During my decade in mobile, I’ve been advocating the benefits of reaching customers anytime, anywhere on their most personal device. It’s great to see that more and more brands, agencies, media companies and enterprises have gotten on board.
Mobile marketing campaigns are a great way to reach and engage with customers and prospects. But why stop at a one-time interaction? The key to building long-term brand loyalty lies in relationships. By incorporating mobile as a part of your brand’s customer relationship management strategy, brands are able to reap the benefits of both.
Often when we think of customer relationship management, the first thing that comes to mind is large-scale, expensive implementations of enterprise software. However, in today’s mobile and socially explaiintegrated world, CRM is much more than pricy and complex code. In fact, as the “social CRM” movement has been established, we’ve moved from transaction to interaction—and mobile is an important element of that evolution.
CRM has primarily been about managing touchpoints and transactions—and has for the most part excluded mobile marketing from the mix. In its nascence, mobile marketing was siloed, primarily campaign-driven, and loosely (if at all) integrated within the overarching marketing initiatives.
However, companies like Macy’s and Simon Malls are recognizing the benefits of using mobile as a foundational element of a multi-channel marketing strategy, and are aligning and connecting CRM systems and mobile marketing platforms.
Understanding a customer’s cross-channel behavior can lend additional insight into their interests, habits and preferences. Here are a few examples of the importance of integrating mobile into your CRM strategy:
Enhance customer relationships through cross-selling – Adding mobile to traditional CRM initiatives allows us to have a more complete picture of each customer. By understanding a customer’s cross-channel behaviors, we’re able to better cross-sell and up- sell by offering them exactly what they want, when they want it.
Mobile is more timely – Statistics show that 97% of consumers will open an SMS message within four minutes of its receipt – quite simply, no other medium offers that sort of immediacy. Mobile marketing platforms interact with customers in real-time, a benefit which is wholly unavailable on other platforms.
Brands can leverage the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of mobile to gather consumer feedback at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional methods. Mobile also allows marketers to make changes to their campaigns on the fly to better capitalize on opportunities and optimize budget.
Mobile phones are megaphones – According to a recent Hipcricket survey, 40% of consumers use their mobile phone to broadcast their experiences with brands to their social networks – whether positive or negative. By integrating mobile into CRM initiatives, brands are able to proactively connect with consumers via mobile and monitor those interactions, rather than being at the mercy of a post or tweet made in the heat of a positive or negative interaction.
In-store mobile calls to action drive opt-ins – Mobile has a distinct advantage over other channels, as it has the ability to drive opt-ins (i.e. a prospect signing up to receive more information) prior to purchase. Mobile calls to action on in-store signage or traditional media like TV, radio and print which incent consumers to opt-in to receive coupons, discounts or information have excellent response rates. These programs therefore represent a great opportunity for brands to build their database before a purchase is even made.
In today’s multichannel world, where marketers are fighting for attention within a number of different mediums, we must be focused on the bottom line. While one-off programs can provide an incremental boost in sales – the real value lies in building relationships with customers, and keeping them coming back again and again.