How to Market to Customers via Mobile Marketing

October 9, 2018
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Marketers should explore these 3 use cases to lay the foundation for mobile marketing strategies.

The range of mobile marketing options available to marketers is on full display in any given coffee shop.

  • In the back of the line, a woman changes her upcoming travel itinerary using consumer messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
  • In the front of the line, a man receives a 20% discount coupon via SMS from a brand he recently visited online.
  • As he waits to receive his cappuccino, a recent graduate opens a push notification in the coffee shop’s branded app that confirms his purchase, the loyalty points he earned and offers to save his order as his “usual.”

“Expand your mobile marketing strategy by identifying mobile messaging approaches that serve your marketing objectives,” says Charles Golvin, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner for Marketers.

The CMO Spend Survey 2018-2019

What this year’s trends mean for marketers

Organizations have three ways to reach customers via mobile messaging:

  1. Consumer messaging apps: Sometimes referred to as “mobile messengers,” these are free messaging apps that offer rich media and communication features.
  2. SMS/MMS: Also known as text messaging — the earliest mechanism for marketers to engage their customers via mobile phones.
  3. In-app communications: Requires individual organizations to create their own apps for download through mobile app stores.

Define your engagement use case

Customers prefer mobile messaging as a means of communication and interaction. Clarify the use cases for mobile messaging to create a foundation for assessing channel and audience fit.

Mobile messaging for multichannel marketing

Multichannel marketing teams largely look to mobile messaging as a brand extension and promotion channel. They rely on usage and location data to provide contextually relevant messages to customers. Consumer messaging apps like Line and Snapchat already engage consumers with organizations’ marketing content. In-app push notifications encourage a company’s more loyal users (those who have downloaded a branded application) to engage with an organization.

Mobile messaging for digital commerce marketing

Digital commerce teams are already accustomed to reaching customers through their branded apps, which act similarly to their organizations’ traditional websites. Gartner has observed several organizations using messaging apps for digital commerce. Alibaba uses digital commerce applications that have messaging capabilities for vendors and sellers to communicate in its Message Center. Companies use WeChat for messaging-focused mobile commerce, mostly in the Chinese market, similar to Alibaba. Consumers use them to make purchases such as train tickets through e-ticketing.

Marketing leaders focused on digital commerce must look beyond traditional app models and pursue a messaging strategy that presents additional upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Mobile messaging for customer service

Marketing leaders increasingly shoulder responsibility for customer care. Mobile messaging provides an opportunity to increase customer care efficiency, deflect phone calls and grow customer satisfaction.

By 2019, Gartner expects customer service inquiries received through consumer messaging apps will surpass such requests coming through social media. Make mobile messaging and in particular, consumer messaging apps, a priority. This is even more critical for organizations that receive high volumes of social-media-based customer service requests.

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