The Role of Mobile Marketing in Customer Experience

Mobile marketing strategies and tactics that prove indispensable for delivering great customer experience.

It seems a distant memory: the TV commercial showcasing new smartphone capabilities with a user standing in line at DMV, happily checking scores and texting friends. Those early ads showcased the now-pedestrian tasks of early smartphones. Fast forward to 2015 and that same person standing in line, hopefully not the same line, likely checked her bank balance, continued a product search she started on a desktop, and clicked on an ad based on a TV commercial she saw the previous night.

Eighty-nine percent of marketers who intend to compete on customer experience will fail if they don’t offer buyers a mobile-enabled, real-time experience, according to recent Gartner research. Experienced mobile marketers will see mobile carry a significant amount of the responsibility for good or bad customer experiences moving forward, according to Mike McGuire, research vice president, Gartner for Marketing Leaders. Thankfully, mobile marketers and customer experience executives have an increasingly sophisticated set of tools and techniques they can deploy to achieve compelling and profitable customer experiences.

Become a master of timing

Consumers can watch movies, find and listen to almost any piece of music recorded in the past 50 years, take online walkthroughs of houses they might buy, configure a car they are interested in buying, and do their banking on smartphones and tablets. This new world and its new coin of the realm — consumer control and customer experiences that map to consumers’ needs and wants — will force marketers, especially mobile marketers, to be masters of timing, targeting and engagement efforts.

From email to search marketing, mobile marketers need to be fluent in all inbound and outbound techniques that the company has deployed (and those expected to be deployed), as well as to determine if and how those techniques engage mobile customers and prospects. Achieving “seamless” mobile marketing experiences starts with the most basic requirement: Do you have permission to target a customer or prospect on their mobile device? In other words, you need to make sure you have an up-to-date, explicit “opt-in” from your customers to receive messages/communications/offers from your company on their mobile devices.

Key recommendations include: Identify your mobile-enabled customers by integrating all customer datasets from all departments and drive mobile opt-ins via other channel communications such as email and website visits. Additionally, develop a mobile Web or native-app approach based on the mobile-enabled customer’s usage patterns and your preferred product- or service- delivery mode (owned-operated brick-n-mortar stores vs. third- party retail distributors etc.).

Study their behavior

Mobile devices are nearly inseparable from their owners so marketers can have multiple pathways and types of contextual cues for customers and prospects. As a result analytics are the fuel and guidance systems for mobile marketers.  Because customer experience is about optimizing all interactions with a customer over time, mobile marketers need to invest, and likely expand, current investments in mobile marketing analytics. It should also be an absolute requirement that any mobile marketing analytics packages have robust application programming interfaces for integrating into a company’s existing analytics packages.

Take the SoLoMo approach

Because customer experience strategies are focused on loyalty and advocacy,mobile marketers must deliver a “SoLoMo-informed” customer experience, blending the most relevant inputs from customers’ social/local/mobile sources. The “SoLoMo” construct provides the marketer with the essential elements for a campaign or tactic: who (do I send the offer), what (which offer), how (do I send the offer) and where (do I send it)? These three SoLoMo forces can be a powerful way of augmenting your profiles such as getting the customer to use their Facebook login and opt-in to share his or her Facebook stream. These elements can also enable ongoing, dynamic access to a loyal customer, such as having a loyalty program application (or proxy for that in an app, like Apple Wallet or Android Pay ) that uses location-sensing to deliver a highly targeted offer.

Gartner for Marketing Leaders clients can read more in Irresistible and Challenging: The Role of Mobile Marketing in Customer Experience.

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