American Marketer


Mobile is a state of mind, not a buzzword

March 22, 2012

Craig Besnoy is U.S. managing director at Netbiscuits


By Craig Besnoy

It is something we hear too often in meetings and conversations with mobile marketers and those in charge of their company’s commerce initiatives.

“Oh yeah, we have a mobile strategy. Our ecommerce provider has an out-of-the-box solution we’re going to use.”

Channeling right

By avoiding the effort necessary to identify mobile touch points between the overall business and consumers, these marketers are simply checking the mobile box on their marketing and sales strategy.

Many times marketers are doing this to satisfy senior management.

In the rush to appease, mobile becomes just another channel.

Inevitably these companies fail to realize the financial opportunity that mobile can bring and must go back, after spending significant money and time, to reexamine their mobile strategy to realize success.

Mobile is not a channel, it is not a buzzword or a check-boxed decision.

Mobile is a key component of an integrated sales solution.

To establish deep relationships with consumers and to capitalize on incremental sales opportunities when they happen, marketers must change the way they think about mobile. Marketers must think about mobile first.

Three principles
Three basic mobile principles can be used as a guide to integrate mobile into the corporate culture and to have mobile seen as a valuable part of generating revenue.

First, traditional marketing communications must have mobile elements to be effective.

It might sound simple, but leveraging QR codes, SMS coupons and Web links that drive users to mobile optimized landing pages will provide incremental revenue and customer interaction.

Make sure you have the right tools – such as GPS, analytics, SEO – at your disposal.

Come to market with business intelligence built into your mobile site. You must be able to control pricing and product availability by geographic location.

If a consumer tries to purchase that new pair of shoes and your mobile site does not know those shoes are out of stock at the nearest store, you are providing her with a poor experience. The odds are, the consumer will not return.

Second, all engagements, no matter where they occur, whether it be, mobile, in-store, or online, must be integrated into a single CRM database, not a mobile-only database.

Do not use your mobile consumer interaction to capture consumer information as you would on a PC.

Rather, leverage the unique information that mobile provides to support how, where and why the consumer is shopping on her device.

Make information like sales, discounts, and coupon offerings geographically relevant. Allow consumers to easily access loyalty rewards programs.

Ensure that every time the mobile consumer makes a purchase on mobile, you are customizing that experience by location, purchase history, and brand preferences.

These tips will enable you to establish a closer relationship with the consumer.

Finally, all mobile communications must be simultaneous with your traditional online and offline communication.

Make sure that your mobile team works in close coordination with your bricks-and-mortar stores.

In-store sales are still the king of the commerce bottom line. Therefore, it is imperative that goals, strategies and tactics are aligned between business units.

Retailers need to use mobile to create in-store commerce activities that desktop engagements just cannot do.

When measuring success, look beyond simply how many transactions occur on mobile and focus on how many in-store purchases your mobile strategy is generating.

BY EXECUTING ON these three principles mobile becomes incremental, not substitutional.

Mobile commerce is location-based. Many mobile transactions occur in the spur of the moment.

Remember, in a mobile-influenced transaction, the actual purchase can take place almost anywhere at any time including within a traditional retail environment.

With a majority of the world’s consumers getting their Internet via a mobile broadband connection versus a fixed Internet line, it is more important than ever that retailers understand that mobile is not a channel.

Craig Besnoy is U.S. managing director at Netbiscuits, New York. Reach him at