
To lay the groundwork, Elia recommends comprehensively researching your customers and your capabilities.
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