Ringing in your mobile marketing New Year's resolutions
'Tis the season for stronger data, better ad experiences and preparing strategic road maps to make 2019 the year of the user, writes Fluent's Mary Lister.
The following is a guest post from Mary Lister, senior manager of content marketing and demand generation at Fluent.
'Tis the season for planning. Budgets, strategies, overarching marketing messaging and more are all on the table for debate, playing an exciting tug of war with your finance department, management heads and other team members. While it's necessary to plan a roadmap for the coming year as marketers gain more power through data, it's also time to make some New Year's resolutions. We frequently get it wrong — wrong messaging, wrong cadence, wrong code. Instead of putting out fires, let's resolve to get it right this year. New year, new mobile marketing landscape.
The year of mobile has come and gone, with 52% of online traffic occurring on mobile devices. We're living in a new normal, and when 89% of consumers would recommend a brand after a positive experience with it on mobile, it's time to shift our focus to consumer interactions.
So, let's make 2019 the year of the user. Here's how to get the ball rolling.
Listen to consumers
Marketers are in a powerful place to leverage hundreds of data points to reach key consumers. It can be easy to lose sight of the person on the other side of the device as we attempt to target, track and monetize their actions. We've seen the statistics. Retention suffers as acquisition plops unqualified users into an app that's not ready to cater to them.
Moreover, eMarketer found that 30% of internet users will use ad blockers by the end of this year. Trust in advertising is at a low point, meaning mobile growth marketers need to reassess their tactics. With the rise of influencers, content marketing and referral programs, we know that consumers tend to trust each other more than brands.
Resolve to combat this hit to your acquisition programs in two ways: by improving your advertising experiences and leveraging loyal users to evangelize your offerings.
In the first half of 2018, mobile advertising accounted for 63% of all U.S. digital ad spending. As we look toward improved geolocation, the development of machine learning and optimizing load times in 2019, mobile marketers are already striving for convenience. Users are not interested in receiving a push notification about a store opening in Philadelphia if they live in New York. They don't want to get pinged with an SMS at midnight on the East Coast for something scheduled for 9 p.m. on the West Coast.
When it comes to mobile apps, do more than simply check the boxes — smartphones have set storage, users have limited attention spans and a shiny new app is likely going to be deleted in the first three months. By seamlessly integrating with users' habits and improving the user experience in apps and through reengagement tactics, the risk of an uninstall could fall significantly.
While it's important to leverage data to optimize user experiences, there is certainly a risk of coming across as creepy. Consumers are still reeling from the aftermath of data privacy scandals like Facebook's involvement with Cambridge Analytica and are wary of divulging too much personal information. With GDPR in full effect and the California Consumer Privacy Act on the horizon, two-thirds of consumers support government regulation when it comes to stronger data privacy.
Be vocal and proactive about where your data is coming from, where it's going and how you plan to use it. In a survey by Sizmek, 85% of U.S. brand marketers said that increasing their use of first-party data is a high or critical priority. Hop on the bandwagon — the more upfront you are with your users, the more trust they will instill in your brand.
The evolution of mobile technology took communication to the next level. It's on the forefront of, well, everything. It can be easy to forget where we came from — a single house phone in the front hall, digging for quarters and running to a pay phone, tapping T9 text into a flip phone — but it should inspire where we're going.
In 2019, don't shy away from creative innovation. Develop new and engaging content through virtual and augmented reality. Integrate popular platforms like Snapchat and Instagram into your marketing mix. Focus on vertical video; eMarketer estimates that 57.9% of adults will watch mobile video in 2019. Start considering the impact of voice search, develop artificial intelligence technology to optimize user experiences and focus on valuable micro-moments to discover what users really want and how they want it.