In the last few decades, marketing primarily involved utilizing the media, the internet, and email to engage with consumers. But it's a different world today, when almost the worst thing that could happen to most people is losing a smartphone. That's according to Christopher Dean, CEO of Swrve, a San Francisco-based startup that is seeing triple-digit revenue growth by helping clients including The Guardian, Conde Nast, Warner Brothers, and Microsoft engage with mobile consumers. Here's what Dean says about what companies need to know about how marketing isn't what it used to be.
1. Marketing is no longer public, it's personal.
Unlike traditional marketing in public spaces--such as billboards, magazines, and television--the smartphone is a highly personal space for the consumer, and requires an entirely different engagement model. Marketing here, where people spend the majority of their time, needs to be tailored to the experience users expect when they engage with apps. In other words, however you're trying to engage with consumers, it needs to be personal, immediate, relevant in real-time, and in-context. Plus, the entire experience needs to feel seamless and frictionless, which can be a challenge for digital marketers.
2. Marketers must create opportunities to communicate with consumers, not at them.
Marketing has traditionally involved companies serving branded messages to consumers with little to no feedback on how these messages impact recipients. Yet consumers prefer to have a say in what they interact with. Technology now allows companies to have authentic conversations via things like "yes or no" options and content approvals or disapprovals, as well as full-blown surveys. Essentially, every marketing engagement should feel like a conversation.
3. Mobile is your customer's preferred screen.
Companies that have invested heavily in solutions for email and desktop marketing but haven't expanded into mobile are now behind. Email, which was once considered an innovative way to reach consumers, now has become one of the most annoying and interruptive forms of marketing. Instead, consider these numbers:
- Smartphone owners check their phones an average of 150 times a day.
- About 371,000 babies are born every day, while 813,000 iPhones are sold every day.
- Fifty-one percent of all digital time is spent on mobile, and it will increase to 66 percent in the next two years.
In essence, consumers are focused on their mobile devices. Marketers should be, as well.
4. Customers are never offline.
Before mobile, brands had a limited number of opportunities to engage with consumers--when they were tuned into a show, logging online to check email, or as they drove past a billboard. Thanks to the smartphone, there is never a moment when companies can't be connecting with customers. In fact, Forrester analyst Julie Ask calculates there are over 30 billion mobile moments up for grabs every day.
"This creates a need for brands to be consistent at different touch points, telling the same story, measuring engagement, and making changes to enhance the user experience," Dean says. "Never before have we been able to shift strategy so quickly to answer to customer needs, and never before has it been so necessary to do so."