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The true power of mobile marketing is often underestimated. Campaigns should no longer be just mobile-friendly, they should be mobile-first.

Mobile usage has changed the marketing game utterly. The 2016 State of Marketing report gives us an understanding of the impact it has had on the industry. Between 2015 and 2016 there was 98% growth in mobile app usage by marketers and 111% growth in SMS usage. Mobile push notifications increased 145% and location-based mobile tracking increased 149%.

In 2016, 79% of leaders agreed that mobile marketing was core to their business and 77% of marketers believed mobile generated ROI. Only a year previously, that figure had sat at 31%. For an idea of the trajectory of mobile marketing, let’s look at the base that was coming from: 46% of marketers used some form of mobile marketing, in 2015, and only 23% in 2014. Last year, 79% believed it was core to their business, not just part of the mix.

Mobile marketing has become central to campaigns for the same reason that mobile photography all but destroyed the camera industry – because people will use what is immediately available to them.

Smartphones have replaced PCs – your phone is now your go-to device. Not only are they used for researching purchases and restaurants, or booking flights, they’ve also enhanced customer service.

Downstairs from my office, a Guzman Y Gomez recently opened and launched an app - it’s a loyalty app, brilliant for marketing. And I it use to order lunch – I pay with a credit card and receive a notification to drop in and pick up my order. I literally get in the lift, go downstairs, grab my food off the counter and come back up again.

GYG barely needs to market to me anymore – I have their marketing material right there in the palm of my hand.

 

Good service is great marketing

 

You know the old adage – it’s easier to keep an existing customer than win a new one? Well, we quite like helping customers do both, because we know customer retention through stellar service fuels customer acquisition and is key to growth. We also know that customer service is the new marketing.

So, we’ve just launched LiveMessage. It natively integrates with our Customer Success Platform and allows communication via SMS. For certain enquiries, customers first deal with a Service Cloud Bot, which gathers data on the client and answers simple questions. If a request becomes complicated, the bot passes the customer onto a live service agent, which means customers are provided human interaction when dealing with complicated issues.

Mobile is an incredibly powerful channel and we are only just beginning to appreciate how formidable it is in the marketing landscape. Even at the simplest level, such as the ability for a customer to use SMS while in-store to join the store’s loyalty club and take immediate advantage of loyalty discounts, it offers the type of simplicity and elegance that other marketing channels simply can’t compete with.

Jeremy Smith is Regional Vice President of Sales A/NZ for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. He tweets at @tweetingjeremy. Read more from Jeremy.

Find out how Macy’s reinvented itself through a mobile strategy in our ebook ‘Engage with today’s customers’.