Friday, April 17, 2009

Consumer Preferences

Recently somebody asked me why I feel so strongly that mobile will become a huge part of brand marketing over the next few years.

There are many answers to this question, but one of the key benefits that makes mobile so powerful is the ability for it to allow the consumer to set their own preferences.

At least in North America, mobile is following a very strict no-spam policy. That means everything is opt-in, with easy opt-out options. This is obviously a benefit to consumers, ensuring that they only receive message that they want. But importantly, this is also a huge benefit to marketers.

What? Consumers can restrict the messages they receive? How can this possibly be good for marketers?

It actually makes mobile a very powerful tool for marketers. And here's why:

1) No Wasted Messages

If a marketing department sends out a piece of direct mail, blanked to all residents within certain postal codes, they know that a certain percentage of people aren't interested in reading it. Most likely a large percentage of people. But they send it anyway, and it costs them money to send it, even to those who don't read it. Mobile only costs marketers money to send to consumers who are actively seeking communication from that brand. No wasted costs on messages to consumers who aren't interested.

2) Enthusiastic Recipients

By empowering the consumer to choose what they want to receive, mobile marketing inherently provides marketers the opportunity to reach consumers who are enthusiast about receiving communications from their chosen brands. Since the consumer is so keen, response rates to promotional offers are significantly higher than other types of media.

3) Trackable ROI

Why is ROI so important these days? Let's face it, in today's economy, marketers need effective ways to measure different types of marketing. On a more specific level, advertising agencies need to demonstrate to their clients, just as marketing-department types need to demonstrate to their supervisors, that their marketing activities are being successful. Since consumers can opt-in and opt-out at any time they want, mobile activities demonstrate, on a message-by-message basis, what types of offers generate the best response, what types of messaging holds the consumers interest, and even what types of message drive the consumer to unsubscribe. For a brand, this can be very valuable lessons, and the knowledge gained can be applied to future mobile activities, as well as to their other media spaces.

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