The Warc Blog

4 Must-Ask Mobile Questions for Every Marketer

Posted by: Brand Learning

Blog author "What should my brand be doing in Digital?" It's the question I can almost guarantee to be asked in any Brand Learning digital programme that is run – regardless of client, industry or even location. In many ways it's a great query to hear; it means the group are excited by the opportunity and ready to make a start, often one of the biggest hurdles. But I'm also aware that my classic answer usually disappoints. As a subscriber to the belief that it's not digital marketing but marketing in a digital age the answer typically highlights the strategic need, a target audience insight, clarity on current engagement and a keen understanding of competitor activity in the digital space. Did you feel that? It's the drop in momentum that accompanies the realisation that the answer cannot be solved in a quick, turn-key solution.

4 Must-Ask Mobile Questions for Every Marketer

And this is the big concern every time we answer this most commonly asked question – that it slows down the positive momentum created from the excitement and energy of a great project. And, depending upon the industry, the answers can really be hard to come by, as I found out in a recent animal health project as I searched for digital behavioural data for vets in Western Europe.

Reviewing the latest trends and developments in Digital however has led me to the conclusion that for almost any brand, in any category, a simple answer to my most commonly asked question has emerged – Mobile. The most succinct articulation of the need for a mobile strategy I have heard comes from Gartner who states: 'by 2015, more words will be typed on glass than on keyboard'.

What surprises me as both someone actively involved in digital marketing as well as a consumer is how few companies have planned for mobile or consider the development of an application as the answer to their mobile future.

With the latest developments in tech, the increasing size and range of available devices and the changing behaviours of our customer, now is the time for Marketers to answer a few key questions;

Q1 Do we have a mobile website and if not, why not?

In the face of such compelling trend data it takes a very brave Marketer to choose not to develop a mobile version of their site. Don't make the mistake of saying, 'well I have a mobile App'. A mobile App is something very different from a mobile website – it serves a different purpose, has a different functionality and is an answer to different customer behaviour entirely. My Starbucks app for example is great when I find myself in a new city and need to work remotely between meetings. I can quickly find a Starbucks based on my location, buy my coffee directly through the phone and it syncs my purchase with my reward card. On the other hand, its mobile optimised website serves much richer information about the brand, its latest products and activities – encouraging me to broaden my choices from my usual flat white when it comes to my next order.

If the answer is that your brand hasn't got a mobile website, strongly consider making this a strategic imperative for the coming year's investment. Whether 'Mobile optimised' which is effectively a version of your desktop website rendered for the small screen or a 'Mobile site' – a site which is built with your mobile consumer front and centre is entirely down to budgets, complexity but most importantly the needs of your customer.

Q2 Does our current mobile strategy reflect an outdated mobile landscape?

Many brands early to the Mobile marketplace focussed on Apple products - iPad and iPhone – often driven by a personal affection and admiration for the product that was shared by the agency teams. In the past 18 months the landscape has changed considerably, with Android becoming dominant in the majority of markets and new programming languages such as HTML 5 allowing for responsive design across the myriad of different screens. There has never been a better time to re-evaluate your approach to mobile.

Q3 Have our Apps become victims of the 'Launch and Leave' mentality within Digital Marketing?

You might have forgotten about your launch of an undifferentiated App that struggled to add value and therefore receive investment - but your customers haven't. They may still be downloading it from the relevant app store and having a miserable experience with your brand as you read this. Rather than ignore the problem and hope it will go away (it won't) explore the options of evolving the functionality, using available data to iterate and optimise the experience with your agency or internal tech team. It's important to remember that blockbuster applications such as Nike+ who now have over 10 million active users are a product of constant iteration and improvement to remain relevant and value adding to their customers.

Q4 Is our future in Native Apps or Web Apps?

There was a time when native apps were the only option. Built specifically for the operating system and downloadable through the relevant app store, native apps are optimised for the specific device and therefore have great integration with the hardware and should display perfectly. Web Apps allow you to build once and deliver across multiple mobile platforms, e.g. IOS, Android and Windows. The cost savings and simplicity is offset by hardware integration and the need for mobile connectivity although this is improving. Companies such as the Financial Times have found that a well-designed web app can simplify the mobile user experience for both themselves and their customers.

As you can from the options above, adopting a mobile approach can be a staged approach with hybrid options allowing you to test and learning before a full rollout. What is key however is to start making your mark in mobile as your customers are already there?

Inevitably, the questions that are most frequently asked become the easiest to answer, so I will leave you with a new query asked by a self-confessed technophobe member of a client team Brand Learning has recently been working with. Turning her head to one side she quizzically wondered 'Where do Apps go to die?' What a great question. As is so often the case in digital, the technical answer was immediately apparent – it's the behavioural impact of killing off a favoured brand app with your customer that's far more uncertain.

What tough questions are you going to ask yourself today?

This post is by Stephen Ingram, Digital Development Director at Brand Learning
31 January 2014, 11:10
New on Warc: What to expect in 2014

Posted by: James Aitchison, Director, Warc

Blog author

This month's update leads with the seasonal clutch of predictions for the year ahead, from the likes of Aegis, and Mindshare. We also have insights on multiscreening from Admap, a round up of event reports and details of the release of our Warc Webinar collection.

