BrainTrust Query: Changing Role of the Mobile Marketer in a Cross-Channel World

Discussion
Jan 11, 2011

By Gib Bassett, Director of Sales and Marketing, Signal

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Signal’s blog.

As mobile and social media functions establish themselves, they join others such as email in today’s multichannel marketing world. The fact all these channels are digital means marketers have a lot of flexibility with respect to the frequency and timing of campaigns and other types of communications.

It is because of this that an alternative view of multichannel marketing is emerging quickly–cross channel marketing.

Cross-channel marketing–whereby marketers execute campaigns in a more unified fashion across channels in consideration of consumer preferences and permissions–is such a new idea that it often requires clarification.

The most-simple explanation is that it is the inverse of a multichannel, siloed approach where plans and actions occur in relative isolation. On the surface, a siloed-approach makes sense because the pace of change and innovation in digital marketing has been such that quickly adding capabilities trumps potentially time-consuming integration considerations.

Before disconnected efforts become too entrenched, marketing leaders should recognize some challenging byproducts of marketing silos:

  1. Separate people, products, databases and processes, all essentially working to drive desirous consumer behavior effectively compete with one another, to say nothing of inefficiencies.
  2. Consumers are exposed to some 3,000 marketing messages every day from various sources and different channels, per Symphony/IRI research. This message quagmire drags down the performance of everyone’s marketing efforts.
  3. Consumer adoption of smartphones increases daily and the devices are used for all manner of activities, at any time or place.

Marketing leaders will soon have little choice but to reconcile disconnected marketing efforts.

Some tough choices will have to be made regarding where to place their bets. I suggest the mobile device is becoming the de facto interface between consumers and business. It is on smartphones that digital channels such as text messaging, email, Web and social media come together. Soon every business will need a conductor of sorts to orchestrate customer relationship strategies targeting the mobilized consumer. The mobile marketer could be that person.

Getting started toward mobile-driven, cross-channel marketing requires a step-wise approach that begins to unwind siloed digital marketing efforts.

Two examples of easy-to-implement cross-channel approaches include leveraging the email subscription list to build the mobile subscriber base. E-mail and mobile teams can work together to develop higher response marketing campaigns that take advantage of the best attributes of each channel–email as visual/explanatory, mobile and text as timely, portable and universal.

The other takes advantage of the reach offered by text messaging in line with the viral qualities of social media. Cross-channel campaign management systems optimized for mobile interactions take advantage of the massive reach afforded by text message communications as well as the viral qualities inherent in social media such as Twitter.

Over time the lines may blur, but the mobile experience will increasingly become the primary interface between business and consumer. That is why mobile marketers are so well positioned to bring cross-channel value to their businesses.

Discussion Questions: How should marketing departments resolve the conflicts and integration issues between mobile, social media and e-mail? What do you think of mobile as the unifying force driving marketing optimization across digital channels?

Join the Discussion!

9 Comments on "BrainTrust Query: Changing Role of the Mobile Marketer in a Cross-Channel World"


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Liz Crawford
Guest
7 years 7 days ago

The mobile screen can be a unifying medium, precisely because it is personal and mobile. However, I think that approaching the consumer holistically, bearing in mind location and occasion-based interactions, is the way to go.

In terms of developing marketing programs, it will become increasingly important to set strategy from a comprehensive understanding of the shopper/consumer’s lifestyle. This includes media habits, social networks, shopping patterns and of course, attitudes and usage.

Marketers will need to see through the eyes of the shopper to create worthwhile (multi-media) interfaces throughout her day.

Forty years ago, consumer marketing was like playing chess; today it’s three-dimensional chess.

David Biernbaum
Guest
7 years 7 days ago

Marketing executives at consumer goods companies, and retail chains too, need to develop a consistent message for multi-media broadcast channels including social media, e-mails, internet advertising, public relations, traditional advertising, etc.

