How Smart Marketers Can Drive Mobile Innovations

We often hear about “hot” mobile marketing trends. But for me, what’s even more relevant are stories of companies using mobile to achieve key marketing goals.

At my company, we get to work with clients who are using mobile in smart, innovative ways to drive sales growth and build and engage loyal customers while creating new revenue streams. Here are a few ways you can incorporate some of these cutting-edge trends into your mobile campaigns:

Acquiring Loyal Customers With Mobile Wallet Passes

Just like a credit or loyalty card you keep in your pocket or purse, you can store a mobile wallet pass in your smartphone’s native digital wallet like Apple Wallet or Android Pay. When we conducted a market research study surveying 2,000 consumers last year, respondents listed mobile wallet passes among the top four ways they prefer to stay updated on offers. The others were text/SMS, websites and email.

The cool thing for marketers is that wallet passes work even if you don’t have a brand app. Plus, they are location-aware, can be updated in real-time, and can send notifications to consumers on their smartphone lock screens. Marketers can easily integrate mobile wallets into traditional efforts, making them more effective and efficient:

  • Coupons: With mobile wallet passes, you can update your coupons as often as you’d like — there’s no need for consumers to delete old passes and download something new. You could also notify users of a new offer with a change notification, or remind them in another communication channel like email, in-app messaging or text messaging to check the pass every week for the latest offer.
     

  • Loyalty cards: Inform users when they make it to the next level of your loyalty or rewards program. With updatable fields on your mobile wallet pass, you can change a user’s tier or status as they move up the ranks of your loyalty program. Once they hit a new status level, you can easily update their pass and issue a change notification, either on their phone's lock screen or as an alert. (More uses cases for mobile wallet loyalty in this post.)
     

  • ID cards: From gym memberships to insurance cards, companies can turn a once static piece of plastic into a dynamic and addressable mobile wallet pass, providing high-touch personalized messaging based on customer interactions or data. As with loyalty cards or coupons, you can associate physical locations with the pass so it will display automatically when customers are in proximity.

Mobile Apps As A Money Maker

For countless brands, investing in a mobile app pays off with deeper and more frequent interactions with their most loyal customers. Of course, apps can also help create revenue through in-app sales transactions — and more indirectly as a promotional tool for offers.

Some apps are also able to directly monetize through sponsorships. For the U.S. Tennis Association’s annual hardcourt tennis classic, the U.S. Open, we worked with the organization to deliver sponsored messages for partners including Time Warner Cable, which helped generate additional revenue and encouraged attendees to visit partner locations to take advantage of special offers. (See more about the experience in this post.) If you have a captive audience, you can easily grow sponsorship options through mobile messaging as long as it adds value.

You could also consider multiple messaging formats, such as interactive notifications, in-app messages and location relevancy. Where your customers are, where they have been and the time of day can make a huge difference in offers and messages extended to them. We’ve seen businesses achieve 4-7X response rates simply using location history as a segmentation variable. If you do have a venue(s), it gets even more interesting using proximity targeting and real-time automation for the proverbial right time, right message, right offer.

A More Meaningful In-Person Experience

Every business with an app can solicit users to explicitly provide their preferences and share their location, and glean their interests from in-app behaviors. New iOS and Android enhancements enable delivering push notifications with images or video, along with interactive buttons for effortless response. In addition, a wealth of APIs to services like Google Maps or Accuweather combine layering messaging with contextual information, like traffic and environmental conditions.

Growth Through Customer Insights

Attracting new customers, creating engaging and convenient experiences, and building loyalty through mobile leads to more revenue growth and happier customers. The more you know about your customers, the more precisely you can personalize content and offers for them. Even a single targeting variable can dramatically boost your customer response. We recommend targeting users who have been near a store in the last few months to notify them of upcoming events.

When I visited Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year (see my recap of the key trends here), I took note of something Ericsson’s Chief Innovation Officer said: “It's getting easier all the time to consume media, and therefore the experience needs to be more personal. When you use data to make content more relevant, people consume more.”

More than mere mobile marketing trends, these are innovations with practical applications for customer experiences. As corporate strategies increasingly focus on customer experience as the last and best bastion of differentiation, mobile may just be the only screen that can deliver that — wherever they may be.


This article originally appeared in Forbes.

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