15/08/2013 10:56 BST | Updated 15/10/2013 06:12 BST

Mobile Marketers and the Customer Interaction Journey

Marketers have successfully distributed offers to consumers for many years. This started with print media and has evolved to online vouchers and recently more sophisticated mobile marketing campaigns. Unfortunately monitoring the customer through the entire journey and capturing redemption data to support campaign evaluation has always been a challenge.

There is no doubt that mobile technologies are having significant impact on how consumers connect and interact with a brand and this is forcing marketers to change the way they think and engage with their customers. As mobile campaigns proliferate, marketers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the value of these initiatives - not just in successfully distributing vouchers and awarding loyalty points, but in taking the customer along a complete and measurable journey. Success therefore stems from actionable customer insights - an understanding of your customer's preferences, and behaviour at each and every touch point.

Increasingly marketers are experimenting and investing in ways to close the campaign loop to improve relevance and quality of offers made to customers. New techniques are becoming available to better monitor the customer's journey and redemption behaviour, thereby improving the quality of customer insights and optimising campaign return on investment.

Today's consumers expect a consistent brand experience in-store, online or on their mobile as well as easily accessible product information to help them make purchase decisions. The Logic Group Ipsos MORI annual customer loyalty survey showed that nearly one in six (16%) of Brits admit to openly using their mobile phone to check product details, prices and reviews while shopping in-store. There's a golden opportunity: Mobile marketers can empower consumers by providing compelling, accurate, consistent and relevant product content when and where consumers need it.

Mobile marketers, no doubt, have a tough path to traverse on the customer interaction journey; they can start by tackling three key challenges that will give them a head start over competition:

  • Complement the in-store experience: Use the mobile as platform to liberate the in-store and online experience, empowering consumers with reviews, product / nutritional information, smart suggestions, gamification, recipes, loyalty programmes, and more. This will also discourage consumers from taking to showrooming.

  • Targeted offers to improve trackability: Mobile marketers have two new tracking techniques at their disposal - location and uniquely coded URLs or voucher codes. The ability to know where your customer is when browsing or making the purchase decision gives marketers the ability to engage with tailored content and offers in real time. Uniquely coded and trackable URLs allow interactions to be tied back to the initial point of engagement, providing a bridge to the mobile touch points that lead to in-store or online interactions.

  • Action that data, don't just sit on it: Marketers are already sitting on a huge pile of data, and mobile marketing is only speeding up the pace of data collection. The quicker mobile marketers can analyse customer interaction data, the faster they can tailor their offers. After all, if you've successfully closed the redemption loop, you should know how to trigger that repeat purchase / engagement.