Here's what may be a likely scenario for any advanced marketer lately: saw the newest mobile augmented reality application; salivated; read about more than 65,000 applications in Apple's app store; despaired; read about competitor's new mobile idea; panicked; got an urge to do something in this space himself, as soon as possible; started looking around.
The urge to succumb to an ever increasing pressure to make a grand statement in the mobile world and become the talk of the (advertising) village is strong. But, the clever use of mobile is not in producing the next top-of-the-Apple-store-for-five-days application.
Mobile is a marketing space, not a channel, and its deployment within a business and (or) marketing strategy is a sort of a continuum in which a brand should identify the most appropriate points. What works for one brand may not work for another. Here is a few examples of some points on that continuum.
If you're totally new to mobile, two good starting points are the mobile marketing landscape scanning and, what I call (borrowing a phrase from software developers), ‘paving the cowpath'.
1. Mobile marketing landscape scanning is a simple and regular exercise of finding what is going on in the frantic world of mobile. It could be someone in your marketing department to do it, or it could be someone in your agency. Any way, it will give you a quick flavour of strategies, current focuses and patterns in this space.
2. Paving the cowpath is all about finding quickly which of the current customer needs (which they may even told you about in customer service calls) could be brilliantly enhanced, or enabled, by using mobile phones. These are obvious, but hidden, gems that don't require any strategising, just quick feet.
Up until a few years ago, customers of electricity companies had to endure minutes of holding on the phone just to submit a little meter-reading number; now they can just text it in seconds and job done, to their eternal delight.
Or, take Lufthansa's mobile booking app, where the whole thing is done in 2 minutes; or Deutsche Post's app to create a personalised code that could be then used instead of the postal stamp. That kind of stuff.
The next stop on the continuum, for those a bit more advanced, but without a dedicated mobile marketing agency, could be adding the mobile element to an integrated campaign. If you haven't done it before, use your existing agencies to brainstorm ideas based on a live (or soon to be) brief. They'd love the challenge.
Or, some may want to push it even further and go for a full-on mobile marketing strategy, surpassing just the campaign side of it and moving into customer service, or market research. Those in the know will venture beyond the horizon and start thinking about the mobile business strategy, where our little flexible friend sits at the heart of business thinking. Ask Ocado, one of the most exciting mobile launches of recent times.
The mobile continuum is a sort of a menu from which one can choose what is most appropriate for the brand in question, instead of just following the herd. As always with digital, it is important to move fast, but it doesn't have to be in fits.
This article originally appeared in Marketing Direct.
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