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2012 Will Be Breakout Year For Mobile

1-6-2012
By Ivan Braiker

This first week of January is a special time of the year one thats equal part reflection and anticipation. Its a chance to look back at lessons learned and ahead at great expectations. (Of course, theres the whole 2012 phenomenon suggesting that the world will end sometime in the next 12 months but lets just let that one slide for now). As Radio Ink celebrates 20 years, I wanted to use this first column of 2012 to look backand aheadat mobile marketing.

People in the mobile marketing industry have a joke: For the tenth year, this year is definitely the year of mobile. Although weve promised it for at least 16 years (the earliest reference I could find was a 1995 MacUser article), I feel confident in stating that 2011 was the long-awaited Year of Mobileparticularly for mobile marketing and commerce, and all signs point to usage only accelerating in 2012. Over the past year consumers have proven that the mobile phone has become an integral part of the shopping experience. This is creating a number of exciting new opportunities for broadcasters and their sponsors to reach consumers at multiple touch points throughout the listeningand buyingprocess. 

Looking BackMake It Measurable
2011s biggest lesson: now, its all about ROI. Mobile is no longer just an experimentits a critical element of listener engagement, and as such, investment in mobile marketing is increasing. But with greater investment comes a greater need to quickly show value. And part of ROI is reach. Despite what some may think, Apple does not have a lock on mobile market share. While they may get the lions share of the publicity, its not all about mobile apps. Broadcasters need to think beyond the iPhone to reach consumers on all types of devices and networksby using SMS and, increasingly, mobile Web sites to share content that all listeners with mobile phones can enjoy, regardless of the device they are using.

Thinking Beyond the Click
In this vein, in 2012 we can expect more pressure to produce results from mobile campaigns. This means that it is critical to think beyond a one-time transactionit has to be about more than just a single, one-way communication. In 2012 we will see more long-term engagement opportunities with listeners as broadcasters learn to think beyond the click by using mobile channels as a means to have sustainable, ongoing two-way communications with their listeners, rather than just trying to add listeners to a database.

Successful mobile campaigns have prominent calls to action--through on-air promotions or QR codes that leverage investments in display and print advertising by pointing listeners to a specific mobile Web siteand multiple ways to engage in an ongoing fashion, including SMS, QR codes and mobile Web sites. This engages the consumer, introduces a concept of immediacy and creates a sustainable, engaged conversation.

Social Media is Even More Social, With Mobile
We can safely expect more social interaction via mobile devicesan important message for broadcasters and their sponsors alike. In a world where a good experience and unfortunately a bad one can end up on Twitter and Facebook in seconds, the mobile phone has become a megaphone from which customers broadcast thoughts in real time. Savvy brands can integrate mobile and social in a smart way to ensure positive customer experiences and avoid potential disasters. Likewise, there are solutions in place now to further leverage your presence on Facebook by integrating social media and mobile-marketing programs.

Year of the Mobile Web
You heard it hear first (well, I may have actually said it here first, in a column on taking your Web site mobile from late 2011)the mobile Web is going to be the breakout star among mobile channels for 2012. As we move closer to the time when mobile Web access eclipses PC Web access, broadcasters will realize that they need a mobile Web offering that over-delivers, providing all the benefits and usability of a standard Web site to your listeners.

New Years Mobile Resolutions?
In the New Year, we should all resolve to tie CRM into our mobile programs, ensuring a deeper relationship and more relevant information to the opted-in subscriber. Think after-the-click in mobile advertising provide a means to an ongoing relationship. Follow behavior and interest research just because you can do something technically doesnt mean you should. Know your customers and prospects and market to them in ways that you have the best chance to succeed.

Id love to hear your mobile resolutions for 2012. Drop me a line at ibraiker@hipcricket.com; I may share some in a future column. Ivan Braiker is the president of Hipcricket+Augme Technologies, Inc




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