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Looking into the future: will mobile marketing finally make the breakthrough in 2014?



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Looking into the future: will mobile marketing finally make the breakthrough in 2014?


Marketing has become more complex. As the current forsa survey “Image des Marketing” on behalf of Adobe showed, a little less than two thirds of marketers state that the demands on their discipline have changed as a result of the new communication channels. We are experiencing a new era in which mobile plays a key role for various reasons. Anyone who does not have a mobile website today, for example, is quickly catapulted into the sidelines with potential customers. The starting position for the breakthrough of Mobile Marketing 2014 is favorable. Gunnar Klauberg, Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, explains the challenges that marketers have to overcome with a view to the coming year.

The map of mobile websites is like a desert: a lot of sand – and only with a lot of luck you come across a saving oasis. As reported by the Guardian, only 20 percent of the top 100 companies in the UK have a mobile website. In this country, customer acquisition via mobile is similarly neglected (keywords: mobile SEO, mobile call-to-action from e-mails, etc.). And this despite the fact that consumers do a lot of online shopping with their mobile devices and more and more users are “always on” when they are on the go. However, a mobile website is only one facet of mobile marketing. The exact fit is also a challenge due to the different display sizes of smartphones, tablets or notebooks. As studies show, 33 percent of mobile buyers switch to the competition after a negative experience. Therefore, companies should be flexible and offer layouts that offer an adequate customer experience.

Responsive design promises a remedy, but this should only be viewed as a necessary “minimum program”. If different navigation structures or click paths are also necessary, a company should think beyond responsive design about a mobile page with a slightly different content. It does not matter whether it is an Android, Windows or iOS device. Rather, companies should meet the different situational customer needs on smartphones, tablets and desktops with a corresponding focus on navigation and content.

Only what is useful wins

Apps are an addition to mobile websites. But an app is not a value in itself, it has to be good and offer users real added value. With 900,000 applications currently available in the Apple App Store alone, users are spoiled for choice. But how many of them are really needed? As current surveys show, iPhone users generally have around 40 apps on their mobile phones, but only ten are used intensively. Therefore, companies should focus on designing apps that focus on a use case that offers particular added value with the product, service and presence of the company. Apps that do not meet these requirements will not catch on in the market and will disappear. Sensible app offers are particularly suitable as customer loyalty instruments, as an example from Adobe customer Deutsche Post DHL shows. With its app, the company offers customers the option of tracking exactly where their parcel is – regardless of where in the world. In times of the booming online mail order business and the increasing number of parcels, a relevant service that helps users in everyday life.

Better to do it yourself

In addition to selecting the right content that offers customers added value, the technical development of apps is also a challenge. Companies have to deal with a large number of mobile operating systems, but often too little specialist knowledge is available in-house. Therefore, companies are now very interested in continuously expanding their own expertise. Especially with regard to the processes that affect the end customer. Only in this way can you continuously improve the customer experience of your mobile applications. That is the reason why app development is currently moving towards “in-sourcing”. While last year around 80 percent of all apps were developed by external agencies, this year it is only 41 percent.

In addition, the trend is towards locally usable apps. On the one hand, more and more customers are taking their mobile devices with them to the shops and doing price comparisons or researching additional information. On the other hand, more and more companies are also using tablets, for example, for advice and communication with their customers on site. At Ford in the USA, it is now the order of the day for customers to assemble their own vehicle in the store under the guidance of a service employee using the mobile car configurator. This service will certainly be observed more and more in Germany in the near future.

Future generations will fix it

But what is the reason for the reluctance of many companies towards the new possibilities of mobile marketing? Prof. Dr. Gerit Heinemann, head of the eWeb Research Center, has a simple thesis: A mobile strategy can only be successfully implemented in a company if it is promoted by the top level – the management. Often, however, the management on the upper floors is occupied by the “older generation”, who would not consider the mobile revolution to be that important, as they themselves do not use the devices to the same extent as younger consumers. The companies sometimes do not see what they are literally oversleeping. Many American companies or young companies have long been out of the starting blocks here. So there is still a lot to be done for mobile marketing to make the breakthrough in 2014.