Marketing Where Mobile and Social Merge

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merge_smallADOTAS – For marketers, the “year of mobile” has been a rolling deadline, one that most experts agree was squarely met in 2010. With steadily increasing promise, mobile marketing truly accelerated last year, fueled initially by high-profile acquisitions and bolstered by major brands such as Macy’s and MillerCoors conducting major product launches and campaigns through mobile.

Beyond its obvious benefits—the ability to reach consumers on their most personal of devices, their mobile handsets—mobile has succeeded primarily because of its ability to bolster marketing and advertising investments made in other media—say, a call-to-action on an auto manufacturer’s billboard, a text-to-join loyalty club for a local Top 40 radio station, a mobile coupon offer for a free roast beef sandwich through a live television commercial in exchange for a mobile number, or a QR code on your favorite beer that allows you to receive St. Patrick’s Day toasts via text when you scan it with your phone.

If mobile marketing’s arrival was rolling thunder, social media marketing has announced itself with hurricane force. According to Deloitte, more than 1 billion social network users will see more than 2 trillion ads in 2011.

Think about these numbers for a minute – they are staggering. Yet, mobile can make them better.

Facebook and Twitter: Following Radio’s Lead

Many of the earliest examples of mobile’s success were from radio stations looking to stem their spot-advertising losses while increasing their engagement with listeners when the radio was off. Mobile loyalty clubs allowed listeners to opt in to receive compelling content from the station, its personalities and their favorite artists; in return, the radio station had a means to connect with listeners throughout the day, and a valuable database it could share with sponsors while exercising responsible stewardship.

It’s already worked for print, television and radio. The next medium—the social networks—is mobile marketing’s logical progression.

Here’s why mobile-and-social together make sense to reach engaged, opted-in consumers:

They’re already going mobile to get social. Consumers are already accessing social media sites via their mobile devices: nearly 50 million of them, says eMarketer; and mobile users are twice as active as those accessing through a PC, says Facebook.

Since they’re already connecting with their favorite brands on social media, often using their mobile device; the logical progression is to extend that connection right to their phone, through compelling content that reaches them when they’re not on Facebook.

They want the interaction with their favorite brands on this medium. In fact, they’re waiting for it. According to Hipcricket’s third annual Mobile Marketing Survey, 57% of consumers would be interested in opting into a brand’s loyalty club via a mobile social marketing network. And 90% of consumers get value from the loyalty clubs they join. Yet 80% of them still haven’t been marketed to by their favorite brands on their mobile devices.

For advertisers, the reasons are just as clear:

They already have the customer data. Advertisers can easily capture multiple levels of opt-in data from their Facebook fans, including email addresses, mobile phone numbers and locations. In many cases, they just need to ask permission to interact via mobile.

Mobile helps them use the data better. Mobile marketing enables them to further leverage customer data with more-targeted offerings.  And consumers have shown an increasing willingness to exchange personal data for savings.

For example, location-based social networks have created new hyperlocal advertising capabilities (“check in here to receive 10% off of a haircut”). It’s one thing to hit a customer when they’re already checking in—but what about the ability to send a location-specific offer to an opted-in member of a customer loyalty club to get them to make an additional visit? “It’s been a month since your last haircut, and we see you’ve been in the neighborhood; since you opted in to get these reminders, how about 10% off if you come in today?”

The convergence of mobile and social presents brands with incredible new opportunities to interact with consumers. The customers are there, and they want more. And mobile marketing plus social media marketing together makes that possible.

1 COMMENT

  1. great post Eric.Lovely content.Social Media Marketing is becoming more and more effective as new varieties of smart phones have been released into the market.Most of them comes with inbuilt apps to access face book, twitter,foursquare etc. on the go.Specially,services like foursquare are found more effective in cell phones than in any other device.

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