One ingredient your mobile marketing strategy must have (and how to do it)

We all know that people (customers, buyers, visitors) are attached at the hip and hand to their mobile devices. Mobile isn’t just the future of how and where we market to people with personal, optimized experiences, it’s the now. But just because mobile devices now outnumber people on planet earth doesn’t mean you should drop your current marketing strategy and only focus on mobile.

Instead, it’s vital that you don’t think about mobile in isolation (just like at the gym it can’t be leg day everyday). To be a successful and run a well-balanced marketing strategy, you must consider how it fits with your other marketing initiatives. Thinking about and integrating your mobile marketing into your marketing strategy will create a seamless, and fantastic, customer experience that ultimately delivers the results you want.

Mobile marketing can’t exist in a vacuum

How are you communicating with people today, whether they are your prospects, customers or loyal advocates? You need to look at your entire marketing calendar to determine what other communications you’re sending and from where. Examples of this include sending out emails, engaging with customers on social channels and implementing other cross-channel communications like location-based push notifications. To be successful in any marketing channel, you need to listen to your customers to determine where they are and what they do. Evaluate how those interactions work in harmony? You want to deliver coordinated, relevant, customer experiences across all of the channels your buyers use.

Build your cross-channel marketing muscle

You have to get started somewhere, and you probably don’t want to stumble out of the starting blocks. Practice does matter, so start building your cross-channel marketing muscle now. Here are two steps to help you begin to build audiences across channels:

1. Listen: Using your marketing automation platform, listen to how people engage on one channel and use that to build up your other channels. For example, with web personalization, you can detect mobile web visitors and direct them to download your mobile app. This is similar to how most websites offer an easy way to sign up for an email subscription.

2. Leverage: Leverage your insights on cross-channel behaviors to engage audiences. Using a marketing automation platform, you can monitor key metrics that help you listen for indicators inside the mobile app. Then you can deliver relevant messages on other channels. Using this model, you can determine which channels people prefer and build your campaign strategy based on those preferences. For example, you can target people who aren’t opening your emails with push notifications. Or, for those who come to your website and your mobile app, you can “listen” to the type of information they engage with in your mobile app and “leverage” it to present similar, relevant information on your website.

Frequency and relevance

Like any fitness program that you start—where you want real results—you need to set up realistic expectations of how often you’ll workout and what kind of diet you’ll maintain. Similarly, with your audience you’ll need to spend time defining and then commit to how often you send communications, particularly email, needs to be reconciled with your mobile strategy—especially if you are engaging in mobile notifications of any kind. You want to ensure all communications are in sync. If a customer completes an action in your app, you want to be listening to that action and responding accordingly. This is where your marketing automation platform comes in handy.

The first step is to determine your overall communication cadence. How often do you want to engage with your customers? This often isn’t a question that you can just answer alone. Meet with stakeholders in your organization to decide what this number should be and then be sure to test and iterate to determine the optimal number of touches based on your results.

Let’s take a look at a sample customer communication plan. Of course, based on your organization, who you’re communicating with, and the goals of your team, your communication plan will vary.

  • Day 1: Mobile application download
  • Day 1: An immediate push notification to prompt action
  • Day 1: A thank-you email is sent
  • Day 10: A push notification is sent to mobile device based on behavior
  • Day 15: Website personalization offer based on persona and app usage
  • Day 30: A check-in email is sent
  • Day 35: Social campaign on new app features
  • Day 45: An email is sent based on app usage
  • Day 55: An in-app message is delivered
  • Day 65: Personalized ad on Facebook is shown using re-targeting

Take it to the next level

Just like a personal trainer or a foam roller can take your workout to the next level, it’s important to have the right tools when you’re looking to set yourself and your team up for success. You need to see all of your campaigns in one place so you know exactly which marketing activities are taking place across all channels. You need to track database emails, social campaigns, and your mobile campaigns at any given time.

A marketing calendar—whether it’s on a whiteboard, Google Calendar, or one purposefully built for marketers like in Marketo—is an ideal place to ensure you are not over-marketing to certain people. At Marketo, we use our platform’s marketing calendar to provide a holistic view of all communications with our database across every channel and across the entire marketing department. We include and can see event invites, social campaigns, mobile push notifications and so on. With a holistic view, you can see exactly who you communicate with and when.

See results & maintain momentum

Understanding your progress and then finding areas to improve is critical in almost anything you do in life. It’s why we measure our PR when we run and determine how we can train better for next time, and why we need the tools to measure our efforts in marketing. Connecting your mobile strategy and marketing automation platform will help you to improve the customer experience across all of your mobile channels through automation, personalization, data, and analytics. It can instantly change the customer experience by listening and analyzing behavior in real-time and delivering personalized experiences. By incorporating marketing automation capabilities, you can increase engagement and create a scalable, cohesive, and automated engagement strategy that’s tailored to your customers’ needs. Integrating mobile into marketing automation creates multiple touch-points and chances for engaging your customers. While there is a range of mobile focused marketing automation features available, here are six that are critically important:

  • SMS/MMS Campaigns: Sending SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multi-Media Message Service) texts and notifications to a user’s mobile phone.
  • Push Notifications: Trigger-based notifications sent directly to a user’s mobile device after having installed an app.
  • A/B and Multivariate Testing: Testing multiple elements of a mobile message, campaign, or interface to identify optimal engagement.
  • Segment Targeting: Identify and target various segments based on mobile usage, personas, or behaviors.
  • In-App Messaging: Design and deliver customized messages that appear in-app to promote user engagement.
  • Coordinated Cross-Channel Campaigns: Ability to communicate on one channel informed by actions taken on another channel. For example, push messages based on actions taken in web, email, or social.
  • Listening to Key Mobile Behaviors: Listen and react to key mobile behaviors such as who is installing your mobile app, visiting your mobile website, opening emails on mobile devices, and performing other customer in-app activities

So if you’re looking for gains—not in the gym, but with your mobile marketing. The best place that you can start is by looking across your marketing strategy and identifying ways to include mobile in the customer experience and journey. Understanding that many people have more than one mobile device, and that they expect a continuous, personal experience that’s only delivered by a coordinated experience across every channel.

Meet Matthew

Matt joined Marketo in 2013. Before Marketo, Matt spent 6 years at Texas Instruments, where he held positions in sales, marketing and business development. He was responsible for Business Development and Product Management at Rovi Corp. Most recently, Matt helped launch LineStream Technologies as the VP of Marketing. Matt holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Santa Clara University and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and newborn son and spends his spare time playing golf and cooking.

Hear Matthew speak at MobCon 2015.

Photo courtesy of Yganko.