American Marketer


3 quotes that guide my mobile and cross-channel strategy

July 28, 2014

Melinda Krueger is senior marketing consultant at ExactTarget Melinda Krueger is senior marketing consultant at ExactTarget


By Melinda Krueger

Like most people, I read and listen to mobile marketing pundits as much as I possibly can.

From that sea of facts and opinions, there are three quotes that truly stand out and guide my mobile and cross-channel strategy. They are simple yet profound, and I believe they will stand the test of time.

Long and short of it
This first one already has.

Way back in 2010, Thom Kennon wrote an eye-opening article in Mobile Marketer, “Why marketing is selling mobile short.”

While the entire article is definitely worth reading, I have used or considered this passage many times in the intervening years:

“Real marketing seeks to attach to existing or even latent behavior of our customers by humbly offering up and inserting perfectly placed instants of value, maybe even magic, into the human mix of natural and multiplying mobile behaviors.”

When I come across campaigns that expect customers to jump through all kinds of hoops for a very small payoff, I think: “instants of value.” I think: “natural and multiplying mobile behaviors.”

We need to focus on easy access to very quick, very powerful consumer benefits.

This is one reason I am a fan of text-to-get over QR codes. I can open an application (assuming I have one), focus on a bar code, scan and go to a Web site, or I can text a keyword to a short code.

Since texting is a natural mobile behavior, it gets my vote. If that text returns a retail offer and propels me to complete the purchase in-store, it is an instant of value for both sides.

Another excellent example is check deposit by photo.

What is a more natural smartphone activity than snapping a picture? And one less errand to run is definitely an instant of value.

As a result, virtually all the major banks offer this service and 82 percent of customers surveyed by Novarica called it a must-have feature.

Will your mobile campaign or offering stand the test of time? If they provide instants of value amid natural mobile behaviors, the answer is yes.

Fact or friction
The next quote is from Ryan Bartley of Staples from a recent Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce organized by Mobile Commerce Daily.

“Eliminating friction is more important than engagement.”

I love the audacity of this statement. We will never get to engagement if we cannot eliminate friction, so let us make that top priority.

I am astonished at the retail apps that require user name and password prior to ordering, but do not have a “remember me” option or do not have convenient password recovery. What is better than all those options?

Take a cue from financial institutions that allow users to access basic information without login or set up a four-digit PIN in place of username and password, then serve up large buttons for entry.

Yes, we understand that you want to track behavior, and login is critical to that effort. But as I always caution, do not make data capture your primary objective.

If I miss-enter my username or password a few times, I am on my way. Eliminate friction.

Friction relates to redemption as well as access. Make it easy to get, find and save your content and offers.

Engagement rings
I do not have a source for this final quote. I contacted speakers from a webinar at which it was uttered, but no one claimed it.

“One of our biggest marketing challenges is to scale our programs for the unengaged.”

We must cater to the customer with data-driven personalization wherever possible. But we do not know exactly when or how an anonymous customer or prospect will connect with us.

Mobile brings all channels together, online and offline. There is an unprecedented opportunity to harness this amazing network for top-of-the-funnel messaging.

For these messages to be coherent and effective, all channels must be coordinated. And that means tackling obstacles we have failed to overcome for decades: organizational silos.

Chief marketing officers and CEOs should devote as much attention to change management and reorganization as harnessing the power of Big Data.

Yes, it is so old school, this idea of generating awareness. We are convinced that we can read customers’ minds if only we have enough data.

I am not suggesting that we do not continue to strive for one-on-one relevance, just that we also consider the effect of coordinated brand messaging.

WE ARE VICTIMS of our discipline silos: brand versus direct, traditional versus digital.

It is an omnichannel world and we need to work with and learn from each other. Look for marketing wisdom everywhere, because mobile is everywhere.

Melinda Krueger is Milwaukee, WI-based senior marketing consultant at ExactTarget. Reach her at