5 Mobile Marketing Strategies That Can Drive True Engagement
Here's an experiment: Tally up the notifications you've received on your mobile device in the past 24 hours. For the more digitally engaged, that might seem like asking how much sand is in the desert, but even the less-obsessed have likely felt their phone buzz dozens of times over the course of a day.
In that sort of environment, it's important for brands to embrace mobile marketing strategies that not only provide reach at scale, but that also cut through the clutter to facilitate real customer engagement. Doing so can mean the difference between a brand truly reaching its audience and finding painstakingly crafted messaging buried between updates on the latest celebrity Twitter scandal.
To that end, here are five mobile marketing strategies savvy brands can use to take mobile marketing to the next level.
1. Expand your mobile marketing horizons
We live in a world in which social media trends embraced by high school kids can massively move the commercial needle, but it'd be a mistake to assume this means mobile marketing campaigns need to be geared to a Millennial or Gen Z audience. While the cohort we typically think of as digital natives is certainly very present in the mobile space, they're hardly crowding out other demographics. Some 83% of 50-64 year-olds, and 61% of those over 65 own smartphones, and in a 2015 Pew Research Study, smartphone users 50 or older were almost as active as their younger counterparts.
So, it's time to toss out preconceived notions about who might be the target for your mobile marketing. Instead, depend on data to get to know your audience on an even more intimate level.
2. Dig deep with data
None of this to say that knowing the age of your audience isn't important, but it's just one piece of information among all the different data out there that can help you understand a given user. Thanks to the advent of modern customer engagement platforms, it's possible to create detailed profiles for both current and potential customers that reflect their preferences, interests, and behaviors in ways that can support a more positive, more impactful brand experience.
This, of course, includes basics about who they are—what language they speak, in what time zone they reside, what their favorite color or ice cream flavor is, and a lot more. Perhaps just as important in crafting effective mobile marketing, however, is understanding customer behavior. How many times have they abandoned a digital shopping cart? How have they engaged with your content, and for how long? At what time are they most likely to interact with push notifications? All of this information is out there, and understanding it can mean the difference between adequate messaging and the kind that creates brand loyalty, assuming that it's used wisely.
3. Be honest and make smart use of first-party data
Mobile users have made no bones about wanting brands to understand their personal journey. There exist, however, potential pitfalls in the personalization game. When it’s overdone or feels invasive, it can be perceived as intrusive, and actually reduce customers' desire to interact with a brand. In fact, Braze research found that 75% of adults have stopped engaging with a company because of concerns about the ways they use personal data, pointing to potential pitfalls here. Simply put, customers want you to understand them...but only so much as they want to be understood.
When you’re working with this kind of first-party data—that is, personal information that’s gathered with user consent—it’s essential to be up front with consumers about the data you’re collecting and prudent in how it's used in messaging. As a general rule, customers will respond more positively if the personalized experiences they receive are based exclusively on information they've volunteered, rather than data that was collected via third-party sources. It's a bit of a balancing act, but getting it right can mean the difference between your audience feeling seen and feeling watched.
4. More mobile than mobile: A cross-channel, mobile-centric approach
When we talk about cross-channel marketing (that is, customer marketing that leverages multiple messaging channels in concert), we often use the term “mobile” as a catch-all, but think of all the ways you communicate on and interact with your mobile device, from email to browsing to text messaging to interacting with mobile apps. Each needs to be approached as a unique part of the mobile customer experience in order to be able to leverage these different components effectively within a comprehensive approach that spans all the others.
As important as it is to acknowledge and utilize all these channels, however, it's equally important to do so in a thoughtful way; contrary to popular opinion, throwing everything against the wall is likely to lead to nothing sticking. A cross-channel mobile marketing initiative needs to take into account each channel's strengths, and use them in a way that speaks to each recipient while also meeting your brand’s needs.
One more thing to keep in mind: Finding the right mix of channels for each campaign or journey is just as important to personalizing the experience for your customers as the copy or creative you use in your messages An email can be fully personalized on the inside, but if the customer you send it to has stopped engaging with emails, than that's the first engagement hurdle you'll need to cross. It’s this dynamic that makes a cross-channel strategy so essential to effective mobile engagement.
5. Bring it all together with mobile marketing automation
So, now you know you need to collect customer data, use it wisely, and adopt a multi-channel approach. How do you do that at the kind of scale today's marketing environment requires? The answer lies in mobile marketing automation, a set of tools designed to aid in profiling customers and executing a messaging strategy that not only reaches them in the right place at the right time, but also does so effectively.
The best of these platforms leverage streaming data and smart business logic to help provide a picture of the different kinds of customers who are engaging with your brand and support your efforts to develop messaging that takes their individual journey into account, cheating a more meaningful and more human experience. It’s impossible to, say, manually update a user’s profile every time they express a new preference or take a new action, but with the advent of marketing automation, brands have a new opportunity to deliver impactful, relevant experiences to even the largest global audiences on mobile. And that’s a game changer for customer engagement.
These strategies can make the difference between a mobile campaign that gets lost in the digital shuffle and one that builds a true connection between a brand and its customers. To learn how Braze can help bridge that gap, check out our guide, Brilliant Experiences, Channel by Channel, for guidance on how to build out an effective mix of customer engagement channels.