5 Strategies for Mobilizing Your Brand
Chief marketing officers and brand managers are increasingly aware of mobile’s importance for connecting with consumers. They're talking about mobile and diving into launch sites and apps as fast as they can. However, only a few brands are really cracking the code. The brands that are getting it right started with some basic tenets and knowledge bases: know your consumers, yourself, your strategy, your brand, your competition, your goals and objectives, and your mobile best practices.
1. Integrate your strategy. Mobile is a state of being, embedded in the lives of busy consumers. It's not a stand-alone channel or singular marketing tactic. Instead, mobile must work to ensure a brand is creating O.P.E.N. (on-demand, personal, engaging, networked) experiences with and for consumers. Don’t rush off on a tactical mission to launch a mobile site or app without first looking at how it plays in your customers’ lives, with your other channels, and how it mirrors the measure of your brand. That means having a strategy that brings mobile into the fold of your other channels (e.g., destination site, in-store, social, etc.) rather than treating it as a stand-alone or orbiting channel.
2. Create always-on experiences. Mobile elevates itself to a new level of importance for consumers and brands because the expectation and experience is 24/7. Now that consumers can find everything from a clean restroom (via the Charmin-sponsored Sit or Squat app) to a great place to eat nearby (e.g., Urban Spoon's app), their demands and expectations reach beyond the destination site or brick-and-mortar store.
Mobile creates opportunities not just to be always-on, but always reactive, responsive and available for consultation. Make the most of this ever-present channel by engaging consumers with 24/7 brand experiences that fit into their fast-moving lives. Catch up with them at the checkout stand with brief, on-brand games and polls (e.g., Gain’s Get a Sniff of Me Quiz). Excite consumers with the immediacy and evanescence of mobile flash sales, or meet them at the airport gate with geo-targeted features on stores and sales in the city where they’ve just landed.
3. Mobilize for commerce and connectivity. The "e" in e-commerce has evolved from its original meaning (electronic) to one infused with a more mobile joie de vivre: everywhere. Mobile commerce is making its mark in multiple ways. Not only is it allowing consumers to buy directly from mobile websites and apps, but it's also serving as the connective tissue that powers purchasing as well as sharing for decision support in other channels. This kind of O.P.E.N. mobile commerce connectivity isn’t just a nice to have concept for brand futurists. It’s already happening, and happening quickly, as mobile aligns with other channels to shape more compelling commerce experiences than they could individually.
4. Optimize for return on investment. Savvy brands view mobile as a new type of canvas, not simply a smaller replica of their existing brand landscape. Rather than shrinking your brand to fit in consumers’ back pockets, develop an optimization strategy to make it shine brightly in the evolving space of smartphones and tablets. Mobile optimization takes brands further and faster by creating compelling experiences that inspire fresh consumer interactions, exploration and transactions.
5. Engage with apps and ads. A truly O.P.E.N. brand incorporates engaging experiences that help define its optimal level of openness. As with optimization vs. miniaturization for interaction and transaction, brands must envision the mobile experience as an entirely new opportunity to create experiences uniquely suited to the mobile environment. Mobile apps and ads that engage and inspire, without simply replicating destination site or in-store experiences, earn brands more attention, commerce and word-of-mouth — or in today’s social lingo, "shareability.” Don’t reinvent the wheel for mobile, reinvent where that wheel is taking your brand.
By the end of this year, an estimated 1 billion people around the world will be connected to the mobile web, and 50 percent of all Americans will own a smartphone. With the explosion of web-enabled mobile devices, mobile usage is now on a hockey stick trajectory. Searches on smartphones and tablets have increased four times previous levels in the last year, and the world of mobile apps continues to engage mobile users in their every waking moment. Make sure your brand isn’t left behind.