POSTED : May 28, 2015
BY : PK

Do you know where your smartphone is right now?

Chances are yes.  In fact, you probably just quickly checked your pocket.  Remember the time when you raced out the door, late for work, only to get halfway to the office when you realized your phone was sitting on the kitchen counter?  Remember that moment when you actually considered being late to your boss’ staff meeting so you could run home to get your phone?  We’ve all been there.  According to Pew Research, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone. The smartphone has become an essential part of our daily wardrobe and we feel “naked” without it.  It’s also the reason why B2B marketers should tap into the potential of mobile marketing.

Today is Bring Your Own Device to work day.

Bring Your Own Device or BYOD is no longer a vision; it’s a mainstream expectation for many in corporate America.  A recent research study by TechPro indicates that 74% of organizations allow or enable employees to bring their own devices.  This trend supports earlier predictions from Gartner indicating that by 2017 more than half of firms would no long provide mobile devices to their workforce.  People are increasingly using a single mobile device for everything and the lines between what is work and what is play are blurred.  With our collective appetite for immediate information access comes a slightly higher tolerance for relevant marketing messages.  As we exercise our right to device choice in the workforce, the ubiquity of 4G LTE across all 4 major carriers means we can expect fast access to our work data and marketers can expect consistent performance in terms of message delivery.

Mobile has the power to take your marketing up (to 11).

Advertising, direct response, and digital marketing make up the foundation of a traditional integrated marketing program.  Mobile marketing adds another dimension that can create a positive customer experience by engaging through a hyper-relevant channel.  And it all starts with a well-timed text. Short Message Service or SMS was originally created as a network notification system. By 2007, SMS had officially supplanted calling as the primary mobile communication vehicle.  Mobile has been employed extensively in consumer communications to engage and interact with consumers in a hyper-local, targeted way.  However, B2B marketers have been slower to adopt mobile as a significant communication channel.  It might be the casual nature of mobile that is keeping serious business brands at bay or simply the more challenging nature of tracking ROI.  Regardless, mobile continues to sit outside of the core integrated marketing approach for B2B; relegated to pilot projects for many.

Why B2B marketers should go to mobile.

As marketers, we toil over fractions of percentages when it comes to response rates and conversions.  We celebrate when we see a percent point increase. What if we could go from an open rate of 18% to closer to 90%?  Response rates to mobile interactions dwarf response rates to traditional channels both in terms of open rates and time to respond.  To put this in perspective, here are some mind-boggling statistics:

  • 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery.  Speaking from personal experience, it’s a Pavlov response.
  • SMS has an open rate of approximately 98% verses that of traditional email marketing which is closer to 22% (Frost & Sullivan).
  • SMS can see on average 14% Click Through Rate (CTR) and in many cases see an 8% conversion rate (email industry standard is 6.6% CTR, 1.7% conversion)
  • Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. (Business Insider)
  • 73% of mobile searchers result in a call to a business. (Mobile Marketer)

Mobile marketing offers a massive opportunity to capture your audience’s attention who have otherwise been numbed by traditional means of direct mail and email marketing.  Beyond SMS, there is now a wide range of proven mobile engagement tactics; Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), mobile email and push notifications to name a few. Over the Top (OTT) mobile apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp are quickly becoming dominant modes of communication especially with millennials (see our earlier blog Hello my name is Millennial).  You may be thinking that those apps are only relevant for consumer marketing, and if you do, you are not alone.  Very few B2B marketers are dabbling with these mobile apps. But you never know – it could be only a matter of time before they join the ranks of Facebook or LinkedIn for business as innovative ways to engage.  The point is that it’s time to get a jumpstart on other B2B marketers by incorporating mobile marketing into your multi-channel integrated campaigns.  It’s no longer just a pilot channel.

Final thoughts if you are considering mobile marketing:

  1. Invest in foundational mobile marketing first such as SMS to test the waters.
  2. Consider how and where mobile engagements naturally fit into your customer buyer journey.
  3. Test, track and optimize to find the right balance of mobile engagement in your digital customer engagement programs.
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