In my last post, I introduced important questions to ask when designing a mobile marketing method. The question is no longer if you need a method, but why and how. The answers will be shaped by the desires, personas, and behaviors of your unique audience. No one can give you the perfect formula, but you can find inspiration in existing mobile efforts.

The recent announcement of Apple’s iBeacon has many marketers scrambling to integrate the hyperlocal Bluetooth technology into their strategies. The implications of this rollout are huge, but new doesn’t automatically mean best. Marketers shouldn’t be too quick to adopt tools without first evaluating whether they actually address their customers’ needs and habits. The organizations I profile here started with a deep understanding of their customers’ problems and preferences. The three companies then designed a meaningful, inspiring mobile strategy centered on solutions.

The Palms’ Omnichannel Experience

What?

An integrated, omnichannel experience that delivers personalized messages and targeted promotions to customers based on their location and behavior. Key features include an immersive mobile site, responsive email design, and real-time social media interactions.

Why?

The Palms recognized three types of site visitors: those who are there to reserve a room, those who need convincing, and those who are just browsing. The company needed to reach all three, while rebranding the online experience to match the sophistication of the physical experience.

How?

The Palms used SapientNitro to enhance engagement and bring omnichannel commerce functionality to its site. It turned to Adobe Experience Manager to personalize and target messaging and promotions. These platforms also enable the company to treat their digital properties as one unified yet responsive experience. The team can now make a change and have it instantly go live on all devices.

The team built a “digital experience that emulated almost exactly the experience that an individual would have when they arrived on property”—elegant, appealing, and fun. It also linked social media activity to the hotel’s onsite guest relations. If a guest tweets a complaint, an employee can respond immediately, creating a seamless customer experience.

The Lesson

Base your decisions on testing and analytics, looking at every piece of the customer journey. The Palms team looked at click-throughs and heat maps, compared the success of different images, drew on data to develop customer profiles, and more. Comprehensive analytics can ensure that you treat your customers as the complex individuals they are.

DHL’s On-the-Go Shipment Tracking

What?

Real-time shipment tracking smartphone apps for freight and cargo customers. DHL has offered mobile phone product tracking for years and continues to improve. Most recently, the company unveiled the ActiveTracing mobile app, which lets users scan barcodes with their cameras to check on shipments rather than enter a lengthy tracking number.

Why?

Having detailed shipment visibility is particularly important to big enterprises and small- and mid-sized businesses—DHL’s primary customer base. Customers want to know their shipments are safe and on time. They also want to check the status of multiple shipments from anywhere, without having to dig up multiple tracking numbers.

How?

The ActiveTracing app is available both as a barcode scanner app built with PhoneGap and as part of a new M.dot site. It exceeds customer expectations with a three-second load time, responsive design, and experiences tailored to multiple regions and languages.

The Lesson

Keep evolving. DHL’s first mobile shipment tracking option came out in 2008 and focused on “real-time notifications via SMS text message alert.” When the market and technologies evolved beyond SMS, DHL kept pace. Find the most relevant way to put your services in front of customers.

O2’s Real-Time Priority Moments

What?

The O2 Priority Moments app is a mobile loyalty program that targets individual customers in real time with events and specials that match their interests. Businesses can use it free of charge to advertise offers to users in their area.

Why?

O2 wanted to appeal to its small- to mid-sized business customers. Locally owned businesses want to draw prospects from their area in-store. Other platforms for creating local offers can be restrictive or charge a fee. Businesses were looking for a free, flexible way to target offers.

How?

O2 Priority Moments draws on mobile analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) data to target content to users based on their location, behavior, and preference history. Crucial data includes “the recency and frequency of check-ins with the app,” the number and types of offers customers have accessed in the past, and geolocation. The app filters third-party promotions through this data so only the most relevant information reaches the user. The service spans a mobile app, mobile Web, online site, and MMS/SMS, so users can also choose where and how they receive offers.

The Lesson

Priority Moments delivers serious value and incentive to keep using the app. Roughly 20 percent of people abandon a new app after using it just once. Keep users coming back with push notifications, hyperlocal services, and personalized benefits they can’t get anywhere else.

10 More Ideas for Navigating Mobile Madness

As a bonus, here are 10 more simple ideas to inspire your mobile methods.

Entertainment

1. Gamify your product or mobile experience by offering points or rewards for check-ins, user activity, and other brand interactions.

2. Bring products to life with augmented reality, like this Forever 21 app.

Engagement

3. Add an instant call button connecting users to customer service.

4. Grow an active social forum to interact with customer questions and concerns.

5. Incentivize with mobile-exclusive products, information, and offers.

Integrated Experiences

6. Notify users of discounts when they’re near a store.

7. Host fun and valuable real-world events, and make it easy for users to sign up on your mobile site.

8. Live-stream events, relevant webinars, or celebrity Q&As.

In-Store Enablement

9. Help users navigate your store with responsive maps.

10. Let customers quickly set appointments through the mobile site and pay in-store via a mobile app.

Start With Mobile In Mind

You might be thinking, “But we already did the customer research when designing a website. Can’t we just make the same site mobile or responsive and be done?” Not quite. Users approach each device with different goals and behaviors. Designing a mobile method is about starting fresh and building from mobile-specific habits. It’s an ongoing process that will continue to evolve with your company, customers, and the rollout of new tools and technologies. Start off right by focusing on the why and how of your mobile method, and you’ll have a strong foundation to grow from.

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