Most peo­ple know that mobile is the way to go.  Mobile sites and apps make it eas­ier for most brands to com­mu­ni­cate to their cus­tomers who are con­stantly on the go.  But we wanted to dive a lit­tle deeper into the dis­cus­sion. So in Novem­ber 2013, Adobe Cam­paign ran a sur­vey focused on “SoLoMo” (Social, Local, Mobile) strate­gies, where 741 mar­keters were sur­veyed world­wide. The sur­vey results were impres­sive, and  a quick snap­shot can be summed up in an info­graphic.

Most email com­mu­ni­ca­tions and web­sites are now mobile-optimized

Smart­phones and tablet are the new per­sonal com­puter. Con­sumers rely more on these devices than a desk­top. It’s there­fore not a sur­prise to learn that 72% of polled mar­keters have a ‘mobile-ready’ web­site. In Asia-Pacific, mar­keters are ahead with an 80% rate.

This trend is also true for email. Cus­tomers expect email com­mu­ni­ca­tions to be leg­i­ble on their mobile devices. Our sur­vey shows that 60% of mar­keters ful­fill this expec­ta­tion and build ‘mobile-ready’ email. The rate is as high as 70% in the U.S. and in Spain.

Mar­keters have clearly under­stood con­sumers’ needs and are tak­ing into account the impor­tance of hav­ing dig­i­tal con­tent per­fectly adapted to mobile.

Apps and push noti­fi­ca­tions cre­ate and main­tain cus­tomer engagement

Brands look to keep pace with their cus­tomers’ every­day life. One way they achieve this is with smart­phone and tablet apps that can facil­i­tate and enhance every­day rou­tines. Using mobile apps, brands give cus­tomers access to var­i­ous ser­vices: loy­alty pro­grams, cus­tomer care, store loca­tor, etc.

Here are some of the fast facts that we uncov­ered about mobile apps:

  • 68% of world­wide brands offer and man­age apps today, but only 17% have more than five apps.
  • U.S. brands carry more apps with 28% own­ing five or more mobile apps. Among the 32% of brands who didn’t have apps in 2013, 47% of these brands planned to debut an app over the course of 2014. As a result, 83% of brands will have at least one app end of 2014. Apps are clearly becom­ing a main­stream mar­ket­ing channel.

Over­all, apps present addi­tional ben­e­fit: they allow mar­keters to com­mu­ni­cate with app users through “push noti­fi­ca­tions” that pop up on mobile device screens and dis­play a short mes­sage. Thanks to these noti­fi­ca­tions, mar­keters can push offers, extra ser­vices or infor­ma­tion directly to con­sumers. Last year, 49% of brands lever­aged push noti­fi­ca­tions as a mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel and 30% plan to do so this year. Con­se­quently, 8 out of 10 brands will use noti­fi­ca­tions by the end of 2014.

Unfor­tu­nately, among brands using push noti­fi­ca­tions, only one third per­son­al­ize them. A bit like email 10 years ago, there is a huge poten­tial to increase push noti­fi­ca­tions per­son­al­iza­tion.  What can mar­keters do?  Here are a few tips:

  • Look at CRM data and declared preferences.
  • Review where peo­ple are going or cur­rently located. Because smart­phones are used on the go, brands then take geo­graph­i­cal posi­tion into account in their per­son­al­iza­tion strate­gies. What is the con­sumer doing? Look­ing at behav­ior is the third most pop­u­lar per­son­al­iza­tion cri­te­ria which means brands rely more on this than either of the two afore­men­tioned cri­te­ria. It’s likely that most brands have not yet imple­mented pow­er­ful enough mobile app ana­lyt­ics to track and lever­age such information.

More apps iden­tify their users 

With­out iden­ti­fy­ing your app users through a login process, in-app expe­ri­ence and push noti­fi­ca­tion per­son­al­iza­tion are not pos­si­ble. Nearly all web­sites encour­age peo­ple to login today. The sur­vey shows that this will soon be the case for mobile apps too. In fact: 48% of orga­ni­za­tions already requested that users log into their apps at the end of 2013.This rate will rise to 61% end of 2014. The U.S. and Asia-Pacific are a step fur­ther with respec­tively 65% and 58% of orga­ni­za­tions already fea­tur­ing an in-app login at end of 2013Login via ID/Password dom­i­nates, with 86% of brands enforc­ing this prac­tice. With 37% of brands using “Face­book Login”, the quicker login process is also gain­ing grounds. Face­book Login is a win­ning tool for both app users and brands. App users can log into an app in two clicks and mar­keters have access to qual­i­fied data to enrich per­son­al­iza­tion cri­te­ria (birth­date, liked pages, inter­ests & hob­bies, etc.). Login through other social media, though, is more mar­ginal with only 17% of brands propos­ing it. It’s a clear sign that Face­book is still far more pop­u­lar than other social media.

SoLoMo ini­tia­tives are soaring

We can expect SoLoMo ini­tia­tives to accel­er­ate in 2014. Pro­jec­tions from the study include:

Social:

  • At the end of 2013, 17% of brands iden­ti­fied fans and fol­low­ers in their CRM. 41% of brands will do so by the end of 2014. That’s 2.4 times more!
  • While only 13% of orga­ni­za­tions used Face­book pro­file infor­ma­tion to enrich their data­base in 2013, they will be 38% in 2014. That’s a 292% growth rate!

Local:

  • To per­son­al­ize con­tent based on geo­graph­i­cal data with pre­ci­sion, 10% of brands already ana­lyzed check-ins last year. At the end of 2014, 25% of brands will have adopted this prac­tice. It’s 2.5 times more.

Mobile:

  • Twice as many orga­ni­za­tions will adapt call-to-action but­tons to mobile devices (click to call, add to Pass­book, store loca­tor, click to get the itin­er­ary, etc.). In 2013, only 14 % of brands achieved this, but this rate will grow to 29% by the end of 2014.
  • Last year, 26% of brands iden­ti­fied peo­ple using their apps and rec­on­ciled them with their con­tacts in their CRM. With a 188% growth rate, 49% will do so by the end of 2014.
  • It should be noted that Asia-Pacific brands are clearly early adopters. They score about 10 points higher for all SoLoMo pro­jec­tions listed above.

What this study shows is that mobile is not only a cool way to engage with cus­tomers, but it is mov­ing to be “THE” way to engage. It is no longer fash­ion­able, but a needed way for brands to com­mu­ni­cate with con­sumers that are on the go and look­ing for that imme­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion that their trusted brands are sharing.

Check out the info­graphic with com­plete results here.

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