How many businesses today are realizing the importance of mobile marketing? For many of them, they’ve already jumped on the social media bandwagon and are looking to the future for the next frontier. Mobile web traffic is booming and applications are being developed daily to enhance the customer experience and generate more business. From simple SMS messaging to complex location based services, mobile can be woven into any communications plan with promising ROI. The companies leading the charge are innovating with fervor and leaving nothing to chance.
Mobile technology is allowing for real time communication through cell phones, tablets and smartphones. Companies can now engage customers and prospects who are nearby and even offer tailored deals to entice them. These interactions literally place the brand into the hands of the customers and can provide that subtle, yet valuable encouragement to make a purchase. Assuming the customers give the green light, near field communications (NFC) and facial recognition can even take this concept to the next level by creating a more personal and rewarding experience.
Sadly, for many companies, a mobile marketing plan ends up being as shallow as a line of code in the website. Granted, a mobile-friendly site is a step in the right direction. The analytics show mobile-friendly websites have mobile visitors who stay longer and bounce less, which is great for business and good for SEO. However, the technology is evolving into much more than another way to view the same content and it’s becoming a new experience in itself. A unique experience that extends the brand beyond the store is what successful marketers should aim for.
Consider the notion of customer loyalty and how it’s evolving with technology. For many years now, the typical loyalty program involves reciting phone numbers and carrying easy-to-lose cards around with you everywhere. With the aid of technology, companies now have the ability to know who’s in the store and what their relationship is from a frequent flyer to a new prospect. Deals and communication can now be tailored to the wants and needs of the customers, instead of the one-size-fits-all approach. Personalized relationships are finally scalable with larger retailers and B2C organizations, allowing for a better experience akin to a mom-and-pop store.
I for one can’t wait to ditch all of my loyalty cards and have a meaningful experience throughout my buying experiences. It would certainly be nice to leave the wallet at home and still have the ability to engage and purchase. The companies that help me on that path will win my business. The ones that don’t will be an afterthought. Mobile technology, though still in its infancy, is opening doors and shaking up the whole customer relationship management side of business. How will you use it?