Market Insight: Mobile marketing: its perks & perils

South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung finally reached one of its major goals last year – unseating incumbent market leader Nokia, and leaving it reeling in its wake.
Not content with that, Samsung launched the new Galaxy S4 smartphone few weeks ago; its audacious goal this time is to outsell the iPhone and own the whole category.
And it just might. The new Galaxy sports an array of never-before-seen whizz-bangery, including new touchscreen technology that toggles some features with the wave of finger. It can also ‘sense’ when you are looking at the screen.
Samsung is touting its latest smartphone as ‘life companion’ that will ‘improve the way people live every day’. And because of the extent to which the modern man and woman use their mobiles, that’s no idle boast. Increasingly, mobile is where our business and personal lives converge, bringing together our email, shopping, reading, contacts, music, entertainment and all our communication needs in one place.
New Zealanders are not immune to the huge importance of the mobile in their lives either. Two out of three of them have told researchers that they consider their mobile an ‘indispensible’ part of their lives, and 80 percent agree it makes them more efficient.
It’s estimated that by the middle of 2013 there will be 1.5 billion smartphones and tablets in use, surpassing the number of PCs for the first time in history. In our latest online Mood Monitor, Colmar Brunton found that 58 percent of Kiwis who use the internet have smartphone (84 percent of mobile users under 25 years of age).
That’s rise of 23 percent since the last time we took this measure just nine months ago.
The centrality of the mobile phone in our lives makes it vital to business and brand-building too, of course, because it’s great forum to reach and interact with customers. But there are new rules of engagement for communicating with customers in the mobile world that business must bear in mind. It’s very personal space, which means users have limit to what they will tolerate.
There have been some great successes, but overall, it remains new and uncharted territory for many.
Millward Brown’s latest global AdReaction study points to an overwhelming lack of enthusiasm for mobile ads – just 23 percent of global users, and 18 percent of Kiwi users, regard them favourably. But that doesn’t mean that the platform can’t be used to market business.
Studies have shown that when it is done right, mobile marketing can improve opinions of your brand or organisation, increase awareness, and drive purchase intent four times more than online advertising.
So, here are our five top tips for winning over mobile audiences while building lasting brand value:

• When brand or business reaches out to consumers in their personal mobile space, the consumers will expect tangible value in return for the interruption.
Apps are one of the best ways to deliver this value. The best apps are free and quick to download, and they demonstrably improve the user experience – making transactions easier and more efficient, for example. This will ultimately enhance that customer’s long-term engagement with your brand.
Airlines have been one of the first sectors to seize this opportunity, with apps that allow customers to check-in and monitor their flight status.
Banks are another forward-thinking bunch, offering options that allow customers to check balances, transfer money between accounts and pay bills.

• People have high expectations of mobile marketing, and conversely, judge business or brand very harshly when they take action on an offer or recommendation and find site or app that fails to deliver or simply doesn’t work properly.

• Understanding what people value is very important, and if the mobile can get them closer to it, so much the better.
In Samsung’s homeland, South Korea, the grocery delivery business Home Plus (backed by UK-based Tesco) launched high-res photos of store shelves on the walls of subways, complete with QR codes. Commuters could scan codes and order their groceries en route. Within three months of launch, registered users of the service had grown by 76 percent and revenues had ballooned by 130 percent.
Nike has also leveraged mobile apps to expand its reach. Nike+ is an app that connects with special chip in runner’s shoes to measure his or her speed, distance and calories burned, and has now been extended to monitor other activities such as playing basketball and sleeping. Nike credits this innovation for 30 percent growth in its running division in 2012.

• People expect mobile marketing to be ‘intelligent’ – to know who they are and to target them accordingly.
Around 45 percent of Kiwi mobile users say they are open to sharing their location and interests in exchange for the right content and promotions. Poor targeting is not only off-putting; it also suggests you are too lazy to get to know your customer base.

• The boundaries are clear. Asking for too much information, not offering simple ways to opt out, and delivering irrelevant information are three ways in which you will be judged rude and intrusive – with potentially catastrophic outcomes for your brand.

Technology has raised the bar, with mobile offering the opportunity for unparalleled flexibility and targeting in marketing communications. The flipside is that the dangers are just as great. The challenge for business and brands is to master the delicate balance of effectively connecting with consumers and inspiring them to act and engage with you, without overstepping boundaries. M

Jacqueline Ireland is CEO of Colmar Brunton.

Visited 5 times, 1 visit(s) today
Close Search Window