We live in an increasingly mobile world and the decision to extend brand communication to the mobile channel seems inevitable. On the other hand, making this decision in a way that will pay off in the long-run is a less apparent process.
Mobile data measurement brings with it challenges that are very different from fixed web measurement. For example carrier restrictions, platform variations and mobile browser limitations are such that mobile product applications don’t easily lend themselves to uniform measurement across devices. In order to be able to use data as a strategic asset, measurement standards must be such that they can be applied to a wide range if devices.
Interactive Ontario recently hosted an AMA webinar featured Greg Dowling, Vice President of Mobile Strategy & Measurement at Semphonic and former Head of Analysis for Nokia. Dowling was leading Nokia’s recent initiative to implement first worldwide mobile analytics measurement standard, and his insights can be applied to mobile marketing.
Looking at mobile phone penetration by manufacturers, Nokia leads the way with over a third of the worldwide handset market. In the smartphone category, Nokia’s Symbian operating system makes up just over half of the smartphones used globally, followed by RIM at 20 per cent and iPhone at 15 per cent. (Gartner) However iPhone owners use their devices much more than the owners of any of its competitors do.
Nokia’s approach to mobile product extension for its clients begins by aligning brand objectives with mobile strategy.
Lack of a definitive mobile strategy is the biggest challenge to generating a positive return on investment in mobile products. Often times, the decision to create a mobile product is tactical rather than strategic. At this early stage in mobile marketing adoption, this may very well be a viable approach. However without relevant functionality and broad handset reach, a mobile product is simply a branding exercise designed to attract consumer’s attention instead of focusing on conversion.
Determining a brand’s mobile suitability means asking what it is about a brand that is compelling to a mobile audience. Moving an entire website to the mobile web or building an application is not always the best way to communicate with consumers.
In many cases a simple but well executed text messaging campaign is more fitting. For example, a brand that handles perishable inventory, like a restaurant, will likely have a customer base that is interested in being notified about promotions. Another company that has several locations in an urban centre, like a retailer, will likely have customers who want to be able to find a nearest location on their cell phone.
When you’re thinking about how to structure your mobile product offering you have to be mindful of the range of devices in the hands of your consumers and also have clearly articulated brand objectives. If you want to get into mobile you should begin the strategy process now.