Mobile Tech Takes “Niche Plus Heat” Loyalty Marketing to the Next Level
One of my favorite bosses from my seven years at the TV network, CNBC, believes “niche plus heat” creates the ultimate recipe for marketing success. So what does this marketing concept mean? For the news business, it means telling targeted stories about that moment’s relevant topics. It means building a strategy based on the intersection of personalization with timely topics, and can apply to non-media marketers, as well.
“Niche plus heat” has, of course, these two simple ingredients:
- Niche: Segment of users. The message is made up of tailored information for the customer
- Heat: Timing. Relevant timing for delivery of the message
Together, they form a loyalty theory: This kind of personalized and timely marketing builds loyalty through an improved customer experience. This means reaching a targeted audience in real-time, on their terms, when they’re ready to spend money on your brand.
Why personalize on mobile?
Now that consumers are spending 2.8 hours a day on mobile (compared to 2.4 on desktop), having a mobile strategy is essential to brands. In fact, a study by the Aberdeen Group found an increase in brand awareness by 11.6% for brands focused on a mobile analytics strategy—and a 12.9% decrease in revenue for those lacking such a focus.
Personalized and targeted marketing efforts have been shown to have significantly higher response rates than more generic campaigns. What’s more, customers are expecting a high level of relevancy from the messages they receive: over half of respondents in an April 2015 study by Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints expect information from brands to “be relevant to what they’re currently interested in or looking to buy, as well as pertinent to their personal taste, style, age group or location.”
Leverage the mobile bond to add “heat”
Mobile phones have a big advantage when it comes to personalization: they are already intensely personal. I have a special bond with my mobile phone. I hold it everywhere I go. I sleep with it next to me. I wake up when the alarm on it rings. I have tailored my cell phone to my liking; I expect to only receive information that is relevant to me. And I am not alone.
Engaging customers in a personalized way at the right time on their mobile phones creates a better customer experience and can lead to a deeper loyalty with your brand. And customers’ use of mobile devices makes achieving “niche plus heat” more accessible than ever.
How to personalize your marketing outreach
Creating a successful personalized campaign relies heavily on collecting meaningful customer data. In today’s “big data” world, marketers might easily be overwhelmed by all of the information they can choose to track. Thoughtful segmentation helps to avoid this data deluge. The first step in successful, niche, targeting is to have a clearly defined audience and a clear understanding of the action(s) you want them to take.
Successful segmentation allows for personalized outreach, whether targeting audiences by user activity, past campaign interactions, user attributes, purchasing activity, or any other attribute.
Once you have the right niche population, it becomes easier to reach them on the variety message channels available to marketers.
How to use appropriate messaging channels
Common message channels include in-app messages, news feed cards, emails, push notifications, and social messaging—and each one lends itself best to different types of messages.
In separate studies by Thanx and Responsys, push notifications can have well over a 50% open rate—with some as high as 80%. In fact, the Responsys study also highlights that 50% of consumers download apps for special access to discounts from their preferred brands. Push notifications can fulfill that expectation.
But push notifications can easily be overused, and 78% of consumers will turn off push notifications or uninstall an app entirely if they’re unhappy with the messages they receive. Using a variety of message channels helps to avoid customer fatigue.
Use technology advancements to add “heat” at the right time
Send-time optimization is a message delivery feature that identifies when each customer is most likely to engage with your outreach, based on past data, and sends your messages during that time frame.
This helps your messages to not get lost in the shuffle of your customers’ busy lives. Features like Appboy’s intelligent delivery adjust over time as new customer interaction information comes in.
Beacons are transmitters that trigger smartphones within a close proximity. The savvy marketer can program an app to serve targeted information such as retail promotions to customers as they walk by specific aisles. These location-based technologies give marketers an easy way to apply “heat” to personalized, niche marketing by delivering timely messages to targeted audiences.
With the ability to transmit to a location as targeted as a store aisle, beacons trigger apps at the precise time customers interact with specific brands in brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers have found such great success with beacon technologies that experts anticipate 200.3% market growth in the next few years.
Niche plus heat keeps a customer focus
Advances in personalization, segmentation, and messaging channel strategies—combined with hardware advancements, such as beacon transmitters—have paved the way for an explosion of hyper-personalized and real-time marketing on mobile devices.
Not only do brands enjoy higher success with personalization, but customers have come to expect and prefer increased personalization. When a brand learns to leverage “niche plus heat,” it becomes a trusted advisor to its customers.