Leveraging Mobile in Integrated Campaigns and Customer Engagement with Brands

03 December 2010

Mobile marketing. We know it’s coming. With all the CMOs have to juggle right now, some of us might wish it weren’t.  But it is, and the time is now to decide when and how we’re going to embrace it. At the recent CMO Club Summit in San Francisco, CMO Club CEO Pete Krainik convened a panel of three progressive marketers to share their views, early experiments and lessons learned in the nascent field of mobile marketing.

The first most important lesson any CMO who’s ever dabbled in mobile marketing learns is this: it’s not just about cramming laptop-sized content onto a palm-size screen. Adriana Rizzo, VP Mobile for ESPN, takes a content company’s perspective. “We’re guided by the three-screen philosophy,” Rizzo shared. “You have to develop content and think about all three screens at the beginning of your process, not just retrofit it.”

Sophie-Charlotte Moatti, Head of Product Management for Nokia, says it’s also about translating the experience to the device. “Take advantage of location-aware functionality and social graph-aware applications,” advised Moatti. For example, she points to Nokia’s work with OASIS, a fashion brand in the UK, who created a treasure hunt that led consumers to their stores through the use of location-aware messages.

It’s this sort of visceral immediacy that creates such compelling marketing experience on the mobile device. Bill Gajda, head of Global Mobile Product for Visa, says being able to message to a customer when they’re in a specific frame of mind at a specific point in time is very powerful, when architected correctly. Imagine a scenario in which a shopper swipes their card at a coffee shop known to be in a shopping mall, and the shopper receives real-time coupons redeemable at their favorite stores at that mall. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario. “Real-time interaction is going to be a very valuable tool for merchants,” Gajda predicted.

But there are challenges. For example, ROI can be tricky to measure. And for B2B marketing, the promise of mobile is not quite as compelling. As Forrester CMO Dwight Griesman noted from the crowd, mobile content and service adoption is driven by location-based relevance, real-time relevance, and being away from a desktop or laptop screen. But for B2B buyers, who are more likely to take their time comparison shopping from the comfort of their desks, these factors just don’t play as big a role.

And there’s the ever-present concern around privacy and permission—never more relevant then when marketers reach consumers on a device many consider to be their most personal mode of communication. Making sure experiences are opt-in, rather than opt-out, and keeping the marketing messages as relevant and alluring as possible may help to mitigate consumer annoyance and privacy concerns, but given the privacy and security regulation already underway in Europe, the panel advised the US to get ready—because we’re next.

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