Consumers don’t experience the world in an offline or online silo. Rather, consumers interchange between the physical and digital worlds, and in turn, they demand more from each experience. This has created multiple challenges for brands: eliminating fragmentation across communication touchpoints, breaking through the clutter, and keeping consumers engaged and entertained. Fortunately for brands, the offline and online worlds are blurring. This fact is making the above challenge easier to solve– thanks, in large part, to mobility marketing.
When mobility marketing first came to prominence, it was narrow and limiting. Mobility marketing meant utilizing mobile devices as a distribution channel for digital content: a tool intended to communicate a mobile-optimized message. In the last few years, mobility marketing has evolved to become much more than that and it’s largely a result of the data that is collected via smartphones and other connected devices. These devices are our lifeline, and the activity on it, surrounding it, connected to it, is recorded and stored. Connected devices have therefore become among the most powerful mechanisms for learning everything there is to know about a consumer and using these learnings to inform action. In short, they collect real-world intelligence to impact real-world behaviors.
"With the assistance of the mobility space, we can now directionally measure which audience was exposed to which out-of-home placement"
Appreciating this evolution is critical to the foundation that informs a brands’ modern approach–both offline and online, in-store and out. In all cases, brands should appreciate the role that mobility marketing can play in connecting historically fragmented communication touchpoints and driving consumers in store, while eliminating consumer friction and waste and increasing opportunities for engagement and entertainment. If the overall intent is to plan meaningful experiences for consumers, taking into account context, content and connection, then this is one of the ways we recommend doing it.
Let’s start outside the store, using out-of-home as an example. Historically, out-of-home was planned in a silo. Brands and marketers purchased out-of-home placements with the hope that they would get in front of the right people and have a measurable impact. But we had been hampered by the ongoing challenge of proving 1:1 exposure, extending the meaningful interaction, and measuring real-world action taken post view. With the assistance of the mobility space, we can now directionally measure which audience was exposed to which out-of-home placement, thus assisting in planning more targeted placements and simultaneously enabling a dialogue with consumers that extends beyond out-of-home.
Mobility marketing, however, does not just impact consumers outside of the store. It is informing consumers’ journeys into and within the store, as well. From made-for-Instagram bespoke rooms to curated retail flagships, brands are catering to consumer’s demand for increased entertainment. Therefore, attracting consumers from near and far is made possible by strengthening the in-store offline connection to the online one. By giving consumers the ability to personalize their style and customize their look through in-store iPads, enabling unique retail experiences on social platforms, or seamlessly checking out via a retail app, the shopping journey is evolving to meet the needs of the consumer and made possible through connected devices.
While I would be remiss to attribute these challenges and solutions exclusively to mobility marketing, I do believe it is a critical part of the future of brands and their ability to meaningfully engage with consumers. What challenge will it help to solve next?