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Multichannel approach imperative to mobile?s success

Gone are the days when marketers solely use one medium to drive consumer engagement. Companies who do not take a multichannel approach to elevate their mobile marketing efforts are missing out.

Channels such as social media, SMS, mobile advertising and QR codes complement each other. Therefore, it is imperative that companies figure out what mediums they need to use to best drive user engagement.

?Brands that embrace a multichannel strategy can drive greater engagement and conversions on mobile,? said Ryan Kelly, vice president of sales and marketing at Mad Mobile, Tampa, FL.

?The key is to offer consumers relevant mobile experiences that are consistent across consumer touch points and that are delivered in rich formats consumers now expect,? he said.

?Brands that offer consistent and accurate information across a rapidly growing number of sources will do best.?

Right approach
Marketers such as Macy?s have the right approach when it comes to having a complete multichannel strategy.

The company has dipped its toes in SMS, mobile applications, mobile advertising, an optimized site, mobile video, QR codes and augmented reality.

Similarly, coffee giant Starbucks implements different mobile channels to not only drive in-store traffic, but user engagement as well.

By using different channels, marketers are able to reach a broader audience.

Not every consumer has a smartphone, therefore, having an SMS strategy is critical.

Moreover, QR codes and augmented reality are increasingly becoming popular technologies and companies must incorporate them as well to stay up-to-date.

When marketers roll out their mobile initiatives, they should incorporate different mediums.

For example, if a brand is aiming to drive awareness for a new product, it can use mobile advertising to reach that on-the-go user, incorporate mobile video to give consumers a little tease, put SMS into the mix to keep a ongoing dialog with users and tap social media so that customers can share the new product with friends and family ? thus helping spread the word out.

Making advancements
Due to the personal and intimate nature of consumer's mobile devices, more brands are using mobile as the glue between traditional media and digital channels to drive broader awareness, stronger engagement, and ultimately better ad conversion. 

"A multichannel strategy is essential for both mobile marketing success as well as overall integrated marketing success," said Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy, New York.

According to the executive, it is fundamental that marketers perform the necessary research to understand who their top target audiences are and determine the best channels for mobile engagement, as some target segments are more predisposed to using SMS or mobile bar codes, for example.

Additionally, marketers should define what success looks like in terms of performance metrics and  build in measurement routines to evaluate which mobile channels realize the strongest ROI per target segment.

"It?s critical to look beyond clickthroughs to see what?s actually increasing consumer engagement," Mr. Wehrs said. "Lastly, ensure that your multichannel strategy sustains brand value over time, even if a specific campaign?s timeline passes.
"We work with a wide range of brands that get multichannel strategy," he said. "One example with Coca-Cola comes to mind ? Coca-Cola used QR codes on cans to promote its involvement and sponsorship of the 2012 European Football Championships. 

"The code triggered registrations and generated dialogue among consumers. Also, because of adaptive-response technology within the mobile engagement platform, a phone scanning a code on a can for a second or subsequent time generated a different response, bypassing registration and going straight to a new promotion. When the championships finished but the Coke cans were still on the shelves, customers scanning the codes were directed to a timely, relevant promotion, something you can only do if the technology powering the campaign allows for that level of flexibility."

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York