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Mobile devices and mobile marketing

16/05/2017
Mobile devices and mobile marketing

Generation, population and mobile devices
Generation Y, more commonly known as the Millennials, are recognised as ‘digital natives’ or the ‘internet generation’. This group makes up 10% of the average 7.2 billion worldwide population, making it one of the largest current market segments. The people in this generation were born in the era of technology and have been surrounded by technology ever since. They have witnessed the shift from the big black and white TV box, to the small pocket gadget. Technology has in reality been drilled into the Millennials’ DNA.

evolution of cell phones
                       
Image source: https://funalive.com/articles/the-evolution-of-cell-phones_W3M.html
 
When trying to attract a consumer, the market provides us with a number of online channels. The further away the channel is to the end user, the less personal the communicated message will be. In the case of an online website, the user experience is less tailor-made than when presented by email or mobile marketing. When sending an email or SMS the company is more likely to grab the consumer’s attention and generate an instant sale when compared to promotions done on one’s website. Although this may be seen as a benefit to the use of mobile marketing, it may also carry a number of potential risks which marketers need to keep in mind - one of which is that the mobile device is a highly personal device so mobile marketing may be seen as invasive if not implemented well.
Users appear to be inseparable from their mobile device. For the majority of millennials, the mobile phone is the first thing they reach for in the morning, and more often than not, the last thing they see before they go to bed. An astonishing 83% claim to sleep with their smartphones and 32% of the younger half even use them in the bathroom.
user device focus
Image source:
http://visual.ly/reaching-50-million-users
 
The mobile phone has become an active part of our everyday lives, reaching over 50 million users in a matter of days. Consumers are constantly using the mobile device to catch-up with emails, or keep updated with their social networks or even tweet about the latest episode or event. On average, a person is said to check their phone 150 times a day, which is equivalent to once every 6.5 minutes. According to statistics, the number of active phone devices will soon surpass the worldwide population.

How can we reach more users via mobile phones?
Since consumers are spending more time on their mobile phones, marketers are seen to be following this trend through their marketing campaigns. New technologies present in mobile devices allow marketers to reach the right consumer, with the right message, anytime and anywhere. Since users carry their phones with them throughout the day, any messages sent are instantly received. Markets need to use different tactics depending on the demographics and size of their target audience and the type of message they want to deliver. Let’s take a closer look at the different mobile marketing techniques used today – from SMS marketing to more complex proximity marketing.

Mobile app development
Today, mobile app development is seen as one of the most powerful marketing tools used in business, making it one of the most feasible marketing platforms. Studies have shown that smartphone usage hours are dominated by apps, generating higher engagement, sessions and customer retention. Apps can also be developed using specific hardware such as GPS, camera etc. in order to further engage with the user.
Mobile apps are also designed with powerful analytics in order to help trace behavioural patterns, interests, usage, location, experience and even the channels that the users where directed from. This enables companies to analyse the ROI from their marketing approach as well as improve their customer experience in order to increase user retention.

SMS marketing
Companies invest in SMS marketing to communicate with their audience, as almost 100% of all mobile devices are SMS enabled giving this channel the widest reach possible. Apart from this, 90% of messages received on a mobile device are read within 3 minutes of receiving it, making it an instant inexpensive marketing tool.
A mobile device is seen as a personal device to the user and so having access to that device should classify that user as a loyal customer. This is why SMS marketing should be used as a way of giving something of value to the user. This message needs to be personalised to the end user and act as a way of sharing insider information, from a secret sale or promotional offer, to a simple thank you message sent after a purchase is made. This communication tool is a key element to build long term relationship due to the personalised message delivered to your audience.

Proximity marketing
Proximity marketing involves targeting consumers with highly personalised and relevant adverts through the use of location technologies. These ads are communicated directly to the mobile device depending on how near a user is to a specific location. This allows marketers to communicate with their audience at the right time and right place, informing them in a personalised manner about discounts, promotions and new items in store close to their current location, thus encouraging them to make a purchase in the near future.

Through this tool, one is able to push text messages or in-app push notifications to all those devices currently present in a specific location, making the message highly targeted to the audience one wants to attract. Beacons can also be used, whereby content is pushed through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections in the location of the beacon. Logging into a company’s connection will allow that company to dynamically market content to you.

The use of proximity marketing is constantly on the rise, enabling companies to increase conversion rates, sales and foot traffic into the selected store, as well as increasing user experience.
 
 
Addendum: Consumers’ mobile numbers are often obtained surreptitiously for marketing purposes, through scenarios such as over-the-counter purchasing (where a product registration or guarantee requires a contact number) accepting terms and conditions when logging onto free Wi-Fi, or simply having one’s data stored in a local hotel register or customer database. Unfortunately, opting out of promotions that are received via SMS is not as easy as replying with a request to be removed from a mailing list. Much like an email addresses which is often sold on to third parties, consumers wishing to have their privacy restored may find it difficult to trace the original source. Perhaps spam SMS filters will be a future development niche? Either way, this grey area may well be in need of closer inspection by consumer watchdogs.
 

Simeon Kirilov is a digital marketing specialist at Deloitte Digital. For more information, please visit www.deloittedigital.com.mt