Mobile has been seen as an important marketing strategy for a number of years now and many advertisers increase their budgets substantially every year to reflect this. But, a recent report – the State of Mobile Advertising 2016 – found that a full 56% of advertisers admit to only being at the beginner stage when it comes to mobile advertising efforts. There seems to be quite the discrepancy between what a marketer wants to do and how they’re doing it.
That same survey found that only 13% of these advertisers considered themselves to be at an advanced stage, with a mobile-first approach as part of their integrated mobile strategy. Even though we’ve known that mobile marketing is super important to our business, and we are spending more money on it, we still don’t feel like we are getting it right. Let’s figure that one out.
In a recent Forbes Magazine article, Steve Olenski tells us that in 2012, the same percentage of people couldn’t get it right when it came to mobile marketing. At that time 16% of companies had a mobile strategy that fostered customer engagement and lead directly to more sales. Four years later, marketers have spent piles of cash on mobile, but haven’t learned a great deal.

What’s Going On?

The reasons why this is happening are actually quite simple. Marketers don’t know how to measure ROI when it comes to mobile advertising. On top of this, they don’t have a very good understanding of how mobile users navigate a site through a mobile ad. But, the biggest reason, cites Olenski, is there is a huge lack of personalization coming across in mobile efforts. While it has been shown that personalization is one of the biggest targets for marketing, only a slim 20% use this tactic in their mobile apps.
The Huffington Post dubbed 2016 “The Year of the Connected Customer”, where at least 1/5th of Americans are online “almost constantly”. This article stated that marketers need to make a concerted effort to stay relevant in this connected world and to do so means to “maintain and foster 1-to-1 customer relationships”.
Connecting with your customer is the key to getting them to engage and when they do this, they are more likely to convert.

What Can You Do About It?

Denise Karkos, CMO of TD Ameritrade, in the same Forbes article believes that you need to leverage timely data and insights, so you show up “authentically”. She says a mobile device is “representative of an intimate connection that brands need to respect”.
Some ideas to connect with customers on mobile include:
• Delivering self-service capabilities like mobile case management apps
• Creating customer-facing business apps by citizen developers
• Investing in community and e-commerce platforms
• Adopting strategies that incorporate wearable technology
• Developing a marketing hub that will deliver customer insights from all channels across the entire business
Some analysts believe that mobile marketing is still in its infancy, especially when compared to email marketing. While people have a need for speed when it comes to gaining information, only time will give marketers the answers to how to “do” mobile.

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