Technology doesn’t exist for its own sake, if it did, it would die a rather quick death from lack of adoption that would see it maintain relevance. Mobile has morphed into a lifestyle with many consumers not giving a second thought to the technology that powers it, not that they should anyway. But as it morphs into a lifestyle, it creates a new playground for interaction which many brands are yet to catch on, still basking in familiar old school methods of engagement.
The opportunity here is very real and would offer great benefits for the first mover. Brands need to start developing and implementing mobile strategies if they are to engage their consumers on a personal level. The battle for mindshare and eventually consumer purses will be won by the brands that will offer truly compelling and personalized experiences. The foremost benefit of creating mobile strategies is that it allows for the reporting of a key metric in business which is measurement. Marketing budgets for blue-chips are forever being choked, while for SME’s the same could very well be nonexistent, hence why the ability to measure your interaction with your market becomes crucial. One can easily see if the interaction is beneficial to the business and its bottom line and adjust accordingly.
Early movers in this space will have a better chance of getting attention and building a profiled database of their users. Think about it this way, currently its only financial institutions, large retail chains with loyalty programs and most recently mobile network providers who have comprehensive profiles of their users, though limited mostly to their service offering. How would your business benefit if it had consumer data that would allow you to personalize your product or service experience?
In the local ecosystem there are currently three ways that you can leverage mobile to connect with your consumers.
The first is the use of the sms channel.SMS campaigns should be nothing new, unless you have been living under a rock. These messaging campaigns have been extensively used in promotions where one would participate by buying a product and sending feedback or a keyword back to a shortcode – usually four digits and charged at a premium rate, to get the opportunity to win prizes. This is just but one of the ways sms campaigns can be rolled out. Another model would involve free consumer opt-in to receive coupons, and exclusive discounts or offers.
Mobile web is picking up with Kenya being top in Africa in number of pages accessed via mobile. The mobile web space is still virgin, with many brands having not made the leap. This gives your brand a damn good chance of standing out if you craft your experience well.
Mobile applications are the latest kids on the block, with smart phones increasingly being the order of the day. Access to the phone book, camera, location services and other phone features allow applications to take things up a notch to deliver unique product or service experiences.
Mobile email, mobile video and QR codes are also options that you can look at. The aspects of interaction on mobile are many and it would be up to you to choose the best mix. The worst you could do is ignore the fact that the consumer has gone mobile and is yearning for a different type of engagement. Ignore this and your brand will be headed to the dead pool sooner than you might imagine.