8 ways to leverage mobile for marketing

On June 14, 2011, Bill Barnes, VP Business Development at Mediative and Matthieu Houle, Director Mobile & Platforms for Yellow Pages Group, presented 8 Ways to Leverage Mobile for Marketing. You can watch the 60-minute webinar online (click here), or go through the slide deck below.

Matthieu kicked things off with some statistics and projections that every digital marketer needs to know. Given current trends, for example, the number of mobile internet users will overtake desktop internet users by 2014. [Source: Stanley Research]

One of the significant aspects of mobile marketing is its immediacy. In a recent survey, 77% of mobile searchers reported that they contacted a business following a local search on their phone; 44% reported making a purchase, and a very big 88% took action in less than 24 hours! [Source: Google/IPSOS] Despite this, about 50% of the small-to-medium size businesses in Canada still don’t have websites, let alone any kind of mobile presence through mobile-friendly websites or apps.

Some businesses are benefiting now from this move to mobile: gas stations and restaurants are already the subject of more searches through mobile devices than desktop computers. With these searches being conducted in a locale and timeframe that is so purchase-driven, it makes sense that mobile can be seen as a natural extension of Yellow Pages’ business model, which when you think about it, has been about local search long before the internet and search engines came along. In fact, the Yellow Pages app in Canada has already been downloaded over 2.5M times, so clearly people are interested in moving their familiar local directory into a convenient format that they can take everywhere they go. Already, 30% of Yellow Pages digital searches in Canada are coming from mobile devices.

In terms of getting started with your own company’s mobile strategy, here are Matthieu’s 8 Tips.

1. Know the device capabilities

Smartphone are the ultimate local search/marketing tool.
• Location: a smartphone can know where I am located at this very moment, providing opportunities for supplying extremely relevant search content.
• Personal: a smartphone goes where we go, and takes along all our contacts and lots of other information that we can have available on-demand.
• 24/7: for a lot of people, a smartphone is something they interact with right at the end of their day, and first thing in the morning when they wake up.
• Social: after all, it is a phone, and therefore a communication tool. People with smartphones are more engaged on social networks than the average users.

2. Understand User Context

• Mobile can help reach consumers during the whole purchasing process:
o Awareness
o Purchase decision
o Transaction
• Mobile users are in a “Need Now” Mode; as close as you can get to the purchase decision moment.

3. Beware of…

• Users are in control; they can choose to shut off notifications, and they have lots of apps to choose from. You need to provide something they can really use and not get easily elsewhere.
• Confidentiality issues.

4. Define the “role” of mobile

It may seem kind of obvious, but before you can get started with a mobile strategy you need to be clear on your business objective. Do you want to use mobile marketing for…
• Customer acquisition?
• Customer retention?
• Promotions?
Different mobile marketing strategies and tactics will apply depending on the objectives.

5. Application considerations

• Value/differentiation
• Life expectancy
• Frequency
• Marketing role
• Costs

We may have dozens and dozens of apps on our smartphones, but on average we use about 10-15 apps regularly, so the app needs to serve a purpose if you expect people to use it on a consistent basis. Frequency of app use depends on what the app is about, too, so keep that in mind when you are estimating what kind of usage an app might generate for your brand.

6. Start where the audience is…

79% of smartphone owners report using their phone when shopping. [Source: Google/IPSOS] Those shoppers are looking for answers. They want to know about your:
– Location
– Products
– Pricing

7. Test. Fail quick and fail cheap.

• Be aware of emerging models: check-ins like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook.
o It’s not for everyone, but businesses that are social in nature, like restaurants or bars, can benefit. It is important, though, to make sure you are tracking the results. You have to know if people are responding to any deals or special offers, and then which ones work best. If you don’t track the results, you will never know whether your mobile marketing is effective or not.
• Geo-fencing
o Recognizing a user within your radius has huge potential for some kinds of business, and can be a great use of mobile from opt-in customers.
• Customer experience and loyalty
• Comparative shopping
o Barcode scanning (e.g. RedLaser app)
• Prices, offers, and reviews are happening, so be part of that conversation.
• Your products are discussion topics, so get out in front and participate. (e.g. Stickybits app)

8. Track everything.

Build tracking into your strategy right from the start, to see what’s working and what’s not.

Some Q&A followed the presentation. To get the whole Q&A, including questions about the iPad as a mobile device, recognizing mobile visitors to your site and other questions, watch the webinar (skip to the last few minutes if you are in a hurry and just want the Q&A section).

One of the first questions that came up was:
Where do you start building a mobile strategy?
1. Setting up the goals, because that will drive the strategy
2. Understand why consumers would want to interact with your company
3. Work with people who have done it before, at least at the advisory level