Marketers looking to reach mobile users based on their mindset in a specific moment — a strategy known as mobile moments marketing — are finding the holiday season is ripe with opportunities, from planning a holiday gathering to shopping for gifts.
To take advantage of mobile moments, as opposed to targeting based on demographic or location data, marketers need to have a deep understanding of both their buyers’ journey and where their customers or prospects might be along this path. It can be as simple as knowing when customers are near an in-store display and offering them an immediate discount for an impulse purchase.
“Moments give marketers a meaningful framework for applying customer insight — it’s not just about knowing more about your audience but also applying that knowledge to build more productive and positive relationships,” Scott Swanson, CEO of Aki Technologies, told Marketing Dive. “By understanding a consumer’s mobile activity better, marketers can zero in on the moments that represent the best opportunity for engagement and, importantly, avoid those that work against the campaign goals.”
Swanson added that marketers are now getting the insight and technology needed to navigate the challenges around mobile marketing, and that mobile moments is an approach that “demystifies” mobile behavior and instead puts the customer experience first. This translates to “smarter targeting, better performing campaigns and, most importantly, happier consumers," he said.
The right moment
How pervasive are mobile moments? Dave Heinzinger, VP of communications at inMarket, explained to Marketing Dive that the average consumer partakes in 150-200 mobile moments per day, with in-store moments having the largest impact on purchase decisions. InMarket's research found 55% of mobile moments in the store directly impact the purchase decision.
Taking advantage of holiday mobile moments requires marketers have a keen understanding about which moments offer a solid opportunity versus those that work against campaign goals before ramping up holiday mobile messaging.
"Do [marketers] know what kind of mobile moments their target consumer experiences?," said Swanson. "Do they know how those moments change during the holidays? And, importantly, do they have a window into their audience’s receptivity during those moments in order to improve the impact and efficiency of their campaigns?”
The mobile device as shopping assistant
At this time of year, a big portion of mobile moments are built around shopping and the in-store experience, with shoppers increasingly treating their mobile devices as a concierge in the store.
“During the holidays, shoppers will rely on their phones more than ever inside the store — whether it’s through research, deals or price comparison,” said Heinzinger. “The savviest marketers are expanding their mobile reach beyond their own apps and into third party apps that people are already using in the stores.
“[Consumers] aren't using games or social media; they're focused on shopping activities and they rely on digital info in their offline path to purchase," he added. "The savviest brands are tapping location to identify or create impactful mobile moments at the right times and places — and it's paying off.”
While a robust year round in-store strategy is important, because retailers and malls see the biggest foot traffic during the holidays, this gives marketers more opportunity for in-store mobile marketing. Additionally, shopping cycles shorten for categories like clothing and electronics, meaning there are more frequent touch points for marketers.
But just because a brand can reach customers while they are shopping, this alone is not enough of a reason to make contact. The key is finding the right moment and approach so that a brand engagement provides value for consumers.
Aki works with consumer packaged goods marketers to use moments to align advertising with specific needs, automotive brands to target rich media and video with “lean-back” moments like weekend mornings, and retailers looking to connect with consumers in pre-shopping moments. Swanson pointed to Taco Bell as a brand that is successful with mobile moments promoting its breakfast menu with customer engagement throughout the morning.
Energizer and MEC, the brand’s agency, won a IAB Mixx Gold Award for a campaign that created mobile moments in-store through multiple shopping apps, what Heinzinger said is a great example of leveraging content instead of coupons to drive sales.
Consumers also spend time looking up recipes on their phones during the holiday, making this another mobile moment to engage with them. For example, InMarket worked with SKAR and Sue Bee Honey for in-store mobile campaign targeting recipe moments.
"The big questions brands need to ask is this: How can we use mobile to add value to the in-store experience?," Heinzinger said.