RoadBlock Ahead: How Navigating Through Traffic Can Be A Lot Like Navigating Through Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketers need to figure out how to change lanes when their proximity efforts reach an impasse in an increasingly crowded marketplace, says ShopAdvisor's Jeff Papows
According to CNN, Americans were stuck in traffic for more than 8 billion hours in 2015. And I’m sure that once the numbers are tallied it will be more in 2016. Invariably when we hit a traffic jam or roadblock we try to find a work around.
Maybe you use Google Maps, Waze or something else to find that alternative route. The point is almost all of us follow set patterns to reach our destinations and rarely have a plan B in mind until we hit that snag. Unfortunately more often than not it’s too late to try that alternative route. That means a lot of time can be wasted sitting in traffic and going nowhere.
A Hubspot survey revealed that US marketers devote roughly 16 hours per a 45-hour workweek on day-to-day routine marketing tasks such as lists, monitoring social media and creating email campaigns.
Based on that, we can assume the other 29 some hours are spent researching and analyzing the latest and greatest innovations to apply to their marketing strategies, with a majority of strategy being placed on mobile. That’s roughly 1,500 hours per year spent trying out new vehicles and paths to reaching the ultimate destination — the consumer. Sometimes you get there, but often you end up kind of lost or just one of thousands of marketing messengers stuck in a traffic jam on the same road to the consumer with little hope of getting there first. Quite frankly, it’s become a traffic nightmare.
If you are a marketing road warrior like me, then you should relate to what I have to say next. The rapid adoption of mobile has changed marketing forever. And, if you’re not in the proper lane, you’re going to get stuck, or worse yet, run over.
Google reported last November that they will begin ranking its search listing based on mobile content.
That means the mobile highway lanes to the consumer are already jammed and it’s going to get worse. But in our haste to get in the fast lane any of us could easily take a wrong turn and end up lost in a confusing pattern of mobile marketing roads that lead to nowhere, instead of clear and concise open lanes that will take your customer to the ultimate destination.
So, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer?
Are you stuck behind a mobile marketing strategy that is not getting you the results you need? Are your proximity mobile campaigns breaking down on the side of the road? Are you constantly wondering which lane you should (or should not) be in? Or, are you switching lanes too much? Regardless of what kind of driver you are, you need some guidance to get you to where you want to be. So, let buckle up and review some important tools that can put you in the fast lane to mobile marketing success.
- Product Intelligence — Ask yourself this: What is the point of a mobile campaign that is going to send your consumers to a store that doesn’t have the product you are promoting? Seems pretty obvious, right? However, you would be shocked at the number of companies who don’t know for sure whether their products are in the stories they are targeting. 79 percent of shoppers enjoy receiving product offers, whether through a mobile app, banner ad or SMS message. Furthermore, 66% of those shoppers prefer to touch, feel and have the opportunity to purchase the product immediately. The desire is there, but if you do not have the back end product availability data to support that desire, you’re going to get cut off. Here’s an example: if you are putting a push notification for the latest Titleist driver in front of me on my iPhone with an offer of 20 percent off if I purchase in-store, you better believe I’m not going to be a happy shopper if I get to that store and that driver is out of stock. You just lost a customer because you didn’t know where your product.
- Context Intelligence — Ask any merchandiser and they will tell you that a shopper’s context can make all the difference in converting a lead to a sale. Things like season, time of day, location, weather, and even traveling patterns are all key factors that must be considered when trying to deliver the right message at the right time to the right place. Without context, audiences get confused as to why you are communicating with them. What if you received a push notification for 50 percent off umbrellas while it was 82 degrees with clear skies and no chance of rain? Again, we see many marketers wasting countless amounts of ad dollars on messages that are totally irrelevant to consumers. 70% of mobile users said they allow push notifications. So, let’s push them exactly what they want.
- Shopper Intelligence — Shoppers today are more connected, and savvier than ever. The wealth of product information and the myriad ways to consume it have made it increasingly more difficult for marketers to get their share of attention and effectively target their ideal customers. Forget generic demographics. Today, retailers have the capability to examine the rawest behaviors of shoppers through their mobile activity. Take for instance two shoppers – both female, age 29, moms, living in Idaho and making 50k per year. Though they may seem the same, their shopping habits, preferences, purchase-intent and brand loyalties are a case of apples to oranges. Get to know your customers because they could teach you a thing or two!
- Pre-Campaign Analysis — US marketers spend nearly $182 billion on advertising. Yes, billion. And a lot of that is wasted. Bannersnack.com tells us that 54% of users don’t even click banner ads anymore because they don’t trust them. How is it that marketers aren’t putting more emphasis on researching or testing how their campaign will perform or the elements they could be faced with before they drop a whole lot of Ben Franklins on a digital marketing campaign? The best strategy in the world can fail if you promote and push shoppers from their beloved smartphones to locations that do not have your product. Their trust in you and your ads could go out the window. If you are not analyzing the way your consumers are researching you or getting to your product ahead of time, then you have definitely hit a roadblock my friend.
- Sales Lift Analysis — How do you measure the impact of your mobile campaigns? CTR, coupon redemption, app downloads, impressions? All are great, but all are generic. With these basic analytics, you are missing a few key elements such as, how the campaign will affect your customer’s engagement in the long run, what their in-app spend was and how their conversion rates stacked up. A sales lift analysis can tell you a lot and help keep things in perspective.
So, I ask you again, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer?
Or, are you just a marketer who is looking to block out all of the noise and simplify your mobile marketing strategy?
You may not have the answer, and that’s okay because sometimes we get lost in the sea of taillights. But, from one road warrior to another, I recommend that you really scrutinize your current plan because mobile, like traffic, is not going anywhere.
Think about what is missing in your mobile campaigns, what roadblocks are you hitting along the way, or worse, what is causing you to stall out? You may not become the Jeff Gordon of mobile marketing, but I am confident that you will get to your destination faster than your competitors.
*Jeff Papows is the CEO of proximity marketing platform ShopAdvisor. He has led public offerings, four mergers, and consistently contributed to a high return on invested capital or market capitalization throughout his 30-year career. Jeff is widely credited for growing the industry dominant standard in web-based messaging as CEO of Lotus Corporation, and has also held senior management positions at Cognos, Software International and Cullinet Software.