"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Lauren Moores, vice president of analytics at Dstillery.
Recent discussions on the evolution of media have moved beyond mobile to omnichannel and n-screen. Before we move too fast into n-screen, however, we should remember the major marketers who admit they still haven’t figured out mobile.
“We are behind.”
That’s what I was told recently by a major retail brand when I asked about their mobile strategy. The insights on why they are behind resonate with what I’ve heard from other brands in the last two years. Their mobile strategies face many of the same barriers: focus, infrastructure, data knowledge and resources. Breaking down these barriers in mobile is both timely and urgent.
Mobile can still be an afterthought for a brand. Rather than including mobile at the table when dreaming up an idea or plan, many brands try to tack mobile onto an already existing campaign strategy. This approach often means that a marketer adapts creative intended for the Web or print, expecting it to work in the same way across channels and devices.
For some marketers, this focus is even more difficult because they didn’t build a digital channel to begin with. So when they realize that their audience went mobile first, skipping online altogether, they then need to build out a full technology platform rather than extend existing digital infrastructure to include mobile.
Create The Infrastructure
Even if you already have a digital platform for online marketing, running creative and messaging across mobile publishers means that your audience will want to reach your brand on mobile.
This will require you to add infrastructure and build out a mobile platform, adding a mobile-optimized site and mobile application that your customers and prospects can access. And while you are at it, don’t forget to ensure you can measure results by adding Web analytic tracking and robust SDKs for the new mobile technology you just built so you learn about your audience.
Overcome The Data Challenge
Knowing your audience through data is important, but this can also be a challenge when it comes to mobile. Mobile data points are different than traditional online data. For instance, marketers accustomed to cookie-based segmentation of their audience will need to instead become familiar with the different data that is available.
With mobile, a marketer has access to location data. Location data is unique to mobile and is a great mapping variable in both senses of the word. It can be used to integrate other data points, as well as to visualize audience behaviors on a map. Without knowledge of how to use this data, marketers may base campaign targeting strategies on a desktop approach to audience targeting, which will not translate to mobile. Marketers need to determine how to harness mobile data points to develop their strategies.
Carve Out The Resources
The last barrier to successful mobile marketing is organizational. Mobile requires support from all stakeholders within the organization and it requires a bit of idiosyncratic knowledge. And once everyone is on board, organizations have to make sure that there are resources available to dedicate to mobile.
Many of the reasons for the industry’s spate of mobile-company acquisitions these days relate to minimizing the time it takes to develop mobile expertise. Either through acquisition or hiring, brands must take the time to implement a mobile strategy that is part of the core marketing and not a silo. Relegating mobile to an isolated strategy does take advantage of its full potential.
While the barriers to mobile marketing exist, the experience is familiar based on the early days of online marketing. Then, like now, some marketers were early adopters, using the online advertising channel as part of an overall plan to reach their brand audience. There was a time when we asked whether our brand audience used online; now we take it for granted. Similarly, we now ask whether our audience is reaching our brand through their mobile devices.
If you are not convinced that your audience is trying to reach you from their mobile devices, assume they are. And you need to reach them back.