The explosive use of smartphones and tablets has created a new world of opportunity for today's businesses. No other medium in the history of technology has been so personal, so powerful, or so disruptive to consumers' day-to-day lives. Mobile devices put the world's information directly into consumer's hands 24/7, providing an abundance of choices and affecting decision-making in ways we have yet to even fully understand.
Those organizations that have recognized the power of mobile to drive deeper, more meaningful connections with their customers and prospects are the new leaders in a mobile-first world. But just in case your business has yet to fully jump into the mobile fray, here are five important mobile marketing strategies to help put you on the road to success:
1. Apps are where it's at
Last year, mobile apps surpassed television as the medium with which consumers spend the most time. The mobile web, meanwhile, accounts for only 13% of the amount of time spent on mobile and is generally used for basic searches. However, native apps provide a more sophisticated experience -- they're typically faster, more interactive and serve as a dynamic two-way communications channel. Apps can utilize smartphone features like push notifications, the camera and the phonebook, and they allow businesses to get creative with personalized offers, loyalty programs and exclusive content. So while having a mobile-optimized website is important, remember that to truly deliver an enhanced mobile experience, apps are where it's at.
2. Up your game
Once you've committed to an app, think about how it can serve as an extension of your brand while providing a great experience to your users. An app allows businesses to stay top of mind by occupying coveted real estate on a user's mobile device. And while apps are capable of delivering experiences that other mediums cannot, it's imperative to consider how your app's functionality addresses your target audience's needs, desires and intentions. What utility does it offer? How can it simplify previously difficult tasks? How does it entertain and delight users? Are you using it to reach people with the right message at the right time? The easier, better or more enjoyable you can make your customer's lives, the more they'll use your app.
3. Engage users one-on-one
Not all mobile users are alike. They will demonstrate different patterns and behaviors based on any number of characteristics, such as which type of device they use, where they live, how they found your app, and of course their own personal styles and tastes. One recent study, for example, found that app engagement is highest on weekends for iOS users but that the opposite is true for Android phone owners. Insights like these can help you decide when and how to deliver content, offers and other initiatives that cater to the user's preferences and have maximum impact.
4. Become data-driven
Apps can collect a goldmine of data on your users. And with the right analysis, any business can truly get to know its customers better and understand what makes them tick. But it's up to you to harvest the right insights from your data and put it into action. In today's competitive mobile landscape, these insights can help improve the app, deliver a more personalized experience, and, when promoting your app to obtain users, to understand which marketing and advertising channels are most successful.
This last point, known as mobile attribution, is essential for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts so you can optimize your budget accordingly and attract the highest quality users to your app. "Attribution analytics are absolutely essential for app marketers in today's environment," said Oren Kaniel, founder and CEO of AppsFlyer, a mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform that helps marketers measure their mobile campaigns across Google, Facebook, Twitter and 1,500 other media sources. "Without it, marketers are simply flying blind, but the data from attribution analytics can help them get the greatest return on their investment."
5. Connect the dots
Don't let your app strategy exist in a silo. The average US household owns 5.7 Internet-connected devices, and consumers aged 18 - 64 use three or more devices every day -- which means that your business's marketing strategy should integrate all of your web, social, mobile, and even any broadcast or offline campaigns into a cohesive experience for your customers. With technologies available today, it is possible to recognize users as they move from their laptop to their smartphone to their tablet, and to create a seamless experience across all their devices.
Committing to Mobile
No one ever said that building a successful mobile strategy was easy. It requires the right mix of creativity and imagination with a data-driven mindset and an adherence to your brand. Most of all, it requires a commitment to providing the best customer experience possible. But, given that mobile serves as consumers' primary and most personal devices in today's world, the payoff for those businesses that get their mobile strategy right stands to be a game-changer.