November 11, 2012

4 Mobile Messaging Scenarios The explosive growth of mobile media combined with growing adoption of Internet TV creates new complications and new opportunities for marketers. While we are just beginning to understand who uses which device for what tasks and when; its time to start thinking about how marketers can intersect or intercept consumers with commercial messages in ways that are welcomed, interactive and acceptable. We are beginning to reach a critical mass of consumers owning and using multiple devices. People like me have smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and Internet TV. In some cases we use them interchangeably. In others, we do distinct tasks on each device. So far, we haven’t discerned any usage patterns that are predictable by psychographic or demographic variables. This fundamentally changes the way we think about creative and content development. Rather than thinking up and designing a TV spot or a rich media banner, we now have to come up with a big idea. Then we have to efficiently develop ways to expand, parse and interact with it. It’s less about filling a media unit with content and more about creating a brand experience that suits mobile consumers. Some emerging data hints that form dictates function and that individual devices are being used by default or by preference to undertake specific tasks. For example, it’s becoming clear that tablets are primarily being used for entertainment, information seeking and e-mail. Similarly complex tasks, like filling out mortgage applications, are being done on laptops and desktops while smartphones are emerging as a fast-acting utility tool for on-the-go tasks. Assuming that marketers still want to efficiently target high probability customers with the right message, at the right time and on the right device, this opens up a number of new possibilities for creating and transmitting integrated campaigns. But it requires us to consider a broader array mobile and digital devices with expanding technical capabilities in-tandem with TV, cable, print, out of home, email and other traditional advertising channels. We know that more email is now read on mobile devices that static devices. The incredible consumption of video is moving in the same direction. Mobile search is becoming an increasingly important factor, especially for retailers. So who is using which device, when and to accomplish what become critical to defining creative direction and success. Consider 4 new mobile-driven messaging and media options. Frequency. Impressions and exposure equal awareness. This is a marketing and media maxim. Given multiple devices crafting a single impactful message and communicating it often will yield greater awareness sooner. The same message, more times on more devices equals higher reach and potentially more persuasion. Imagine transmitting a solo message at roughly the same time using an array of devices synched with TV, radio or online roadblocks or page take-overs to create a super-roadblock that could blanket a target audience and potential earn added viral distribution. If you could synchronize a persuasive offer and communicate it within a defined time window (think SuperBowl), in theory, you could create a surround-sound of messaging that could penetrate and persuade a target group faster than ever before. Sequencing. A variation on the frequency idea would be to sequence a brand’s key message by parsing it out over time. This takes the Burma Shave OOH approach, circa 1940s, and applies it to the post-digital world. Using the same mass media/all device tactic, a brand could communicate a series of short messages over time using the roadblock tactic. The additive value of sequential messages over a imited time period can expose a broader impression of a brand. For brands with complicated messages or a series of products, sequencing could build awareness and momentum. Alternatively, a brand could assign different parts of the message or different offers to different devices at the same time. Maybe the brand promise goes on tablets while product messaging is placed in online media, but the offer, the coupon or the interactive CTA is assigned to smartphones. Fractal Messaging. The opposite of frequency and a variation on sequencing would be to acknowledge different facets of a brand’s appeal and expose different facets or offers at different times to different people using different devices. This tactic assumes that consumer moods, mindsets and tasks are different by device. So while prospects may resent ads on their smartphone, they might be willing to watch pre-rolls or other video formats on a tablet or a laptop. By understanding how consumers use devices both in terms of the mechanics (who, what and where) and the sensibilities (openness...
The New Loyalty Formula Brands crave loyalty. That’s because loyal customers spend more and buy more frequently without the need for expensive communication or stimulation. And the most loyal customers tell their friends about their favorite brands. Consumers are much more ambivalent. They like what they like on their own terms. Their enthusiasms wax and wane. They want to hear from brands – but not that often. They are governed by a WiiFM (what’s in it for me) mentality, even for brands that are near and dear to their hearts. They can be swayed by price offers. The availability of 24/7 digital, social and mobile communications channels creates new and creative opportunities for brands to communicate and interact with loyal and potentially loyal consumers, which, in turn, creates opportunities for fans to interact, respond and share back. The trick is how, when and using which approach. The points based system, pioneered by the airlines and expanded by credit cards and grocery chains, seems to have limited appeal as an across-the-board loyalty solution. Few consumers care that much about many brands. Few are willing to amass points to buy Timmy a bike or trade 80,000 points for a microwave. Consumers’ appetites for a monthly statement of points accrued and catalogs of shiny prizes to be redeemed have diminished. The digital sensibility seems to rest on a critical consumer expectation. DiFM (do it for me) expects brands to understand what consumers do and want and to intervene with rewards and offers at the appropriate inflection points. These inflection points can be planned and communicated in an easy-to-understand way (e.g. 5% cash back) or spontaneously; which tend to surprise or delight customers usually at the point of sale. Similarly the DiFM idea demands that brands create or aggregate deals and offers and automatically communicate them and/or apply them in relevant circumstances. For grocery stores this means -- find all the coupons for stuff I buy, put them on my loyalty card and automatically deduct the discounts when you ring me up. For other retailers, it means automatically deduct deals and discounts and apply whatever rewards I’ve earned in the moment, when I’m making a relevant purchase. And while the systems requirements to deliver on this expectation are significant, consumers don’t care. If you are not proactively taking care of them, all the cards, points and promises in the world don’t matter. The new digital formula for loyalty programs is WiiFM + DiFM.

Danny Flamberg

I am a veteran marketing consultant working with leading and emerging brands

The Typepad Team

Recent Comments