I’ve written before on the process a business should go through in determining whether or not a mobile application, mobile website, or sms strategy is appropriate for the specific business needs. Despite the social pressure and media focus on applications, they are not for every business. There are many aspects to consider in making the application/no application decision, not the least of which is cost and overall benefit. But I recently realized that there’s another consideration that is a by-product of the huge success of applications that has been here-fore not been addressed. That consideration is discovery.
Let’s just assume that you’ve made the decision to go ahead and build an application. You’ve carefully considered your clients needs, usage habits and put in lots of wonderful features that take advantage of the unique gizmo’s and whizbangs that only the latest HTC blah-blah-blah offers. You’ve decided on the mix of platforms that make sense to develop on, weighing penetration and available features for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows7. Several months of development later, and tens of thousands of dollars, you’re ready to make it available to the world. With one click the application is uploaded to the application store of your choice and the world is a better place.
Your wonderful addition to productivity, entertainment or user experience now competes with tens-of-thousands or hundreds-of-thousands of other applications to be found. Unless your company is very lucky to show up on the ‘most popular’ or newest pages for a significant period of time, users will only discover your application if you 1) tell them about it, and 2) help them find it.
There are some services out there that will help your business navigate customers to the application. One I recently read about was GetJar, which provides one link that a customer can click on. When a customer does so, the service automatically detects the platform and serves up the appropriate download page for your smart phone application. I’m sure there are others, and feel free to post a link below on any that you’ve seen that would be of use.
However, in my opinion, the bigger issue is informing customers about the application. Each business has limited marketing means – if not in actual dollars that can be spent, then in meaningful touch points through which they can engage the customer base (ie – email newsletters, in-store signage, homepage space, etc). With the many messages that need to get out (Sale today! See our new products! Sign up for our loyalty club! as examples), this is just one more message that will compete for attention.
To sum it up – it’s not just enough to commit the time, energy and resources to make an application, it’s also important that a company commit the time, energy and resources to inform consumers about the application.
Every week, our phones ring with business owners asking us the same question again and again, “If mobile marketing isn’t just sending text messages, then what is it? What is mobile marketing today and how do I do it?”
Rewind 8 years, and you will remember the time when mobile marketing first reared its head into the world of marketing communications. This was a time when mobile marketing was a simple text message solution to help companies interact with their consumers in new medium. This CRM tool enabled the interested participant to join a mobile club by texting a keyword to a short code. Exclusive SMS content, messages, discounts and offers would then immediately start appearing as text-only SMS messages right on their mobile devices.
As we wrap up 2010 and prepare for 2011, mobile marketing has evolved into not just a way to send text-only messages to opted-in users, but has become one of the most reliable forms of technology to stay connected with customer databases. As technology continues to advance and the possibilities for interacting with customers expands, it is more important now than ever to incorporate mobile marketing into your CRM strategies.
Mobile now means more than just a making a phone call. Mobile is the internet in your pocket. Mobile is sharing videos and pictures with your friends. Mobile is downloading applications. Mobile is donating to Haiti. Let me give you three examples of how our clients use mobile in new and different ways to drive their customer interaction.
- Mobile is social media integration – Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare can all be accessed on mobile devices. With the click of a button, mobile allows MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas the ability to directly tie their Facebook page posts with their mobile loyalty messages. Cellit has built a custom program that automatically updates MGM’s Facebook page each time an sms message is sent from their Cellit account.
- Mobile is motivating teens to wake-up and go to school. In 2008 the Ad Council was looking for an innovative way to help Boost students to graduate from high school. Cellit teamed with the Ad Council to create the BoostUp mobile campaign, featuring wake-up calls and ringtones recorded by NBA star Amare Stoudemire. These pre-recorded mobile “alarms” could be scheduled by friends and family, and were then delivered right to the cell phone to help give that extra encouragement in the morning for students to wake-up and go to school.
- Mobile is couponing. With the help of mobile marketing, IKEA Seattle hosts a quarterly exclusive mobile-only “IKEA Mobile Shopping Day”, inviting their mobile loyalty club members to visit the store and use their special 15% off mobile coupon. During the first mobile shopping day, IKEA Seattle was able to generate over $250,000 in additional sales. Now, that number has nearly doubled.
As you can see from above, there are endless ways that mobile is used today. Whether you’re looking for social media solution, a voice campaign, or mobile couponing, Cellit can help you integrate mobile into your marketing mix in ways that were unimaginable just years before.
Please feel free to give us a call so we can help you get your mobile campaign off the drawing board and into the hands of your consumer.
Check out the October edition of Shortcode, Cellit’s monthly newsletter, with mobile crm tips from our Account Managers, interesting articles, Case Studies and more!