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How to prepare for the next generation of mobile-driven marketing

As mobile marketing continues to mature, a plurality of brands will move from making just tactical decisions and devoting more time and resources to developing broad multichannel strategies that have mobile at the core.

Mobile will act as a linchpin, holding all the other parts of the strategy together so customers have a seamless brand experience. Now truly is the time for marketers to harness the power of mobile and use it to create relevant and personalized user experiences.

?The next generation of mobile marketing messages that reach consumers? eyes is far more likely to have undergone a mobile analytics process ? including techniques such as A/B split testing, targeting and segmentation ? that tests message effectiveness,? said Brendan O?Kane, CEO of OtherLevels, San Francisco. 

?As brands devote more of their marketing budgets to mobile, they?re going to have to justify those increases by making sure messages are as effective as possible in keeping customers engaged and driving desired conversions,? he said. ?More brands will be embracing mobile measurement out of a need to find actionable customer insights within the mountains of data they?re collecting from each one.

?With the huge proliferation of apps, we?ve seen a lot of push notification campaigns. Now we?re going to see a lot more campaigns being delivered through on-device messaging, such as local and app-originated pushes that are triggered by users? app actions, in-app alerts that also are triggered by app actions but appear while the app is in use, and rich content such as gamified promotions.?
Vast changes
The mobile space changes according to the capabilities of the devices consumers are holding in their hands.

Devices are becoming more sophisticated and with that, so are marketing campaigns.

According to Mr. O?Kane, an important change that has taken place is that marketers have increasingly realized that, because mobile is the most intensely personal medium available and it is about as close one can get to a customer, marketing on this medium requires that messaging be as personalized as possible.

Another key change is that more mobile marketers will need to focus less on initial customer acquisition, which is very expensive, and more on customer engagement and retention, which is where the real value lies.
?I think during the rest of this year and next year we?re going to see a lot more mobile campaigns that feature some kind of video element,? Mr. O?Kane said. ?We?re likely to see more campaigns incorporating rich media elements.

?I also think mobile marketers will keep turning to the entertainment value of gamification to keep customers engaged through a sense of fun.?

Next-generation marketing
The next generation of mobile-driven marketing is mobile relationship management, per Mark Tack, vice president of marketing at Vibes, Chicago.

?Today's consumer has the power to interact with brands anywhere, at any moment, right in the palm of their hand,? Mr. Tack said. ?This gives marketers the unprecedented opportunity to integrate mobile touch points at every stage of the buying process, from awareness and engagement, through transaction and loyalty.

?Mobile relationship management means having a long-term mobile strategy that defines how mobile fits within the company?s overall marketing mix,? he said. ?An important indicator in achieving true mobile relationship management is the development of a mobile strategy with a multichannel approach ? one that leverages text messaging, push, emerging mobile technologies such as Passbook, Google Wallet, QR codes, mobile Web and mobile apps.
?Consumer data integration is key. The end-goal is to connect with these consumers on a one-to-one basis.?
Mobile is maturing. And marketers must act accordingly.
Many marketers have moved beyond the experimentation phase of mobile and are taking a more programmatic approach to the medium.

This means that companies are building their mobile database and running regular mobile campaigns that use multiple mobile channels.
?Mobile continues to evolve,? Mr. Tack said. ?Innovations like Apple?s Passbook allow marketers to drive stronger mobile engagement with their consumers.

?The advantage of location-aware functionality empowers brands to deliver offers and promotional messages that are both timely and relevant to a consumer?s proximity to a physical retail location,? he said.

Additionally, Mr. Tack believes that personalization, Apple?s Passbook and platforms will drive next-level mobile marketing.
Naturally, the need for personalization is more important than ever.

Consumers are increasingly seeking out content that is personalized and contextually relevant to them.

Therefore, it is important to put consumers first and ask them what they want ? find out their preferences ? what they like and their preferred delivery methods.

?When marketers deliver personalized and targeted content to their customers, it will ensure the highest chance of engagement, transaction and loyalty, and a far more valuable brand experience,? Mr. Tack said.
?The next-generation of mobile wallets are already impacting marketing,? he said. ?Apple?s Passbook has proven to be an effective marketing channel.

?And Google?s announcement of Google Wallet Objects creates even more opportunities for marketers to connect with their shoppers through mobile.?

Key relevance
Jeff Hasen, a Seattle-based mobile marketing consultant, agrees that personalization and relevance is essential for mobile marketing growth.

?Relevance, even personalization will become much more expected by consumers,? Mr. Hasen said. ?Brands will certainly have to meet or exceed those expectations.

?Successful mobile brands like Lowe's are marketing one to one vs. one to many,? he said. ?It's a model that certainly will be followed and advanced.

"Further, the biggest change we'll see over the next year is improved measurement of mobile advertising and apps that will lead not just to sales, but to more dollars invested in the channel. Just like consumers have high expectations, so, too, do marketers who need and deserve better metrics. Over the next 12 months, they will get them."

Many believe that the mobile industry is really just starting to understand the next generation of mobile-driven marketing. 

The advanced ad technology and creativity in mobile advertising is starting to gel nicely, per Dave Gwozdz, CEO of Mojiva Inc., New York.

?We're seeing the start of a deeper reliance on programmatic advertising which will continue to blossom as stronger embedded players enter the demand side,? Mr. Gwozdz said. ?Additionally, we will definitely start to see more end-to-end platform players as there are too many point solutions for the market to absorb.

?Data is starting to become important, and we are seeing its use in meaningful ways at scale,? he said. ?The mobile-driven marketing sector has come a long way creatively over the past few years from ringtone text ads to some super cool ad units. 

?Conversion tracking has also blossomed, and we've seen a move from wrap to mobile Web to app. HTML5 also has driven more attention and focus on native content.?

The executive believes that in the coming year, marketers will see some large and meaningful ad exchanges arrive, along with much more emphasis on native ad units.

?Multiscreen will continue to be interesting, but won't blossom for a bit,? Mr. Gwozdz said.

?I also believe we will really see a declaration by many brands that they are putting mobile at the center of their marketing, especially as they see their customers spending a huge amount of time with mobile devices and they aren't able to reach them via online, TV and print,? he said.

?Lots of online brands will be forced to re-strategize and rethink assets to monetize mobile as their online business stalls.?

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