Mobile engagement is essential for marketing

Posted by Kimberley Drobny, Vice President, Marketing

July 9, 2015; 3:35 PM

Smartphones have proven themselves to be powerful tools. These devices have gone from novel idea to essential everyday asset. In fact, people have come to rely on their smartphones so much that some researchers are prone to classifying them as addicted!unnamed_9

This sounds a lot more extreme than it is. Mobile devices have come to replace so many things for an increasing number of people, so it only makes sense that users are constantly on them. Sure, there's a good amount of time probably spent on Facebook, but when people can use one machine to handle their personal finances, check their email, make plans with friends and research their favorite topics, it's natural that many users are frequently on their personal devices.

This is good news for businesses. Things like marketing and advertising are changing in significant ways. Companies have to be concerned with mobile engagement if they really want to make a splash with their consumer base. How to best go about this, however, will vary from enterprise to enterprise.

Building trust with customers
Smartphones and tablets are tools with incredible potential. Not only is access to information easier than ever, but mobile devices have a number of features that can be leveraged to improve a user's overall experience. According to InformationWeek contributor Jonathan Feldman, the key to successful engagement could be tapping into these extra features like GPS positioning and the camera.

"In summary, those who do not seek ongoing, permission-based connection are doomed to send out perky little missives that get swatted away before they're seen, in an endless robotic arms race between marketers and anti-clutter, attention-defending bots," Feldman wrote. "And lest you get smug that you're in IT and don't have to worry, let me assure you that you do."

This concern is thanks to the growing importance of IT in the enterprise as a whole. Tech workers have gone from being behind-the-scenes magicians to some of the most important thinkers in the company. Their work now helps drive organizations forward in many ways, including - but not limited to - marketing.

Should wearables be on your radar?
Any new technology is going to have its detractors, and wearables are no exception. Smartwatches, especially, have proven to generate a lot of hype and are expected to experience increasing adoption rates after the release of the Apple Watch. A lot of early predictions see the smartwatch mainly as a sort of notification center. It's not meant to replace a smartphone, but to further augment the experience of using one.

According to Content Marketing Institute contributor Erin Rodat-Savla, the secret is "glanceability." Short messages that don't require consumers to go through the hassle of getting their phone out - and fighting for attention amidst a sea of other notifications are the best way to go. 

"To do justice to wearable tech, marketers will need to consider questions like: What information would our customers consider 'just in time' and when?" Rodat-Savla wrote. "What can our customers not do or not do easily because they're looking down at their phones instead of straight ahead?"

This new acceptance of notifications amongst smartphone-wielding customers as a necessary convenience represents some huge marketing potential. It is possible to collect information about a customer through their interactions with apps and websites. This data can then be turned around and used to prompt notifications on a smartwatch when products in line with their tastes and habits are available. Location-based notifications are also something that retailers are experimenting with. Shoppers can get a notification about a new sale or offer when they walk by a display. This is the kind of augmented and simplified experience that is helping to change the way that businesses market to consumers.

Mobility: The marketing mantra
Smartphones are powerful channels of engagement. Not only are people desiring immersive connections between the people they know, but they're also eager to interact with the businesses they love. Being able to instill constant brand awareness via an application or online portal that is always a glance away is a powerful way to keep valued consumers involved and to encourage further loyalty. 

Customers are, in many ways, the most important part of any enterprise. Making them feel connected and enabled via their personal devices should be a priority for every marketing department out there.

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Topics: Cloud Communication, marketing tools