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Advertising campaigns used to be every marketers logistic nightmare. From the initial executive pitch to allocating resources, time, banners and newspaper ads, logos, video and radio editing and more, within a significantly minuscule budget, had brand marketers at an often panicky edge.
In an earlier time marketers were generally known as salesmen, the main driving force behind ensuring revenue. In today’s technology-driven times, we coin the term “marketer” or “e-marketer” but the salesperson title still holds. Revenue is still generated from sales and selling your brand to a specific target audience is essentially vital to the success of your company.
But, what has undoubtedly changed in the last twenty years or so, has been the method. Door-to-door sales has been replaced by e-commerce sites, the cut-out magazine coupons by demand-driven digital “group coupons” (see Groupon) and the salesman’s briefcase of goods by crafty consumer inventories. These days banner advertising implies implementing snippets of HTML ad tags strategically around your website. The billboard has been replaced with the leaderboard and we’ve completely reinvented branding for the digital age.
Interaction between users or consumers and brands has deepened, with social networking sites allowing participants to actively engage, question and even influence the credibility of a particular brand. Companies have begun seeing the benefits of the interconnectivity that the social media platforms offer towards marketing and have actively adopted these strategies.
The advent of the Mobile phone and its remarkable metamorphosis from a telecommunications device into an intelligent hand-held computer has deepened the interactions between consumers and brands. When comparing the demographics, in a relatively short span, mobile internet usage has risen exponentially, outranking the long-held position of desktop computers. That said, experts in mobile technology are now predicting that mobile internet will outnumber desktop connections in the next few years and that marketers are eager to capitalise on this.
The glory of mobile marketing lies in its simplicity: 70% of the world’s population have mobile phones with a 75% annual sales growth globally in smartphones from all the leading retailers (statistics according to mobithinking.com). Essentially, every one of us who have or make use of mobile internet, are potentially willing or unwilling participants for brand marketing. Of course, getting it right is never easy and marketers have had to adopt specific strategies for this genre.
At today’s mobile discussion at the Ad Age Digital Conference, three mobile-technology innovators mentioned a few pointers on how to go about making mobile work for your brand and hinted at future mobile trends:
- “Deepen relationships with data”
– According to Gilt Groupe‘s CEO Kevin Ryan, who cites that revenue from the total sales via mobile exchanges has risen by 25% since developing a platform for mobile devices. To illustrate how Gilt Groupe has built on these relationships, he mentions how every Gilt Groupe email has been uniquely factored and suitably tailored for each user, all based on accumulative data delineating past behavior, purchases and preferences.
Foursquare CEO and co-founder, Dennis Crowley also shared a similar view, mentioning that company is concerned “with what happens after check-in.” Data observations can produce amazing statistics on user data and marketers “can start to predict behaviors” and “use data to figure out where people are and will be at different times,” Crowley continued.
- Identifying what the consumer wants
Given, this is often easier said than done as there is no concise way of knowing exactly. But, a regular at a restaurant or coffee house will tend to order the same meal or the same blend of cappuccino. Again, it involves extracting data on user behavior – what it is they are ordering, purchasing or visiting online and also how often. Jake Mintz, co-founder of Bump Technologies, mentions how “connecting the digital realm with consumer’s physical experiences” is the company’s mane focus by aiming to “deliver better experiences based on what you know about a person or interaction. Why should I stand in line in Starbucks, when I order the same thing every time?”.
Mintz mentions how Bump has began to extensively research and experiment with user history and preferences for curating purchases experiences. On entering a particular store, a customer would identify themselves by a “bump” on a mobile device that automatically alerts the retailer to key facts about the consumer and their preferences, negating the need for long queues.
- Instant gratification
Mintz went on further to admit that “The hardest challenge is in instant gratification, instant value, to the user.” The Bump software takes this into account in that it allows two users to exchange information simply by “bumping” or touching their mobile phones together. Thus far, Bump is the seventh most downloaded iOS app, highlighting the importance of simplicity and instant gratification for mobile usage. Again, this is one facet of brand marketing that marketers should choose not ignore – simplicity over complexity and instant access over two-step verification.
- Think Globally
Limiting your brand to a specific country is kind of like not being able to buy Coka-Cola in, lets say, India simply because a marketer was too narrow-minded to not think out of the box. Global mobile penetration statistics show us that more than half of users globally access the internet via their mobile phones. Get rid of localised mentalities and be prepared to market your brand across the globe. Bear in mind that adapting your brand for different languages often plays a huge role in helping you achieve this.
- Don’t hold back on that beta product
Some lessons cannot be taught by observation alone and requires experimentation, even if it means implementing your product before it’s complete. A large number of amazing breakthroughs in technology, social networking and mobile applications were successful mainly because companies were not setback on launch dates. The rule is to allow your software/ application or product the time and breadth it requires to evolve and consumer feedback will allow for this. No product is ever perfect the first time around or as Mintz puts it: “What you think you know about your users is wrong, and you won’t know until they tell you. So why waste time?”