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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