Read on for all the news - and to receive content updates like this by monthly email, visit: Your Warc > Email Alerts.

15 January 2014, 11:14
Point of view: The social media detox

Posted by: Molly Flatt, Social business director, 1000heads

Blog author

You'd better accept it now: your January detox is bound to fail. The British Liver Trust has described short-term New Year abstinence as 'medically futile', but we don't need scientists to tell us that attempting to embrace salads and spinning classes at what is possibly the darkest, coldest and most anticlimactic time of year is dumb. Instead, I recommend you stock the boardroom with biscuits and motivate your team to shed some flabby social media habits in time for spring.

Marketers are always being told what to do in social media, but they're rarely told what to cut loose. So here are three toxic behaviours that commonly clog brands' communication colons, with ideas for how to cut them out.

15 January 2014, 10:42
How to Handle 2014's Hot Topics

Posted by: Brand Learning

Blog author

Another year is upon us!

As we re-commit to a fresh list of resolutions and reflect on the year gone by, we can't help but notice the buzz hitting our newsfeeds on the 'hot topics' marketers need to embrace to stay at the top of their game this year. Predictions, Top 10 things to watch out for, 5 'must-know' areas to master – what a lot to get our heads round.

14 January 2014, 17:48
Mythbuster: The failure to realise that positive is not always good

Posted by: Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB

Blog author

Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the failure to realise that positive is not always good.

We came across something unusual the other day – two words not often heard together. But two words that remind us of a common myth. The scene was a research debrief. Two alternative ad ideas had been explored in qualitative research. It was a tricky bit of research to interpret. This was a new campaign. The two routes were very different. And the stimulus material was rudimentary.

09 January 2014, 09:53
Point of view: Shop talk

Posted by: Molly Flatt, Social business director, 1000heads

Blog author

Social commerce – where the act of shopping becomes seamlessly embedded in the creation, sharing and consumption of social media content – has always been the pot of gold at the end of the social media rainbow. According to McKinsey, word of mouth drives 20-50% of purchase decisions, so enabling people to buy in the same venues and contexts where they're chatting with their peers makes total sense.

Unfortunately, it's had a less-than-salubrious history. Facebook has found it particularly hard to nail. First there was 2007's short-lived Beacon plug-in, which published users' creditcard activity in their friends' news feeds. Presumably intended to inspire copycat purchases, it actually inspired shame, lawsuits and divorce threats. Then came in-page F-Commerce stores, which were prohibitively expensive for brands and an utterly disjointed experience for consumers. Finally, last year's mobile app, Facebook Gifts, offered users a chance to share real and physical gifts from retailers. Users promptly declined, and the service has been dramatically scaled back after only eight months.

16 December 2013, 09:43
Why marketers must wake up to privacy

Posted by: Lena Roland, Commissioning Editor, Best Practice, Warc

Blog author

Who owns consumer data? Who has access to it? Where is it stored? Can it be deleted? These were some of the questions raised at a recent breakfast briefing about the future of personal data hosted by Trajectory Partnership, the London-based consumer insight and futures consultancy. A more in-depth analysis of these issues is covered in our report, Personal privacy and consent marketing: The new competitive battleground?

Today's marketers have access to more consumer data than ever before, enabling brands to create highly targeted and personalised advertising campaigns. But increasingly sophisticated technology such as online cookies, geo-location mobile phone tracking and facial recognition can leave consumers with a growing sense of unease and leave companies with the dreaded "creep factor".

13 December 2013, 13:08
New on Warc: How to find the right content marketing strategy

Posted by: James Aitchison, Director, Warc

Blog author

Warc's new Content Marketing report takes centre stage of this update, joined by an Admap special on brand-building in the digital age and a round-up of our event reports from around the world. Elsewhere, we take a look ahead to the hottest trends of the coming year, have a last-chance reminder to enter the Warc Prize for Social Strategy and bring news of our first conference of 2014.

Read on for all the news - and to receive content updates like this by monthly email, visit: Your Warc > Email Alerts.

12 December 2013, 17:29
Is Online Qualitative Research Potentially Misleading?

Posted by: Edward Appleton, Senior Manager Consumer Insights, Coca Cola Gmbh

Blog author

At the recent ESOMAR Qualitative Conference in Valencia, Spain, one of the papers that stuck in my mind was on the topic of "online" versus "offline" identity. Entitled "Freedom to Reveal or Freedom to Project" and given by Peter Totman of London based Jigsaw Research, it outlined the results of a qualitative project comparing the views of people given in a face-to-face versus an online context.

The discussion topics were relatively emotive: immigration and sexism. A split design was employed, with five of the 10 respondents sharing their views face-to-face first, then giving their online views - with the rest in the opposite order.

09 December 2013, 16:58
How to sprinkle magic on the customer experience

Posted by: Brand Learning

Blog author

There's a growing amount of attention being given to customer experience: the critical moments when your desired brand positioning is expressed in practice, across every touchpoint, every interaction and every step of the customer journey. Not only does it require a strong, joined up and insightful brand plan – it also requires stretching leadership to join up every business function in delivering a coherent, brilliantly branded, customer-centred experience.

Digital technology has catalysed this growing attention – it offers superb opportunities to deliver value and connectivity with customers – but also brings omnichannel complexity while raising customers' expectations of what brands should deliver.

06 December 2013, 16:34

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