Max Goldberg
Guest
7 years 7 days ago

Marketing departments must break down the silos and create a unified, integrated approach to reaching consumers. The brand story should be the hub of the message, with various media being used to convey that message. Different media should be used for different promotional tactics, but the brand message should be uniform throughout.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
7 years 7 days ago

The critical ingredient to any cross-channel marketing strategy is uniform customer experience. That means messages, images, branding, etc, must all be formatted so they can be appreciated on a mobile screen or Facebook page as well as on a full-sized website. Also retailers should follow the lead of early adopters who are putting full checkout capability on social media and mobile sites rather than making customers link back to the main corporate website. In this age of the hurried consumer, even having to click one link and wait a few seconds may be too inconvenient.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
7 years 7 days ago
From the jump, I do not think of mobile “as the unifying force driving marketing optimization across digital channels.” It’s still the computer and the internet. How many of us have actually witnessed customers using their smartphones in a store to search for items or compare prices? This is not yet a real thing. More likely, they’re cruising through a store pushing a shopping cart with a phone held to their ear paying the same attention to traffic (none) that they would when driving their car while talking on the phone. And the topics of conversation? Sidle up to one and eavesdrop. It’s just vocal Twitter. “I’m in the bakery department. What would you like for dinner? Pies are on sale. What time is soccer practice? Oh, and how about that rude guy I just ran into with my cart?” (That would be me.) Despite the impression, I am a fan of mobile communication. But, it will not be primarily used as the responsible innovators intended. As Chinua Achebe wrote, “Things Fall Apart.” Mobile communication… Read more »
Jonathan Marek
Guest
7 years 7 days ago

Where’s the question about breaking down silos with traditional media and direct mail groups? I think that’s where the major issues lie.

Let’s face it: in terms of dollars, social, mobile, email, and even search/display are a tiny fraction of marketing dollars spent. Far too often, they are also organizationally linked to ecommerce rather than to the store. So traditional media that are less effective, at least at the margin, continue to hold the purse strings and to get valued on store sales, while digital media must “prove” their ROI primarily on online sales.

It’s an artifact of the year 2000, when everyone though the dot-com part of the organization would be worth more in market value as a separate entity. Somehow, this organizational artifact has become a lasting reality. That’s the most critical silo to break down.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
7 years 7 days ago
This reminds me of the days when there were similar arguments over advertising and promotion. The answer is the same today. The more consistent the message, the more power it has. There should be no difference in a message no matter what the medium. These are alternative delivery vehicles, nothing more. Would we argue that a different message should be sent via magazine versus TV? Of course not! So why not be sure from the outset that the message to the consumer is singular? I agree with Gib Bassett, the mobile device is becoming the de facto interface between consumers and business. It is the becoming the primary interface between consumers and consumers and consumers and the internet, why would consumers go a different route to interface with business? Notice my previous sentence. The interface will not be the choice of the marketing department. The interface will be the choice of the consumer. And, don’t assume the mobile device is a smart phone. The 5″, 6″ and 7″ screened iPad-type devices will do everything a… Read more »
M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
7 years 7 days ago

This is another chapter in an ongoing discussion on RetailWire. Should retailers lead consumers or follow them (regarding any topic whatsoever)? In my view, retailers should feed the appetite for mobile marketing as the shopper demand increases. On this topic, retailers should be led. Not necessarily dragged kicking and screaming, but close to it. And by the way, I’ve witnessed no kicking and heard no screaming. The demand for mobile consumption apps appears to exist mostly in the heads of retail consultants.

Phil Rubin
Guest
7 years 6 days ago

While all of these channels — email, mobile, social and for the fun of it let’s include postal — can and should be part of a customer communications strategy, planning and execution should start at the beginning: the customer. To say that mobile trumps email trumps social (or vice-versa or even some other combination) is to oversimplify that which ultimately cannot be that simple.

Different customers have different views of brands and consequently different preferences in terms of engagement and what channels they will act on, or if they will act, when prompted. Part of the challenge marketers have is collecting such data and then modifying their planning and execution accordingly.

Absent such data, email still trumps all as it can deliver mobile and otherwise, whereas social is less targeted and more difficult to personalize and version.

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