Incase app for iPhone

Recent statistics have proved what we all know:  the mobile consumer is rising. In 2010 smartphone purchases increased by 72.1% and a week doesn’t go by when we hear of retailers launching mobile commerce sites or mobile initiatives revealed.

It seems there is consumer demand for mobile services but understanding the mobile consumer psyche is confusing.

I am example A. I have a Blackberry for work and an iPhone for personal use, I want brands to optimise their sites for me, I want SMS messages from certain brands like my bank but like 88% of consumers, I do not want ‘intrusive’ adverts presented to me.

Mobile consumers seem to want the convenience of access to services via mobile devices but on their terms. So how does an organisation secure the confidence of a consumer when it comes to push messages via mobile?

The key to any strategy is choice. Give consumers control; they’re rightly concerned about privacy, costs and spam, but 74% of us would opt in for the right incentive and 41% would opt in if we had control.

An SMS response mechanic should always start with an opt in before the offer or discount. Do this just by SMS, or link to a mobile optimised page with clear choices about the timing, frequency and type of offer.

And it doesn’t just have to be a tick box exercise; build trust and character by making it conversational, fun and above all memorable. Even a simple opt in can be valuable brand collateral. It’s also worth considering the services accessed by mobile and promoting the use of these to build trust.

Facebook deals is a great example of encouraging consumers to use their mobiles to engage with you and benefit from specific offers and deals. The more a consumer becomes used to engaging with your brand via mobile, the more likely they are to accept marketing via this channel.

Trust amongst consumers is one of the key barriers for mobile to really take off so consumers need to see value-added services/benefits first, and then they are more likely to feel confident and consider transacting via the channel.

A final word of warning to brands: don’t abuse the trust you build up. If you’ve worked hard to get a consumer to engage via mobile then don’t waste this by over using the channel.

The key to marketing today is multichannel, and using the right message via the right channel at the right time. 

Photo credit: Incase via Flickr

Richard Lees

Published 28 February, 2011 by Richard Lees

Richard Lees is Chairman at dbg and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

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Comments (1)

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

An important contribution to the debate Richard. I agree that trust is absolutely the key to mobile marketing success.

We Marketers salivate over the prospect of reaching consumers via their mobile devices.

We're giddy from the huge opportunities of over-laying geotargeting data with consumer data, search histories, group buying, the social graph, bar code readers, augmented reality, social gaming and so on. We've not begun to scratch the surface of what's possible.

The challenge, however, as you point out, is that 'marketing to' consumers via their mobile devices is fraught with difficulties. Mainly because, I think, of how people perceive their devices.

I think that the mobile (phone/computer) has a unique place in our psyches. Unlike any other technology, it has permeated our lives so deeply that mobiles feel less 'a tool' and almost 'part of us'.

Which is why I think that mobile marketing is so challenging. Get it wrong and you're not simply cluttering my screen space, you're entering my personal space!

over 7 years ago

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