We're always trying to help our customers improve their marketing strategies and stay informed, so here are a few mobile marketing trends I've been reading about lately -- as well as one overall trend I thought was very interesting.
PEOPLE DON'T LIKE TO TALK ON THE PHONE ANYMORE.
According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.
Why? Phone calls seem rude and intrusive; they always catch people at the worst time, and then they just end up ignoring them. They're also awkward -- if not for everyone, then at least for a significant part of the population who, like me, prefer to communicate in text form (e-mail, instant messaging, SMS) with everyone but their mother. Even though I sit a few feet away from my boss at work, we still sometimes communicate over GChat instant messages. And while I have absolutely no problem sticking to the minimum-minutes plan on my cellphone contract, I definitely need the unlimited data/messaging. Most people with a smartphone are, like me, using it for texting and social networking more so than actual phone calls. Marketers need to be aware of this trend and take advantage of SMS marketing opportunities. And since SMS tends to be a more personal form of communication, content has to be more personalized now.
IT'S NO LONGER JUST A "CAMPAIGN."
According to the GM of Global Research at Experian, “Leading brands are no longer seeking SMS for campaigns — they are seeking ways to build mobile communities, create loyalty programs and facilitate geo-specific shopping alerts.
” Campaigns are now just a means to collect opted-in customers. After that comes the hard part. Companies have to engage -- to find a way to make it a two-way communication.
Not only that, but they also have to view SMS as a part of their overall
engagement strategy, integrating it with regular marketing and social media channels.
PEOPLE ARE OK WITH PUSHED MOBILE CONTENT, BUT THEY STILL NEED VALUE.
According to the GM of Global Research at Experian, "Consumers are becoming more amenable to mobile marketing and advertising." This is because they're finding it valuable as companies provide promotion info, special offers, and coupons. Even I finally relented and agreed to have Express have my phone number yesterday so that they could send me special deals. When businesses provide customers a good enough incentive to allow them to communicate via SMS, they are increasingly likely to be interested.
So don't just blast out generic advertisements; include a value proposition.
IT'S ALL ABOUT SOCIAL NETWORKS.
Just take a look at this great briefing by TrendWatching.com on what they've termed "The F-Factor": Consumers are increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans, and followers to discover, discuss and purchase good and services, in ever-more sophisticated ways. People are recommending products and services to their friends every day, whether through a social networking site or direct communication. This is the most powerful resource you could possibly tap into in terms of acquiring new customers. So whatever mobile marketing campaign you're engaging in, don't forget to ask your customers to recommend you to their friends, to "like" you on Facebook, to Tweet about you, etc. And reward them for it.
IT'S HARD TO TRUST ANYONE THESE DAYS.
This one applies to more general marketing strategies, not just mobile, but I wanted to include it anyway. People are growing increasingly tired of the current corporate climate, giving rise to "Generation G
." "Disgusted with big, arrogant, sloppy and out of touch institutions, fed-up consumers around the world increasingly expect businesses to be socially, ethically and environmentally responsible.
" According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, today people want transparency, honesty, and trustworthiness from corporations more so than anything else (financial performance has dropped to the bottom of these rankings in the last few years). Americans are willing to pay more for brands with a cause and would switch to a brand if it was associated with a good cause. Take the hint. Start thinking of innovative ways to support causes and charities, and show your consumers that that they are helping not just you by buying from you.