The Star (Nairobi)

7 February 2013

Kenya: Mobile Great for Client Relation Management

opinion

I recently went to pitch a client on mobile and was taken aback by their negative perception of the mobile medium. They had fairly justified misgivings about intrusion to privacy. They also felt that being a personal medium, the mobile was possibly inappropriate for ad messaging.

The same qualities that make unsolicited marketing on mobile so invasive also make the mobile medium very effective when with

consumer permission. A study titled "Engage at every stage " and sponsored by the CMO council, a body dedicated to high level marketing information exchange explains that the key to successful mobile will be in using the mobile phone as remote control to manage consumer relationships.

The study outlines the opportunities "Marketing should aspire to a more dedicated multi-screen experience that can connect and integrate unique experiences through each engagement channel, including mobile. While marketers are looking to translate content into mobile formats, only 24 per cent of respondents intend to develop content that is unique to the mobile channel." The report adds.

According to interviewee on the study understanding consumers and how they migrate from different media across the day or according to their context. "We take a three- to four-screen approach because at any given time, consumers can be watching television, on their computers, or using smartphones or tablets," says Kelly Doss of Beam Global.

"We have to look at that and understand how the consumer is engaging and socializing." A consumer carrying a tablet uses it for a different use across the day. This same consumer has a mobile phone and uses a computer and watches TV. How these screens add up to create valuable brand contact can make the difference between success and failure.

In many instances when i have spoken to clients, the discussion is often about the use of mobile or the internet as stand alone media. Consumers as described do not use these same channels in isolation but will work across them doing different things and seeking different utility for each.

The ability to plan each engagement delivers value for both the consumer and the brand owner. A US broadcaster for instance has studied the usage of mobile and understood its role in consumer engagement. For others, the multi-screen approach means that mobile may, in specific scenarios, take a back seat, but it must be part of the equation as that position may switch depending on the behaviour of the consumer.

"The immediacy of the consumer touch point is very beneficial, and Turner Broadcasting System looks at mobile with respect to other devices [as in second-screen usage]," says Benjamin Grubbs. "For example, within homes, Turner can create a participatory environment for the consumer that positions the mobile phone or tablet as a complement to the TV screen.

Outside the home, however, mobile becomes the primary screen. The report explains that the best use of MCRM (Mobile CRM ) also plans for a long term relationship with consumers. For those like my client who like my client are wary, remember that mobile is more than sms. Its a tool to build relationships.

Frank is lead consultant at FMC and CEO at Sponge a mobile agency.

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