Using Mobile Marketing Correctly
Jonathan Becher, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP
Julie Roehm, Chief Storyteller and Senior Vice President, Marketing, SAP
The number one mistake marketers make is to develop a standalone strategy for marketing on mobile devices as opposed to creating a campaign with a clear goal and then using multiple channels to achieve it. For example, is the goal brand awareness or purchase consideration? Is the goal to net new leads or increase pipeline acceleration? A campaign that is conducted solely through mobile strategy might create some awareness, but it is unlikely to lead to real purchase consideration.
It’s also important to consider the audience you are trying to tar- get. Mobile marketing efforts aimed at CFOs, who may not even have mobile devices at all and are more likely to follow traditional practices, would most likely be extremely ineffective. However, a campaign aimed at salesmen, who probably have the latest and great-est mobile device and use it constantly, is more likely to have an impact. Mobile marketing should always be incorporated within the existing strategy — not treated as a separate entity or even an afterthought. Don’t create a marketing strategy that is “cool”; create one that is effective.
Story First, Technology Second
Marketing is about conveying a story. The story should never take a back seat. A great story can be told using your voice, e-mail, direct mail, paint on a wall, or
pixels on a screen. As long as you know what is most important, you will understand how best to amplify that key message. You should never become attached to a trendy medium and try to force a story to fit within it. Instead, first you should consider your audience, then your message, and only then should you decide what medium will best convey it.
Mobile Marketing Tips
There is so much data available on the preferences, needs, and habits of consumers that it is ridiculous not to use it. Use that information to learn about your customers and discover who they are, what they want, and how best they respond to advertising. Knowing your audience is the first step. The second step is to tell them a story. Nothing beats a good story, as any child reading a good book or adult watching a thrilling movie will tell you. The third step is to find the right medium to share the story with its intended audience.
That said, you also need to consider what you are trying to sell. Among our other services, we are a provider of mobile solutions, and to gain credibility in that arena we need to have an excellent mobile version of our web site. In fact, we have a standalone version of how we sell mobile products which is mobile only, with no standard web version.
Also, don’t assume that all of your customers prefer the newest modes of communication. When we acquire new customers we ask them how they would like to be communicated with, and give options including e-mail, Twitter, and text messaging. A minute percentage has chosen texting. People may say e-mail is dead, but it is still how most of our customers prefer to communicate.
Our web site (SAP.com) exists in 100-plus countries and in more than 40 languages. For each market, we need to consider how they are likely to view it, and what technologies they are most likely to use. Thus, it is extraordinarily critical that we get the mobile version of that web site correct in the U.S., but in Bangladesh, it is the desktop version that is important. While our mobile version must be top-notch in France, we have found that is not as important in Italy.
We don’t try to measure the success of mobile marketing. Instead, we measure the success of the overall campaign. What was the goal of your campaign? Did you achieve it? Once you have that question answered, only then can you evaluate whether you chose the right channels to share the message. Too many people measure mobile marketing in isolation, forgetting that it is just another way to get the same job done. We don’t have mobile goals; we have campaign goals and simply check to find out if mobile helped us achieve them or not.
We do, however, evaluate whether the mobile portion of a particular campaign performed relative to the campaign as a whole. Did it over-index versus web, bill- boards, and social channels? If it under-indexed then it performed low. If it over-indexed, then it performed well. However, if we don’t achieve the results we were looking for, we try not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
The number-one mistake marketers make is to develop a standalone strategy for marketing on mobile devices as opposed to creating a campaign with a clear goal and then using multiple channels to achieve it.
We will evaluate how well the platform fit within the entire campaign, assess how well the messaging worked, etc., rather than just dismiss that platform. You may find that a mobile strategy wasn’t a good fit for a particular campaign or a particular audience, but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t work well under a different set of circumstances.
Strategies for Success
When the mobile response is not as robust as expected, it is important to adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Not all users are created equal and in some markets, mobile usage may just not be on the same par as it is in others. Don’t give up just because you aren’t as successful as expected, but don’t linger if failure is constant. Test and fail fast. Many people in marketing tend to create large mobile initiatives without knowing how — or if — they will work. Try it out first with something small, either succeed or fail, learn from the process, and move on.