It’s the final day of 2014, and we’ve got just one more prediction piece for you, going up tomorrow.
In previous posts, we’ve looked at many of the opportunities of new technology; MobileROI CEO Puneet Mehta looks at the potential stumbling blocks that come along with them.
Fast forward 12 months and, as we reflect back on 2015, an almost universal theme in conference rooms will be, “we let the cart get before the horse.”
2014 was a very exciting year for mobile marketers. Innovations like beacons hit the main stage; mobile payments finally received a much-needed boost; and advancements in personalisation and contextualisation had marketers rethinking their approach to mass advertising. It was a year when it was easy to get your head in the clouds, but it’s easy for all of us to get ahead of ourselves, racing to be the first to take advantage of the latest technological advancements without thoroughly thinking through the right strategy.
Below are four things I see marketers getting tripped up on in 2015:
Beacons require a delicate touch
“Buy one sweater, get one free!” “Free gift with purchase!” “Five per cent off!” This will be the consumer experience walking down the street in 2015, as more brands roll out beacons, salivating at the possibilities of hyper-local targeting. This will be followed by a period of consumer pushback, as they are bombarded with messages which irrelevant except for their immediate location.
Marketers must personalise messages based on factors such as a person’s purchase history, loyalty status or current context – e.g., it’s raining outside so here’s a discount on umbrellas. Beacon programs must also move beyond offers and provide helpful, entertaining or interesting content. For instance, if Charlotte loves celebrity fashion, a retailer should point out the sunglasses that an A-lister is photographed in, while informing social-conscious Finn about the money donated to charity with every purchase of a product she is looking at.
Payments are only a piece of the mobile wallet
With Apple Pay making a big splash this year, the conversation centred around removing friction from transactions.
Brands must look at overhauling not only the payment processes, but the rest of their customers’ journey to extend the frictionless process to loyalty programs, in-store experiences, CRM and social advocacy. To close the loop for a true mobile wallet, consumers should be able to manage loyalty, rewards and interactive offers as well.
Consumer-focused is the pillar of mobile
The golden rule of mobile engagement is simple: It’s not about a brand or a product. With smaller screens, shorter attention spans and stricter demands for relevancy, mobile is all about the individual and what a brand can do for them at the moment of need.
The opportunity for true mobile engagement lies in brands’ ability to become the heroes in a person’s daily life by surprising or delighting customers with the right message or offering specific functionality at the precise moment they need it. In recent months, we have seen some brands step up their mobile offerings to reposition the experience around the consumer, instead of using it as an overt self-promotional channel.
Just in time for the holiday season, for instance, Target added in-store mapping to its app, helping people find the aisle of a product they are looking for. This is a perfect example of pinpointing a consumer need and providing a solution to improve the overall experience. Marketers need to map out their consumers’ mobile needs and strategise how to organically participate, before wasting more of the budget on unsuccessful apps.
There is no room for new silos
As the number of consumer touchpoints increases – with a surge coming from wearables next year – marketers need to create an optimised experience for every channel. Being available where consumers want to interact with you, however, is only part of the puzzle.
Consumers will increasingly demand fluidity between screens – a cohesive experience that takes into account what they were offered or actions they took on other touchpoints. An offer saved in passbook, for instance, should sync to an online or in-store purchase automatically. A message opened on an Apple Watch should also be accessible via a smartphone. If marketers continue to pile new experiences on top of each other – no matter how innovative they are – and not integrate them together, all efforts will be for naught.