Dig­i­tal mar­keters are busy devel­op­ing strate­gies that lever­age geo­tar­get­ing, search and text his­to­ries, opt-in choices, and Big Data to deliver per­fectly timed mar­ket­ing mes­sages at pre­cisely the right moment. But how far will these strate­gies go—and what chal­lenges will mobile mar­ket­ing face on the road to pre­mier personalization?

Cur­rent Trends in Mobile Marketing

A major­ity of US con­sumers are mobile users, with mil­lions access­ing the Inter­net on smart­phones and tablets. At first, the smaller screens and var­i­ous for­mats wreaked havoc with web­sites that didn’t dis­play prop­erly. Some orga­ni­za­tions addressed this prob­lem by cre­at­ing sep­a­rate mobile-specific sites, but before long the best prac­tice shifted toward respon­sive design, allow­ing sites to dynam­i­cally adapt to the devices used to access them.

In addi­tion to respon­sive sites, mobile apps have emerged as a major mar­ket­ing strat­egy. App devel­op­ment has seen steady growth, and may even be more cru­cial than respon­sive design. Recent data from Nielsen finds that 89 per­cent of mobile users’ media time is spent on apps, leav­ing just 11 per­cent for websites.

Other cur­rent mobile mar­ket­ing trends include:

  • Mobile email mar­ket­ing: A 2014 Lit­mus study found that more than half (51 per­cent) of emails are opened on mobile devices—meaning that mar­keters need to account for the mobile expe­ri­ence when prepar­ing email mar­ket­ing campaigns.
  • Push mes­sag­ing: This proac­tive strat­egy sends mar­ket­ing mes­sages directly to con­sumer devices, as opposed to “pull” mes­sag­ing, which directs recip­i­ents to a web­site and ana­lyzes the result­ing con­sumer actions.

Mobile Mar­ket­ing Challenges

Stud­ies show that today’s shop­pers want per­son­al­ized con­tent, but there’s a fine line between per­sonal and intru­sive. Con­text is key. For best results, tai­lor your tar­geted mobile cam­paign to match the customer’s needs, wants, lifestyle, income, and pre­vi­ous shop­ping behaviors.

It’s a given that busi­nesses can ben­e­fit from per­son­al­ized mobile mes­sag­ing and location-based cam­paigns, but the key is high­light­ing the value for shop­pers. Some peo­ple won’t think twice about dis­clos­ing their loca­tion to receive timely offers, but stud­ies show that most are uncom­fort­able shar­ing that information.

To set their minds at ease, pro­vide a way for them to select which types of per­sonal data can be accessed via mobile. When send­ing per­son­al­ized mobile mes­sag­ing, give cus­tomers con­trol over what they receive. In addi­tion to basic opt-out func­tion­al­ity, con­sider let­ting them pick and choose the type and fre­quency of offers they’ll receive.

Who’s in Charge of Mobile?

Most orga­ni­za­tions incor­po­rate mobile mar­ket­ing as part of an over­all dig­i­tal strat­egy. How­ever, as con­sumers shift away from tra­di­tional desk­tops and rely more on advanced tablets and smart­phones that offer nearly equal capa­bil­i­ties, busi­nesses must shift their per­cep­tions of this vital segment.

Every­one knows how impor­tant mobile is, but are they han­dling it well—or just toss­ing it into the mix? To suc­ceed with mobile mar­ket­ing and cap­i­tal­ize on the per­son­al­iza­tion trend, com­pa­nies must answer some essen­tial ques­tions: Who owns mobile? Who is respon­si­ble for the mobile strat­egy? How is it coor­di­nated across orga­ni­za­tional channels?

Get­ting the Most out of Mobile

Today’s orga­ni­za­tions need a des­ig­nated mobile strate­gist who fully owns the chan­nel. This per­son should not only test and develop effec­tive cam­paigns and pipelines, but also guide the inte­gra­tion of mobile into other chan­nels in a way that accurately—and personally—reflects the brand message.

Hav­ing the right tools is also essen­tial. As part of the inte­grated Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud, Adobe Mobile Ser­vices lets mar­keters cre­ate, ana­lyze, and opti­mize tar­geted mobile con­tent from a sin­gle inter­face. Using the new mobile attri­bu­tion fea­ture, you can even assign track­ing links to mon­i­tor and report on mobile app down­loads. This makes it easy to deter­mine not only the num­ber of down­loads, but also where those down­loads are com­ing from, such as an e-newsletter or a land­ing page. Once you’ve gath­ered the data sur­round­ing the acqui­si­tion, you can tar­get your per­son­al­ized mar­ket­ing efforts accordingly.

Today’s busi­nesses can no longer afford to view mobile as yet another chan­nel that may or may not deliver results. It isn’t so much a plat­form as a cul­tural sta­ple, and orga­ni­za­tions must rec­og­nize the need to invest in it. Unlike the ever-shifting dynamic of social media, mobile is here to stay—and its full impact on per­son­al­iza­tion remains to be seen.