Mobile marketing and Mcommerce continue to evolve as new features and functionality are added to smart phones that enable consumers to engage with brands beyond just searching. In fact, consumers are now using their mobile devices to search first, compare second, socially share third, and then finally purchase. It appears that the consumer’s mobile purchasing journey is underway and consumers are starting to feel more comfortable with purchases. An article posted 11/21/12 by Mobile Marketing Charts summarizes the results of an IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence survey of 20,000 consumers in the top 15 DMA’s. The results identified the top 5 mobile savvy cities in America.
What is interesting is that Houston, Texas is the leader for the second year in a row by over indexing with a score of 119.6, with Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York following. As you start to look at Houston’s mobile data, it becomes very clear that in fact “everything is bigger” in Texas. “To earn its top ranking, Houston boasted a 77% smart mobile device (smart phone, tablet, or e-reader) adoption rate (#2 for this measure), a retail app ownership index of 131 (#2), a social media app ownership index of 106, and 22% of consumers who say they are influenced by mobile coupons (#1).”
When we start to look at more of the data it is becoming very clear that consumers are adopting and ready for brands to provide them a mobile optimized experience at all levels of engagement. The IAB mobile shopper report identified the following details overall:
· 81% of smart phone owners have accessed retailers mobile site or apps
· Smart phone ownership is now split between males and females
· Over half of smart phones owners and nearly 30% of tablet owners have used their device while in store
· 68.3% of Americans own a smart phone, tablet or reader in 2012, which is up from 57.2% in 2011
· 47% of smart phones owners say they have a QR code reader installed on their device
So if the data supports consumer adoption, engagement and sales, why are some of our biggest brands slow to adopt mobile optimized digital assets? I am sure there are several reasons for this, which may include not having a trusted advisor that understands and practices mobile marketing; not having the ability or insight to look at their consumer’s behaviors and habits; or they may have had a bad experience with a campaign. And the list goes on. Brands, now is the time to be mobile optimizing for your consumers. It is not just thinking about mobile or just SMS, it is looking at it from a 360-degree approach and selecting the proper tactics to communicate with your consumers. In order to develop a sustained mobile program that provides list growth, engagement, loyalty and revenue, it takes people, processes, and platforms. It means partnering with the right vendor that understands every level of developing a strategy/plan; mapping customer journeys and contact strategies; knowing how to develop a playbook for success; understanding the agency/vendor ecosystem; having details of mobile consumer privacy; knowing how to rollout the program through a production schedule; and last but not least, developing a connected CRM strategy. This allows the data to be collected and analyzed, reviewed, and reported on with valuable insights on how to communicate and engage to your consumers through every step of their mobile journey.