The mobile business sector is notoriously difficult to predict, but mobile marketing experts from a wide range of organisations tell Jason Hesse how they are making mobile work for their business
01 TEXT GIVING
Tobin Aldrich is executive director of communications and fundraising at WWF, which has recently started using SMS marketing to fundraise:
“We’re always looking at new ways of reaching new supporters, waiting for technology to mature and for people to become comfortable with it.
“We’ve started to use Text Giving on campaigns, which allows people to make a donation –say £3, for example – by just texting a certain number; before we’d lose large amounts to the operator.”
02 VIRTUAL SHOPPING
Oliver Ropars is senior director for mobile at eBay. The company recently introduced image recognition on its apps:
“Mobile applications have put our global store in the pockets of millions of consumers around the world. We’ve been a pioneer in mobile for some time, and we’re always looking at new ways to test and evolve our mobile offering.
“A big innovation this year has been building image recognition, allowing customers to search virtually for the items they want by uploading a picture through their mobile device. “
MOBILE MARKETING ASSOCIATION
Paul Berney is managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association EMEA, which is seeing “huge growth” in social commerce via mobile:
“Consumers are sharing their purchasing decisions before, during and after they shop. People are investigating what they should buy using their mobile phones to find stores while on the go, and comparing prices and looking at alternatives while still in the shop.
“This is the ‘showrooming’ effect, where consumers are looking and trying stuff out in person and then buying it online, often for cheaper.”
04 MARKETING APPS
Naveen Tewari is the founder of mobile advertising network inMobi. He expects that marketing via apps will continue to grow at a fast rate:
“Mobile applications have exploded over the past couple of years and I can’t see this slowing down over the next 12 to 24 months. Apps will continue to increase their presence on mobiles as well as tablets.
“This will happen because it will take some time before mobile internet browsers provide the same great user experience as apps. So for now, when it comes to marketing, it’s about apps.”
05 ANIMAL INSTINCT
Virginie Kan is head of direct marketing at the RSPCA, which is using mobile to attract new donors:
“Mobile is helping us to offer another way for people to interact with us. They can text us and we can then give them a call back to tell them about our work, and why they should support us. It’s really helping us broaden our reach and engage with new audiences, such as young people.
“It’s helping us get in touch with potential new supporters in a way that works and is cost-effective.”
06 NO SMALL MATTER
Jonathan Beeston is director of new product innovation at Adobe. He thinks that the mobile experience for consumers is too poor:
“The mobile experience with many top brands is still below par. This is often because the site isn’t formatting correctly or visitors are forced to use a desktop site on a small screen. Or the content richness on the mobile site is not as good as it could be.
“Consumers want the same experience as the full site. Just because it’s a small screen does not mean it’s of small importance.”
07 MOBILE AND TV
Matthew Kershaw is content director at creative advertising Bartle Bogle Hegarty, who predicts the rise of omni-channel marketing, led by mobile:
“People are increasingly doing other things when using their mobile device, for example watching TV. The ability to connect and interact TV and mobile is interesting – the emotional value and power that a TV ad can bring, combined with the very accountable, forensic data you can capture with a mobile device could be a game changer.
“Soon we’ll be seeing people tagging ads with their mobiles or purchasing directly from their TV after the ad.”
08 MOBILE PAYMENTS
Michael Gowar is senior manager for mobile at Visa Europe, which is tracking the rise of mobile contactless payments:
“Mobile technology has been transformative for the payments industry. By 2020, we expect that 50 per cent of Visa transactions will be made using a mobile device.
“One of the most exciting areas is mobile contactless payments, enabling quick and easy transactions at the point of sale with a phone or other device. But the opportunity goes far beyond that; mobile commerce will become increasingly important as people use their device to access their favourite websites and make purchases on the go.”
09 DIFFERENT STROKES
Alex Meisl is the chairman of Sponge and UK chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association. He’s learnt that tailoring content for mobiles is the key to effective customer engagement:
“When you’re using a mobile, you’re looking for different things from a website. For example, if I were at home on my desktop PC and wanted to see the latest film, I’d spend 20 minutes reading reviews, researching the cinemas and watching the trailer.
“But if I were in a pub with a friend, I’d just want to know where the nearest cinema is and how much it would cost – two minutes max.”
10 SKY’S NO LIMIT
Chris Carmichael is technology innovation manager at British Airways, which has learnt they can give customers a more personal experience via mobile:
“We use mobile technology to improve our relationship with our customers, making it really easy for them to book flights, check-in and check up on the status of their flights while on the go. They can also use their mobile phone to download their boarding pass, which cuts down on paper.
“This relationship means we can offer a more personalised experience, for instance, offering lounge wi-fi passwords and bespoke upgrade offers.”