Making sense of mobile engagement

Mobile engagement is all the rage right now, with providers predicted to grow into a $32.4bn market by 2018. However, businesses are failing to catch up fast enough, unable to innovate at a pace that meets consumer demand. Whilst mobile users seek the best, personalised experiences, privacy issues are of graver concern than ever before. At the same time, for 44% of marketers, mobile still is only a scaled-down version of their other digital campaigns. This lackluster approach clearly demonstrates a missed opportunity, since mobile devices represent a much more personal experience than TV or desktop.

In engaging consumers, marketers are strongly relying on available ad tech, but is it enough?

Research firm Forrester recently took a closer look at how B2C marketers could be actively pushing mobile moments through omni-channel campaigns. The TechRadar: Mobile Marketing, Q1 2016 report investigated 12 important mobile technologies and interviewed 75 experts in the field to assess the state of these technologies. They include app monetisation analytics, augmented reality, cross-device identity matching, in-app engagement analytics, location intelligence platforms, low-code application development platforms, messaging aggregators, mobile advertising analytics, mobile advertising platforms, mobile engagement automation, mobile messaging and mobile web platforms.

It then measured the success rate as well as business value of these technologies. Those in the Creation phase require further innovation, whilst most others have grown to Equilibrium and in fact will be reaching a phase of Decline. Mobile engagement automation as well as location platforms are both predicted to grow towards the next stage of Survival within just a year. This demonstrates the rise in engagement awareness.

Trajectory of mobile tech

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Source: forrester.com

In mapping the future of these technologies, Forrester found that they are evolving from single-purpose into more holistic solutions. Mobile-first vendors who started out with in-app analytics and A/B testing, have now expanded to include enhanced analytics, campaign management tools as well as automation capabilities.

However, too many marketers are still focussed on marketing, when they should be turning towards engagement. Retargeting and customer service features are great ways to enrich a campaign.

Research from McKinsey & Company confirms that digital engagement of engagement remains a top priority for digital businesses, with 30% ranking it first.

Engagement is a top priority for businesses

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Source: mckinsey.com

Engagement strategies can be confusing to refine. Marketing firm Kahuna says it represents a “repeated value for the brand versus a single instance of consumption or purchase behavior.” This model focusses on the bigger picture and its continued value, combining available technologies as opposed to single efforts.

Engagement pyramid

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Source: kahuna.com

However, one of the key challenges in mobile engagement is privacy. 70% of consumers don’t trust mobile marketers to ensure the safety of their private data. Over half of respondents in a Syniverse study said they were less trusting of brands than they were three years ago.

Data is a critical part in smoothing out the mobile experience. Demographics, location as well as histories all provide important information that could help marketers re-engage their audience or drive sales. However, when this trust cannot be established, engagement strategies fall behind.

Mary Clark, Chief marketing officer, Syniverse, explains:

mary cark

“Personalization depends on people’s willingness to share personal and contextual information to enhance their mobile journey, and that’s largely missing at the moment. Consumers clearly do not feel that their mobile experiences have been significantly improved to date by the sharing of personal data. However, the stakes are too high to give up on personalization, with too many business models and engagement strategies at risk.”

Now is the time for mobile marketers to utilise available data and insights to create campaigns which are personalised and less disruptive. If we continue to abuse the trust of our audiences and don’t make an effort to truly understand the end user, fewer people will opt-in to share personal data. Mobile requires real commitment and understanding the user is key.