This month really has been the month of mobile. It celebrated its 40th anniversary, evolving from what we fondly recall as the brick to the sleek smartphone device we all carry round today. Facebook announced its Home phone software for android smartphones. And, the long anticipated 4G launch has been trialled in the West Midlands ahead of this summer's launch, and fingers crossed looks like only a small number of TV sets have been affected by the signal.
There's no need to point out the obvious fact that the mobile phone has become an essential part of our everyday lives. But how are the marketers utilising this key platform? Gartner has forecast that global expenditure on mobile will double every year to hit $20.6 billion in 2015. So how are marketing teams spending these budgets?
There are a number of big name brands leading the way in mobile marketing and there's one thing these campaigns all have in common - long term customer engagement. Brands have realised that building relationships with their customers is more important than ever, and by infiltrating the mobile they have access to them on the device they use most and have with them at all times. It's about offering them interesting or useful tools to secure customers trust and loyalty.
Research by the MMA and Lightspeed Research shows that in the UK 29 percent of consumers respond to mobile advertising. So what can brands do to keep growing this figure?
Allow your customers to pay with their mobile - it might sound obvious but a simple app can make it much easier for a consumer to buy your product. Starbucks has made itself a big name in mobile marketing. It has introduced a number of QR code and mobile app campaigns and now over 26 million transactions have taken place through its mobile app.
Offer your customers deals - this gives them a clear benefit for downloading your app and is a great tool for building brand loyalty. O2 priority moments, for example, offers O2 users a number of discounts and benefits through its online app and is now used by over 23 million customers.
Partner with other popular platforms - The History Channel partnered with foursquare to offer users historical facts when the check into certain places.
Offer your customers a useful tool - you need to give your customers a reason for downloading your app. Last year, Adidas offered spectators of the London marathon an app to track the progress of the.
Make it personal - No one wants to receive spam, make sure your proactive mobile campaigns are only pushing to those potential customers that are relevant. This is much more likely to have a higher uptake and avoid online complaints.
Integrate with other platforms - Coca Cola launched an impressive mobile campaign in Hong Kong. By developing a mobile game to sync with the TV advert, resulted in 380,000 downloads and the advert was watched 9 million times.
Call to action - make sure you're providing your customers with a simple clear call to action. For example, Diesel's in store QR codes mean you can like a product on your Facebook page. In return you get a discount. A simple idea that provides immediate results for the customer.
Finally mobile doesn't have to mean with a phone - Renault caught consumer's attention at a large trade fair with its phoneless Facebook check in. It provided events attendees with a RFID enabled cards to check in at 'Facebook pillars', to like on various car models.
Predicting the Future
One can never totally predict the future. However, in this area, one thing for certain is that mobility within marketing is going to grow even more during the coming years. Enterprises are connecting their in-store experiences with social and mobile data to deliver that same experience through their mobile channels. We will start to see consumers receiving offers as they walk past their favourite stores on the high street, while social engagement will show us what our friends have been buying. Mobility will affect every walk of life as consumers move away from traditional PC technologies into the world of cloud mobility empowered by social engagement.
What an exciting time to be in marketing.