Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS9, introduces the functionality innovations and user experience enhancements that consumers have come to expect from the tech giant's annual upgrades. Two particular features that Apple has introduced this time around are being met with a less-than enthusiastic reception from marketers:
As explained in this recent Brand Republic article, both features seem to be aimed at prioritizing user retention over user acquisition on mobile. It's a move that will likely require many marketers to rethink their mobile marketing strategies to emphasize relevant content — which means moving away from the banner ads and pop-ups that have become the de facto means of gaining audience attention online.
Should Marketers Start To Panic?
You may start to panic if you have built your entire mobile strategy around these flashy, yet increasingly ineffective, messaging techniques. And you're right to panic! Distracting your audience from their intended online purpose is never the right strategy for winning their trust, their loyalty, or their business.
What's The Soluton?
At Prove, it's our belief that every marketing effort should speak to one overarching goal: establishing, growing, and continually strengthening a business's relationships with its target consumers. We accomplish this for our clients by fueling every strategy with meaningful, targeted content at every stage of the buying process.
With consumers' increasing reliance on hand-held devices for all their online activities, no channel represents a greater opportunity to accomplish this than mobile. However, it's important to understand that processes and tactics that may be familiar and predictable on a desktop environment may not be translatable to the mobile ecosystem — something that Apple seems to be acknowledging with its new behavior-driven changes to its iOS.
Consider this: According to a Monetate ecommerce Quarterly report, even though shoppers are increasingly using mobile devices to make purchases, conversion rates for smart phones and tablets are still lagging considerably behind the desktop (0.96%, 2.51%, and 2.71%, respectively, in Q1 2015). So while you may be reaching potential customers on the mobile channel, it likely will remain a challenge to drive that audience to complete a purchase without some extra nurturing.
This is particularly relevant in the context of B2B purchases, which typically aren't impulse buys. These decisions involve careful consideration and require a more customized approach than marketers can typically accomplish through in-banner campaigns or pop-up ads.
Today's reality is that the customer is in charge of the business relationship. This is why we feel it's imperative that a business' messaging be aligned with its consumer's needs at every point of interaction, and that what that business asks for in return be appropriate within the context of each conversation.
How Does Prove Accomplish This?
We recommend starting out with "light ask" calls to action, and then gradually build toward heavier asks — for example, getting a target's contact information at the first point of interaction, and then using follow-up technology to gain more detailed information as your customer relationship progresses toward conversion.
Ultimately, the format your message takes isn't nearly as important as how you manage the conversations that will move your targets from engagement to action. But with a solid strategy supporting your efforts, even Apple's most dramatic iOS changes won't be able to take a bite out of your business's impact on the mobile channel.
Would you like to discuss taking your marketing strategy to the next level? Let's talk.
Prove is a new kind of customer acquisition, retention, technology and analytics agency. We are redefining the way marketing works, by having a single-minded focus on results. Our approach minimizes marketing risk and maximizes short-term and long-term results through a disciplined process. Our philosophy is to leverage the power of Mass Personalization to increase ROI while reducing marketing costs.
We call it Acqretention™, the process of converting an anonymous audience that is always just a click away from the competition into Connected Prospects. In this way, we support direct response results, but we retain the engagement of prospective customers who are earlier in the buying cycle.
Our approach involves a framework that ensures marketing success we call Little Bets. We get into market quickly and generate learnings through extensive testing, then go big with the winning ideas, messages, offers, channels and technologies. We'd like to do that for you.
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