It’s predicted that shoppers around the world will have purchased about $119 billion worth of goods and services through their mobile phones by 2015. Which means, as a sales channel, it will either supplement or replace other marketing platforms—namely, brick-and-mortar store locations, online stores like Amazon and eBay, and/or standalone ecommerce sites. Either way, mobile will be instrumental in expanding brands’ reach and connecting them to new and existing audiences in a different way. But determining where mobile will fit in is an exercise in correctly gathering and interpreting consumer data.
Because mobile devices are an extension of each consumer’s life—set up and customized to their individual needs and preferences—they potentially offer marketers more personal data about their audiences than ever before. It’s a goldmine of information for the direction of marketers’ mobile strategies and determining where mobile fits in as both a sales channel and marketing medium.
So how can mobile consumer data improve sales and marketing efforts?
1. Using data for real-time content targeting
Now that marketers have the ability to utilize CRM intelligence to improve consumers’ experience with a brand across all touch points, they can also marry this data with new mobile behavioral data. One particular application of CRM data in the mobile environment is a marketer’s ability to target specific customers with specific content in real time. That’s right, real time.
This approach complements how consumers are using mobile (on the go) and will therefore increase its effectiveness in reaching them in a meaningful and relevant way—improved brand retention, loyalty, and customer lifetime values; increases in revenue per visit, and a truly connected multichannel experience. CRM-based Real-time content targeting is the gateway to connecting with consumers, across any medium, consistently, and at the right time.
2. Provide a Consistent, Optimized Experience… Everywhere
Marketers must accept mobile for what it is: one of many channels to the overall marketplace. And consumers don’t think of mobile as a channel, but rather another means of connecting to a brand, whenever they want—wherever they want. Any personalization you might be achieving on the PC, must be reflected on the mobile site (and on social, email, tablets and so on…).
Aligning all these efforts first requires companies to consider how consumers are using mobile devices to interact with the brand, and how that will differ from the online or in-store interaction. It’s unlikely, for example, that a banking customer will want to complete a loan application on a mobile phone, but probable that she will use the device to check account balances or find the location of the nearest branch. Account balance pages, therefore, should be priority for targeted and optimized content offerings, which are consistent with those offerings among other channels.
Of course, different platforms allow for unique opportunities and shouldn’t be treated as if they are entirely the same—because they’re not.
3. Personalize all access points
With traditional web sites, companies have the luxury of using space to present a great deal of information across different areas on each page. But this luxury is not available in the mobile channel. Given mobile devices’ limited screen sizes, companies must ensure the right content is put in front of the consumer in the right format, the first time–without being able to exploit other test areas on the page.
Marketers can make the mobile experience just as customized and personal as it is on a standard website—and, along the way, draw in and win over customers. Segmentation allows marketers to capture behaviors and attributes about their web and mobile visitors in order to create content tailored to their location, their time of day, type of browser or operating system, or even their brand of mobile device. Another form of personalization, behavioral targeting, gets personal on an individual level: users can be targeted by previous searches, past purchases, the time of their last visits, and even their activities in physical stores, call centers or websites—to predict the next best offer for them in their buying lifecycle.
Any way it’s presented, personalizing the customer experience across all channels is an essential practice for a marketer wanting to be on top of the game.