One-To-One Marketing with Mobile Devices
Over the past several years, there has been a shift in marketing efforts to meet the rising customer demand for a personalized buying experience. As customers demand more of marketers, or become resistant to traditional marketing methods, business owners find that forming an engaging and rewarding relationship with individual customers is far more effective than broad promotion and untargeted advertisement.
A key factor in this development is the vast popularity of the internet, and more specifically, internet-enabled mobile devices in the pockets or purses of most shoppers. Having the world wide web at their fingertips allows customers to compare prices, to seek alternative products, or to research a company, even while they are standing on the sales floor! This means that the “in person” customer interaction is that much more important – they need to be sold on the experience of being in a place of business, not just on the items they have for sale.
This mobile connectivity also means that businesses can be in touch with their customers when they aren’t in the store – and marketers are beginning to realize the potential of not only marketing to mobile users, but actually interacting with them.
Through the principles of one-to-one marketing, businesses are learning to engage their customers on a personal level, creating customized marketing campaigns or sending promotions based on specific purchase history or demographic information. Here are these one-to-one principles, and how the apply to mobile marketing:
Companies are on a quest to identify their potential customers, as well as the personal preferences of their core demographic. Through the use of opt-in forms and QR codes, businesses are now able to collect usage data, including location, purchase history, and customer behavior. By effectively analyzing this data, marketers can begin to paint individualized pictures of their customers, and target their advertising efforts accordingly.
As customer data is aggregated, subgroups will undoubtedly emerge from the target customer demographic, further differentiating each unique customer from the group. These subgroups, or even unique individuals, can be determined using the same methods as identifying customers initially. Analysts will have to combine a range of different data sets to get a clear view, but combined usage of a mobile-generated promotion, a particular purchase history, active posting on a brand’s social media page, or any other unique customer action will help marketers determine the best way to engage that particular customer.
This is the most major component of one-to-one marketing. True customer engagement takes more than just offering marketing material or sales language – it requires actual, organic interaction that builds the relationship. Like social media marketing, engaging mobile device users will often include sharing news stories or videos related to customer interests, recommendations of free services, or even birthday messages and customized “check in” correspondence.
Interactions are not necessarily about making sales, but are instead focused on fostering an environment in which the customer wants to make a purchase based on their needs, their opinion of the business, and the perceived connection between customer and company.
By the time a company is engaged in interaction with their identified and differentiated customer, they should have an absolutely clear understanding of that particular customer’s wants and needs. The practical application of this understanding is manifested with totally personalized communication. Each time a customer interacts with a company, it should feel unique and personal. The last thing a company wants is for their mobile marketing to be intrusive and unwanted, or worse, written off as spam.
Companies can achieve customized communication through the use of mobile apps, personalized websites optimized for mobile users, or customer-specific SMS messages. More importantly, when the customer contacts the business directly, the customer service representative should be able to quickly and easily pull a host of customer information, and be ready to fully personalize the customer-generated interaction.
As technology continues to help shape marketing and purchasing trends, advertisers and business owners must remain aware of the constantly changing landscape. Mobile technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, helping to solidify a culture of truly personal interaction – nearly every customer now carries a device designed for just that purpose. Smartphones, tablets, and the like have become a major component of the way customers want to interact with companies, and marketers would do well to reciprocate.