Mobility: The Key to Customer Engagement

Kevin Bishop, VP Enterprise Marketing Management, IBM
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Kevin Bishop, VP Enterprise Marketing Management, IBM

Mobile reached a tipping point in 2014. According to a recent Pew Internet Research Study, nine out of every 10 Americans have a mobile phone, with an increasing percentage of those being smart devices. As mobile usage soars, so does its role in driving exceptional customer engagements.

And the opportunity to create meaningful customer engagements is everywhere, when it’s common knowledge that 90 percent of mobile phone users keep their devices within arm’s reach, 100 percent of the time. In every industrialized nation, where marketing has the ability to influence intent, the closest channel to a human being is now their smartphone.

But have marketing strategies really kept up with the explosion of mobile? For some, it was perfectly acceptable to adapt an existing website to function on a mobile device, then move on to create a mobile website and finally a mobile app. But that’s no longer enough. Everyone and everything is mobile.

As marketers, it is no longer acceptable, let alone beneficial to the business or to the consumer, to have a side project called mobile marketing—now, mobility is the first and primary project and there is no excuse for approaching mobility through a siloed strategy Today’s digitally savvy consumer is not engaged by generic marketing. We tune it out. More and more we expect a personalized and tailored experience.

Good mobility solutions do just that—they create a more intimate and targeted brand experience by using mountains of information through cloud, Big Data and analytics capabilities to make each connection relevant. Whether it’s through location-based information, or information on how each consumer engages with the brand on their smartphone, mobility has the power to inform entire marketing communication strategies.  For example, it’s important for marketers to understand what channels consumers use ‘to shop’ versus ‘to buy’. The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark recently reported in Q1 2014, consumers were more likely to browse via their smartphones, but actually made purchases on their tablets. This type of information can be extremely valuable in designing a unique and personal customer experience.

“The power of mobility also reaches beyond a tailored experience, it allows marketers to drill down and deliver messages to consumers in the context of where they are”

The power of mobility also reaches beyond a tailored experience, it allows marketers to drill down and deliver messages to consumers in the context of where they are. Whether consumers are walking past a store, catching a game at the local stadium, or leaving an airport, marketers have the ability to tailor the right message to a customer based on where they are and what they are doing at any given time. For example, IBM cloud-based solutions can help retailers transform the in-store customer experience by using intelligent location-based technology to engage shoppers in real-time, through contextual dialogue around offers, deals and promotions as they move through the store. Location-triggered notifications have proven to be extremely successful with sustained action rates three times that of non-geo triggered messages. These solutions rely on time of day, user responsiveness, real-time location and customer segment to ensure delivery of content when consumers are most likely to need and act on it.

So what does mobility look like in action? Sun Life Stadium—home of the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise—welcomes more than 75,000 fans into the complex during the season on any given Sunday. By leveraging IBM cloud-based solutions, the stadium now has a consolidated view of its operations to provide a better fan experience.

Thanks to a mobility-focused approach, Sun Life Stadium can alert fans via mobile devices where they should park based on their seat location and what roads to take based on where they are coming from. Whilst hot dogs, popcorn, and other concessions are just as much a part of football as the game itself, no one likes to stand in lines while the game is on, so the stadium uses real-time turnstile data to direct fans to the shortest lines and appropriately staffed concessions, so fans get their food quickly and return to their seats to enjoy the game. Thanks to a personalized, real-time approach, delivered through analytics and mobility technologies, Dolphin fans receive the ultimate customer experience throughout the season.

In a world where engagement with the individual customer rules the game, mobility allows the marketer to give the customer what they want, when they want it , and most importantly, where they want it. Through this sort of marketing transformation-removing silo, and relying on cloud-based Big Data and analytics technologies, marketers can drive deeper personalization and create moments that matter—which not only benefits the customer, but ultimately, the bottom line.

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