All speakers agreed that mobile plays a more central role in marketing, impacting people and influencing their actions throughout the purchase funnel (from awareness to conversion and commerce). However, there was a lack of consensus when it came to answering THE big question: how will mobile play out in 2012?
Jennifer Lee, senior manager of the retailer and distribution practice, Deloitte & Touche, placed her bets on mobile’s “multiplier effect.” As she put it: “Organizations that develop a comprehensive strategy on leveraging mobile in the path to purchase will win in the marketplace.” This entails having a “full view of a customer’s path to purchase for all channels and to have an integrated view on how mobile drives online and retail store purchases.”
In her view, the business case for mobile will “be driven by the multiplier effect that mobile has on other channels.” And mobile loyalty and CRM will also move up the business agenda. “In addition, customers will expect personalization and relevance in all the marketing messaging regardless of channel, and as a result, it will be important to use CRM tools to segment customers based on lifestyle.”
James Gaffar, product developer, ad solutions, mobile & emerging media, NBC Universal, is bullish about cross-media approaches and remarked that integrated marketing has never been more in demand.
“This is where publishers, brands and advertisers need to have serious discussions,” he said. “Mobile is only one screen in a user’s life and, therefore, crafting a story across different touch points in a user’s day will give an advertiser the best ROI. Messaging needs to be aligned with the overall brand strategy but adjusted to the time of day, location and where a potential consumer digests that content. Taking online creative and porting into mobile will never be as effective as planning for mobile in a larger holistic program.”
Tina Unterlaender, account director for mobile, AKQA, echoed this sentiment. She sees a “deeper integration of the mobile channel especially as part of product extensions and new enhanced mobile commerce options.” What’s more, “product extension such as Nike +, Epic Mix, or connected car applications will become the norm and will add value to the products purchased.”
But it’s not just about connected experiences; it’s about commerce. As she put it: “When it comes to mobile commerce, deeper integration cross platform with single sign on will drive mobile purchasing behavior. Google Wallet was only the start of a new era without plastic in our pockets. Looking at publishers, we will see the most interactive magazines and ad products since the beginning of mobile. ”
Finally, Hipcricket Chief Operating Officer Eric Harber told us he believes that 2012 will be about selecting partners that will “protect” brand marketers. “I forecast patent infringements being identified and enforced, making it imperative to work with a company that has protected IP and can keep you out of trouble,” he said.
HOW I SEE IT: The webinar was full of insights. I agreed with many of them — and I have some to add. Consider this as a list of my top predictions for 2012:
- Device price points will continue to drop — and we’ll see more offers that provide consumers with a product at a discount provided they agree to receive ads. Mobile phones with offers, including perhaps a Google phone, are coming soon.
- Savvy marketers will succeed by following research into real behavior and interest, rather than gambling on something entirely new. These professionals know that just because you can do something with technology doesn’t mean you should. Know your customers and prospects, and market to them in ways (and via formats) you know have the best chance of success. A major global brand allocates approximately 70 percent of its mobile efforts to reach efforts that include SMS. Additionally, 20 percent of efforts focus on delivering richer experiences (that don’t reach all subscribers), and 10 percent are all about the shiny object. That is a great example to follow.
- 2012 will be the year of the mobile web. As more people begin to access the Web using a wireless device than they do using a PC, it will become crystal clear to brands, agencies and companies across the ecosystem that they can’t afford to treat their mobile strategy and presence as an afterthought. They will realize they must offer a mobile Web offering that over-delivers, rather than just cover the bases. This has not happened yet, but it will because consumers will demand it.
- As mobile marketing moves to the mainstream (and becomes an item on the agenda of companies across all the verticals) you can bet that more vendors will enter the marketplace in 2012 making claims that they will produce ROI. My message to brands: Proceed with caution. While the name of the nimble newcomer company promising to help you craft a comprehensive mobile strategy may not say ‘Two Guys In a Garage’, that may indeed be what you are buying.
- Expect more pressure from senior management to produce results from mobile. As this shift takes place it will be even more critical to think beyond a one-time transaction. There are bigger opportunities in mobile if you think about what can (and must) happen after the click. Don’t stop at a one-off campaign that ends in a landing page or an app. Deliver an experience that can lead to an opt-in, providing you customer insights and remarketing possibilities.
And finally, successful mobile campaigns will have clear calls to action and provide multiple ways to engage. No doubt many brands and advertisers will borrow from the blueprints belonging to market leaders like Macy’s. Macy’s, which I wrote about in this earlier column on MobileGroove, has implemented a comprehensive and holistic approach called the Backstage Pass program. Like Macy’s, brands would be well-adviced to use an SMS call to action (to start the conversation) and then continue the interaction by harnessing QR codes (delivered via print advertising) to point people to a mobile website to capture people’s information —and interest. Macy’s approach shows that cross-media is where the action (and the results) are.
(This is my last column of the year. I thank Peggy for the opportunity and support, and I thank all the readers of this space for their continued loyalty. Next year will be even bigger with more insights here, as well as additional major projects coming designed to help you succeed in mobile.)