Mobility continues to drive major behavioural change in our day-to-day lives. Research has shown that 86% of Americans now use their mobile phones for what is called “just-in-time information”, opening up a world of on-the-go opportunities for creative marketers to sell their wares. So where should they be focusing their efforts?
Marketing organisations are quickly becoming savvy about the full range of capabilities of smartphones, such as geo-location, and motion and ambient noise detection. These tools enable marketers to surface offers to consumers at the right point in their purchasing process.
What you need to work out out in 2015 is: what are the myriad experiences of your end-users and how can you connect with them in the moment in a meaningful way?
Be willing to tap into other companies’ apps
While some organisations have dipped their toes in the contextual waters in the past year, full power will come when organisations look for relevance beyond their own doors.
Maribel Lopez, author of Right Time Experiences, says these contextual experiences will be delivered by native apps: “Contextual integrations with third party services will be big [in 2015]. For example, an airline app that connects to Uber for airport transportation and traffic data to figure out when to leave.”
This is a huge opportunity to provide value to your end-users beyond just your service.
Use in-store or near-store notifications
Many retailers will want to extend offers to potential customers either as they walk past their stores or once they are inside. Lopez explains: “A store will know if you’re in the building, but mobile can help pinpoint where and what content or experience should be surfaced.” The opportunity is to present information based on the exact location.
For example, if your end-user is the children’s department on the 2nd floor, it is a great time to present an offer for buy one, get one free on children’s shoes. It is probably a terrible time to blast them with an offer for power tools.
To improve the seamless experience even further, if your mobile experience includes some sort of rewards programme and you have user purchase history available to you, it is possible to create an experience that takes off from previous shopping experiences. You could also cross reference past history with other similar offers from partners that extends the current experience even further.
Make the most of new notification streams
Android and iOS are following in Facebook and Twitter’s footsteps by making data streams a central part of the user-experience. Apps will raise alerts, information, and offers to the notification stream of the mobile device. Users will be able to take actions directly from the interface. This is both an opportunity and a challenge for marketers in 2015.
It is an opportunity because users will be expecting brands to have a presence on the OS’ most prominent platform. The challenge is that there is very limited space to provide any meaningful experience. Marketers will have to get creative and learn how to really pare down their message without diluting its impact; think Twitter marketing 2.0.
Seek users’ permission
Next year offers lots of exciting opportunity for mobile marketing. But brands must be careful to not be too invasive. Get permission before extending information and offers to individuals.
Finally, don’t inundate your audience with messages. Remember you are just one part of their overall stream of information. Respect that, and you’ll reach your audience and your 2015 targets.