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How to Muff a Mobile Marketing Campaign, Part 1

How to Muff a Mobile Marketing Campaign, Part 1

Mobile marketing is taking off, but there's still plenty of uncertainty about what makes a campaign click with consumers. Some things are beginning to gel, though, particularly in terms of what doesn't work. For starters, you can't just take an existing marketing campaign and shrink it down to size. Creatives need to be tailored to specific mobile devices.

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
05/06/13 5:00 AM PT

This year could be the best of times and the worst of times for mobile marketers, suggests a report Forrester released earlier this year.

Six in 10 survey respondents -- people who make decisions about their company's mobile marketing strategy -- planned to increase mobile marketing budgets this year, according to the report, which was based on a survey conducted on behalf of Acquent.

However, for the companies going that route, worries about ROI were clear, with 42 percent of respondents expressing concerns.

Mobile marketing has been unfolding at a rapid -- even hyper-rapid -- pace for the past several years, but it is still early days. That said, the industry has learned a thing or two -- perhaps more about what not to do than how to succeed.

Enter CRM Buyer's own informal survey on this subject, which yielded several tips on how to bungle a mobile marketing campaign.

1. Repurpose Old Creatives

Simply packing smaller versions of traditional ad formats -- banners, text or video -- onto mobile screens doesn't work, said Frank Vertolli, cofounder of Net Conversion, if for no other reason than the fat finger problem.

'Fat finger' is an industry term referring to the accidental clicks resulting from the close proximity of ads to the actual desired content on the screens, he told CRM Buyer.

This advice goes beyond banners versus smartphones, Vertolli continued. Marketers also must craft specific creatives for the various mobile devices.

"Targeting smartphones differs from tablets or computers or laptops," he said. "Smartphones tend to be the most personal of devices vs. a computer, which tends to be family/communal, and they include info such as GPS chips and other data that will enable more refined targeting."

That may seem intuitive, but as Vertolli noted, many of the advertising platforms were developed without the necessary supporting features to make these distinctions, and they are just catching up.

As for cross-device tracking, forget about it, he said. "While consumers utilize multiple devices, targeting ads to users based on cross-device behaviors isn't a reality yet."

2. Just Follow the Crowd

Mobile video is a hot area, but most of the ads are 30-second clips that could just as easily run on television, noted Michael Castellano, founder and CEO of Engajer. In short, they don't take advantage of the interactive possibilities.

"An interactive approach is far more effective, and companies can implement an interactive video strategy quickly and affordably," Castellano told CRM Buyer. "The best approach is to break the overall video message down into short, easily digestible bites and allow viewers to 'choose their own adventure' by selecting the modules they'd like to see in the order that appeals to them."

An interactive video strategy also empowers viewers to become part of the conversation, since they are driving the messaging order, he continued.

"When paired with an invitation to view additional information at the end of each piece, it simulates a conversation in a way a passive video presentation can't match," said Castellano. "It also generates incredibly valuable metrics by telling the company which modules customers watch, where they click next, and how they respond to the messages, prompting follow-up tailored on customer actions."

3. Chase the Latest Smartphone Trends

While a number of brands are realizing the importance of a mobile strategy, they tend to focus their efforts on the latest and greatest devices, said Netbiscuits CMO Daniel Weisbeck.

"What happens is that a lot of companies end up ostracizing more obscure or older devices that are still being heavily relied upon by consumers," he told CRM Buyer.

"For example, someone using an older Nokia phone isn't getting the same seamless and effective mobile experience as someone using an iPhone 4 and as such, that's a potentially lost sale," Weisbeck pointed out.

"Brands need to be sensitive that while there is a lot of headway being made with newer devices, customers are still using a wide range of devices," he said, "and this needs to be taken into consideration for a comprehensive mobile CRM strategy."

Stay tuned for Part 2.


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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