Sidestepping the Pitfalls of a Mobile-Centric Strategy

Mobile may be one of today's most important channels, but brands need more than just a presence to succeed.

A smart, carefully considered approach to mobile will help cultivate relationships with your best customers. 

Recently, Google reported that more than 50% of searches now originate from a mobile device. With the increasing dominance of these devices in the hands of globetrotting consumers, how to “mobilize” your loyalty strategy is becoming an increasingly common business problem for marketers. Addressing this issue requires that they extend beyond the standard approaches that engender transactional loyalty from very traditional channels. Today, marketers are compelled to recognize and deliver against consumer expectations and demands around immediacy to drive sustainable engagement and loyalty. The single biggest drivers of consumer thirst for immediacy are the mobile devices that are universally tethered to the hyperactive consumer. The technology advances that we’ve all embraced have flat-out changed everything. By 2020 the average consumer worldwide is expected to own 4.3 connected devices, most of which will be mobile. They are truly enabling the meteoric rise of mobile as the game changer in loyalty today.

The question is, as you rapidly move your strategy to be more oriented to mobile — or perhaps pursue an exclusively mobile strategy — what pitfalls need to be considered to ensure success?

Marketers must first focus on customer insights. What is the composition of your customer base and how is it changing? Understanding the generational, socioeconomic, gender and anthropological aspects of your customers will ultimately shape the mobilization of your loyalty strategy. Shortchanging this process is perhaps the most fatal pitfall of a failed mobile strategy, and falling prey to it is primarily driven by a lack of understanding of your customers. Protect against this by mining the data you have, reviewing past research and listening to what your customers tell you in your call centers and on your social channels. This is the best defense to sidestep this pitfall, will ensure your strategy is aligned to consumer needs and preferences and will be critical to your mobile success.

Secondly, be wary of lost opportunities. While there is no denying the momentum of mobile, relying exclusively on it may miss the mark with some of your customers who still prefer more traditional channels. Protect against this by leveraging what you know about your customer segments, and match your approach to their preferences. While it does not make sense to overindulge in traditional channels universally, it may still be prudent to do so for your highest-value customers exhibiting a non-mobile preference.

The final pitfall, and the one commonly seen in the marketplace, is a poorly executed mobile strategy. Missteps are possible at every turn and can easily be encountered via a quick scan of your email inbox, a casual stroll on your mobile browser or with a short testdrive of apps developed by your favored brands. Savvy marketers can protect against this by developing their strategy and execution with a mobile-first approach. Understand and develop with adaptive and responsive in mind. We use our phones to complete, on average, a staggering 221 tasks a day. Tailor your content and messaging to be consumable and noticeable. Recognize the restrictions of the space but also embrace the unique aspects afforded by mobile.

Develop your apps with brand evangelists in mind, and recognize the need to have a great mobile experience outside of your apps for your more casually engaged customers. Recognize the value of an omni-mobile experience and ensure that all customers have the ability to engage with you in the moment and with an experience tailored to their preferences. This will ensure your mobile success and will cultivate a more loyal and valuable customer.

About the Author

Guy Cierzan views the practice of 1to1 marketing as an immensely rich adventure. His natural curiosity often leads him to the next frontier. Guy has directed marketing programs for retail, travel and financial services clients such as Barnes & Noble, Bloomingdale’s, Best Buy, Luxottica, Regis Salons, Avis, Amtrak, Delta, Hilton Hotels, Northwest Airlines, Radisson Hotels and Visa, among others. His educational foundation includes a B.A. in business from the University of St. Thomas and an MBA in marketing from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business. Guy is currently a Senior Vice President, Client Services at Olson 1to1 in Minneapolis.