December 19, 2014

Mobile Marketing: A Journey That’s Unlikely a Linear One

Summary


Find and select the tactics and technology that best connect with your customers on the go.

mobile marketing

We all like to think we know how a customer discovers a business. But not every customer takes the journey we imagine when we add mobile marketing to the mix.

Many a time when I have discussed analytics with a potential client, I’ve seen some interesting ideas as to what a client believes is a customer journey.  Viewing an offer on a billboard does not mean someone will automatically stop what they’re doing and go to your website.  It will likely take a multiple number of opportunities to connect.

To make sense of those opportunities, read Mobile Marketing: How Mobile Technology Is Revolutionizing Marketing, Communications, and Advertising by Daniel Rowles (@DanielRowles). Mobile Marketing gets to the heart of effective marketing consideration of mobile device usage among consumers. I picked up my review copy via NetGallery as I was choosing a new book to read.

I think this book will answer your search for new business books to read.  Rowles, a host of a top ten business podcast on iTunes called the Digital Marketing podcast, has written a packed guide that businesses large and small will appreciate and can use.

The first chapter gets into basics of the “user journey,” labeled as discovery phrase and engagement phrase.  These lead to more organized usage of QR codes, mobile email, and mobile paid search. B2B and B2C examples exemplify Rowles’ belief that:

“. . .the journey will unlikely be a linear one.”

Rowles also ensures that the reader is not too caught up with in-person vs digital debates. Check out this comment regarding the death of in-store retail:

“So does this mean that retail is dead? No, but it means it needs to change and adapt to an environment that has radically changed. People will still go in-store, but for different reasons…The one thing you can be sure of though, is that if you are competing on price, in-store retail is going to be increasingly challenging, unless your store acts as part of a multi-channel approach.”

Greater nuanced details continue in a chapter on statistics. Mobile trends are covered, such as smartphone adoption, broadband subscriptions, and mobile social media usage, all global and all meant to better understand the end user.

The book’s second half examines and offers tips for a mobile strategy.  One chapter on apps is particularly useful for small business owners who want to create and implement a mobile app, but are not sure where to start.   The detail does not include programming language considerations, but it does cover the differences between hiring an agency vs. a freelancer, and what questions to ask.

I flat out liked how Rowles covered app development, as well as other tactics, such as the growing importance of Web analytics for multichannel reporting. An aside: The analytics chapter is a good read for those who need to understand why analytics can be more than “Web traffic.”  It is not as comprehensive as Performance Marketing, but it does drill-down to report essentials that can compliment the book, even as analytic feature sets have changed since I’ve started reviewing over 4 years ago.

This book provides terrific value because Rowles wastes no page on tech trivia, and really displays deft discernment of mobile device specifics.  Outside of the stats chapter, with its date-specified graphs, I never got an impression that the reading material would grow stale – an accomplishment given the ever growing number of ways that customers can digitally reach your business.

A few of the book details are pretty advanced stuff for small businesses. Three chapters are dedicated to augmented reality, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Short Message Service (SMS).  These chapters are still worth the page turns because Rowles describes some of the current hindrances for tech that can surprise and delight your customers further than a tweet.

For example, consider Rowles explanation of the value behind NFC and the limitations that currently exist:

“NFC is supposed to be the QR code killer. Why use an ugly QR code for which you need to launch an app before you can even scan it, when you just touch your phone onto something to do the same thing?”

He goes on to detail a limitation that can reduce NFC’s advantage:

 “…Apart from the limited number of phones that actually support NFC currently, there was initially another major hurdle to their adoption. If you are familiar with Bluetooth on your phone, you are also probably aware that many people switch it off because leaving it on drains your battery. This is also true of NFC on some devices….This means if you want to use NFC you have to go to your phone, switch the NFC on and then touch – not dissimilar to the QR code scan process.”

These insights are explained so that any professional, from the director in the corporate corner office to the owner of a bed and breakfast, can learn what a customer can experience from a campaign. Rowles’ writing and eye for details will accelerate your effort to learn best practices, instead of slowing it down.  The book’s ending segment includes a handy series of checklists ready to ensure you have the basics in place.

Read Mobile Marketing to select the tactics and tech that best connect with your customers on the go.

6 Comments ▼

Pierre DeBois - Associate Book Editor


Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.

6 Reactions

  1. Insightful article. I think most importantly this emphasises the need for business owners to understand their customers’ behaviours. We have worked with many clients where the user journey is not straight forward, especially if they have also have a physical store. How do you know which one is driving business growth? Footfall or website traffic?

    This issue is then compounded on the fact that users increasingly use multiple devices during a sales funnel. I would always recommend the following:

    Ask your customers for feedback – this can often be more enlightening than looking at quantitative data.
    Make your customers’ experience seamless across all devices and channels. Your customers expect the same experience of visiting a store to shopping online or visiting your website; if they are incongruent then this may negatively impact your conversion rate.

  2. yes mobile marketing is growing day by day and it will grow more in future. the future of market is mobile. but there also are few steps to come in mobile for business and one of the best factor is customer behavior how customer behaves with your service or product.

    i have worked for several client for mobile marketing via mobile SEO and PPC and i have found customer want’s very specific services about your produce so they can become your customer.

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