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3 Ways to Gear Up for the Shift Toward Mobile Marketing

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

Customers have moved to mobile channels at such a pace that it has left marketers with whiplash. This trend only accelerated in 2016 and promises to hit a tipping point into a majority share of traffic in 2017. Some are already claiming it has become the preferred channel for their customer bases, with more than half of their e-commerce transactions taking place on mobile devices. On Black Friday 2016, Target said 60% of their online sales took place on mobile devices.

The move to mobile happened so suddenly that marketing departments are struggling to keep up and adopt the new tools and mindsets necessary to market to these mobile consumers. If your company is struggling, you’re not alone.

We’ve seen similar challenges play out repeatedly across many companies, and we can offer some advice on how to best address the challenges that all businesses face in the wake of the mobile movement.

Women carrying shopping bags and using smartphone

Here are 3 ways to gear up for the shift toward mobile marketing:

1. Resource Reallocation

Marketing department headcounts, budget allocation, and mindsets cannot change overnight. Many organizations have always viewed their websites as the nucleus of their company-customer interactions, and for good reason: their ecommerce websites are fully designed and optimized to deliver the best desktop e-commerce experience.

Resources are also appropriately allocated as per the company’s priority channels of web and email, with the majority of team members supporting those two initiatives. Mobile likely has a place at the table, but it’s secondary to the more strategically mature web and email channels.

All of this started to change in 2016, when mobile took center stage, revealing that marketing departments needed to become more agile. The sooner companies accept the new mobile-centric reality and reorganize their teams, budgets, and mindsets accordingly, the more likely they are to win the game. This shift presents a once-in-a-decade opportunity to seize the moment and make the right strategic moves early on. It’s especially important for companies that were laggards in creating world-class web experiences; now is the time to rewrite their legacies and master the new game: mobile.

In 2017, marketing leaders have some immediate decisions to make. Is the right answer to bring in new mobile marketing talent? Or should they bolster web- and email-focused team members? Many are choosing to challenge email marketers with growth hacking and mobile marketing.

The current state of mobile adoption will not lend brands the luxury to wait and debate. Mobile-first companies will have to ramp up with mobile marketing expertise, create a new mobile strategy, and move to execution immediately.

2. Technology Selection

Now that marketers have decided to face the mobile reality head-on, they will need to select the tools and technologies necessary to deliver a rich and engaging customer experience. Companies will select a technology that supports their mobile marketing aspirations, such as delivering automated push messages or rich media messages, personalizing mobile messages (SMS or mobile app push) and intelligently targeting specific customer segments.

To scale this solution, marketers need a platform that supports campaign automation based on customer behavior. This ensures that ‘key customer buying moments’ are not missed, and it moves the heavy lifting of these campaigns to the intelligent technology. For example, marketers will want to notify customers if there is a sale on one of the items the customer had recently browsed. This should happen automatically once the marketing platform recognizes the scenario has occurred.

3. Cross-Channel Integration

Once companies define their use cases and requirements, it is time to shop for and choose a mobile marketing platform. We encourage consideration of another very important requirement: cross-channel integration. While the mobile marketing team might only have the authority or budget to purchase a mobile solution, the day will come when senior leadership will ask why they cannot see the entire customer journey for their priority customer segments. Or why a customer who was sent a promotion through email, received a different promotion through the mobile app.

While marketers may not have the full authority to overhaul the marketing technology suite, it would be a mistake to select a point solution that worked for the immediate mobile engagement and marketing needs, but limited the ability to integrate marketing across channels, when the time comes. And that time will come.

At Emarsys, we have witnessed this scenario play out, and that is why we emphasize our multi-channel and fully integrated B2C marketing cloud, in addition to our exemplary mobile engagement product suite. Our platform supports nearly every mobile marketing use case and need, while still providing a fully integrated cross-channel solution.

While cross-channel capabilities may not seem like a priority as you decide which marketing software your company should next purchase, they certainly will be in the not-so-distant future. So, as you add tools to your marketing toolbox, be sure to take every opportunity to plan for a not-so-distant, fully integrated, future.

Final Thoughts

Due to the expectation that mobile will play an even larger role in marketing this year than ever before, marketers must keep up with the trend. With the right resources, technology, and strategy in place, marketers are poised to see a mobile as a key to customer traffic in 2017.

To learn more about how Emarsys can help your organization connect with customers on their most valuable and trusted device, visit our mobile marketing solutions page.

Meet us at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 27th – March 2nd!

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