It's no secret that marketing is becoming increasingly mobile-centric. Consumers now interact with brands on their mobile devices and expect to control the experience; the days of deluging people with pop-up and banner ads as an effective marketing strategy are simply long gone. Marketers must instead consider ways to overcome obstacles like ad blockers (an integral part of the iOS 9 update for Safari) by focusing on the context of their messages.
Oisin Lunny, Senior Market Development Manager at OpenMarket, believes that by "compiling contextual mobile web and app data, including both real-time location and location-history of a device, marketers can establish location as a proxy for a consumer’s real-world activity, interests and intent". In other words, location serves as the context to engage mobile users at moments when they're likely to be most interested, and overcome consumer fatigue associated with a barrage of ill-placed ads.
A study commissioned by OpenMarket and conducted by eDigital Research found that when a marketing message is time-sensitive and when the consumer is on the move, SMS is the best medium, with open rates of over 95%. Email and push alerts are secondary tactics that also work well when providing relevant, timely marketing messages.
An emphasis on context also means focusing on consumer-specific details. Location data becomes a driving factor in establishing context (for example, 'customer is on commute to work, consuming content on mobile'), while supplementary first or second-party behavioral data (for example, 'customer has recently been searching for budget city breaks') can be used to fill in the details important to a specific company’s product and marketing objectives.
Dmitry Aksenov, founder of DigitalGenius – an AI platform used in conjunction with SMS messaging – notes that a virtual cooking assistant partnered with his service enables users to "text in ideas for a recipe for fish, or tell it you have five people coming for dinner and need ideas. It will recognize your request and can tailor all communications around your mobile number. For example, it will remember that your spouse is a vegetarian. The levels of engagement are exceptionally high."
Consider the value of the virtual cooking assistant example or a similar, highly personalized type of communication between company and consumer compared to campaigns where banner ads fail to reach consumers in a meaningful manner – if at all. The future of effective mobile marketing therefore lies in developing meaningful context for each and every consumer, and tailoring messages accordingly.
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