Mobile Marketing Best Practices: Go Beyond the Campaign

The definition of “mobile marketing campaign,” like many business terms, doubles as both obvious and unclear. Obvious in that companies will use mobile phones to market to consumers given the importance mobile phones occupy in consumers’ lives.

Give up for phone

What’s unclear is how to execute mobile marketing campaigns effectively. To clarify this term and better understand execution, let’s take a look at an example scenario:

Company X decides to launch a mobile campaign. With a compelling call to action and poignant messaging that wows any consumer who interacts, Company X grows a 10K mobile list in less than thirty minutes.

Any red flags? At this point, Company X looks to be humming along on all cylinders. But let’s take a look at part 2 when things start to go wrong.

After the successful mobile campaign, Company X re-evaluates their strategy and comes up with a plan to re-market to their mobile subscribers. After deliberating for a couple of months, Company X again decides on a compelling call to action and message flow. Unfortunately, because subscribers had forgotten why they were signed up to Company X’s list, the new campaign seems out of place and irrelevant. Over 30% of the subscribers opt out upon receiving messaging from the new campaign.

You can spot the culprit of Company X’s shortcomings in the scenario’s opening sentence. Because Company X launched a mobile campaign, it failed to effectively engage a mobile following and saw high opt out rates. Even worse, the subscribers who didn’t opt out are more than likely dead weight needing special attention due to a lack of interaction.

This “campaign mentality” has many causes, including previous experience with media buys (e.g. TV spots) or misaligned incentives for marketing managers, but ultimately one effect: preventing mobile programs from reaching their full potential.

The reason why a campaign mentality does not work in the mobile world is that mobile is inherently an interactive medium. Mobile phones’ ubiquity and popularity stem from the fact that people can contact others, request information and retrieve answers in near real time.

To approach mobile correctly, use instead a “conversation mentality.” Simply stated, always plan not only for what happens now, but also what will happen next. Let’s take a look at the revised scenario when Company X uses this modified approach:

Company X decides to move forward with phase 1 of their mobile campaign after planning for what phase 2 will look like and when it will launch. With a compelling call to action and poignant messaging that wows any consumer who interacts, Company X grows a 10K mobile list in less than thirty minutes. After a successful phase 1, Company X launches phase 2 of their campaign to re-market to their mobile subscribers. The new campaign, complete with a compelling call to action and message flow, attracts 20% more subscribers and results in a click through rate above 50%. With phase 3 already planned for launch, Company X begins groundwork for phases 4 and 5.

You can see the benefits of the conversation approach right away. Because Company X already has a follow up planned at each stage, subscribers feel more engaged by, and willing to share, Company X’s message.

This nuance isn’t really that hard to comprehend if we think about how we communicate via mobile phone. Awkward silences or inconsistent messaging immediately derail even the best conversations. So focus on creating interactive communication and subscriber follow up before launching any mobile marketing campaign. Your customers and bottom line will thank you profusely.

Kane Russell
VP of Marketing at Waterfall Mobile