Columnist Brian Rigney discusses how marketers can deliver richness and brand identity across all channels and devices to turn a glance into a deep dive.
The window of opportunity to get a browsing consumer’s attention is a very small one — and increasingly it is a window viewed on the even smaller window of a mobile device. A glance is all you get to win them in both time and space.
While it’s great to have increasing freedom to be creative with your marketing campaigns, you have to remember that you are no longer targeting people sitting in front of the “traditional” PC. Today, you are as likely to be in front of a consumer on mobile, a smartphone, a tablet or even a game console — to name but a few of the potential places your creative is going to be seen.
But it is where you have to be. Consumers typically unlock their smartphone some 100 times a day and spend on average 44 hours per month interacting with their devices. And this is impacting traffic.
In fact on average, 52 percent of Web traffic to retail websites globally currently comes via smartphones and tablet devices. For the real leaders who are well on the way to realizing the omni-channel dream, this can be as high as 65 percent, according to Zmags’ own experience with clients (Note: I’m CEO of Zmags).
In the U.S., the PC-to-mobile tipping point was reached in August 2014, when 51 percent of the Web traffic to an ongoing sample of 26 of the top 200 brands came from mobile. We live in a mobile world.
And this means that your marketing campaigns have to reach across channels and silos to engage the consumer for the whole customer life cycle — mobile is not just an e-commerce channel where sales happen; it’s the place where engagement and relationship building take place, based on location, context and many other factors.
Already a third of U.S. smartphone users use their devices for research of purchases once a week. Another 50 percent use their phones for banking.
However, it doesn’t end there. Increasingly, consumers are also going to be viewing tablets, kiosks, smart TVs, game consoles and a range of other connected devices. And marketers need to push their efforts and creative toward this mobile world — a world where you need to reach consumers anytime, anywhere on any device.
And that is challenging. Screen sizes, navigation, bandwidth, orientation and more all impact how creative you can be and how rich you can make the instant digital experience that you need in order to capture the roving eyeballs of the time-challenged consumer.
Four Steps To Maximizing Marketing Reach
Catering to this demand for being creative, producing rich and engaging experiences that deliver instant digital gratification on a variety of devices, yet delivering the passion and depth — rather than just efficiency — is a real challenge for marketers. So what can you do?
Marketers need to consider four simple steps to deliver rich and creative campaigns to the right places so that they will be seen and, hopefully, turn the glance into a deeper dive.
1. Think omni-channel – The buzzword of the moment in retail and brand circles is omni-channel, but marketers really do need to start thinking in terms of a holistic approach to how sites, content, creative and branding are seen.
Most retailers are now past the tipping point so this should already be a strategic imperative, but from a marketing point of view, marketers need to be on point with this.
Some leading retailers, such as House of Fraser in the U.K., are already taking a “mobile first” approach to site design: creating around the idea that the site is more than likely to be seen on a device other than a PC but designing so that it also works on a PC.
So don’t think about above and below the fold. Ditch the idea of complicated navigation. Instead, embrace scrolling and buttons that work well with fingers as well as cursors.
And it doesn’t end with mobile. The road ahead is one paved with multiple devices where consumers will interact with you. So design for smartphones, tablets, kiosks, game consoles, smart TVs, intelligent billboards and more.
2. Get creative by channel – While omni-channel is a holistic approach to how your brand is seen by consumers, from the marketer and creative point of view, you may well have to look at how to develop sites, offers and experiences in different ways to service different platforms.
Mobile-based microsites can be used to great effect when consumers are hitting you from mobile devices, because these can be tailored to the limitations of screen, bandwidth and navigation.
Tablet-specific microsites can also be deployed to play to the better resolution and size of the screen, offering a richer and better experience that tablet users demand.
Phablets, naturally, lie somewhere in between.
Mobile also offers the opportunity to push location-specific content, services and offers out to devices based on where they — and their users — are and what they’re doing.
Store kiosks present a raft of different issues, being fixed and of varying size, but they are used by consumers in a search mode, often when they can’t find what they have been looking for in-store on their mobile — or when they want help. So creating for these means playing less to the creative and more to the helpful.
3. Create, adjust and preview – With the prospect of having to develop such a rich variety of sites, microsites and device-specific creatives, marketers really need to be able to create, preview, approve and test — then re-jig on the fly — all these multiple properties quickly and easily.
The richness of experience and instant gratification on any channel relies on being timely and consistent as well as on top of all the usual things such as stock levels and pricing.
First up, once you have created your marketing on all these channels, you need to make sure it works, and you need to get your boss to sign off on it — often very rapidly. Using tools that allow for the creation of multiple properties and different triggers and offers across all these areas is imperative if this omni-channel marketing approach is going to work.
4. Tap the knowledge base – You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at what you already do and determine what works across all these different “channels,” then pull together the best bits for the best channels to create a compelling and holistic campaign that works anywhere, anytime, on any device — instantly.
Use Case: New York & Company
New York & Company (disclosure: client), a modern wear-to-work fashion retailer, understands the importance of designing for multiple channels. It says that today 65 percent of its weekly Web visitors are coming from mobile devices, and almost 50 percent of this number is coming from phones in particular.
As a result, the company is now designing everything with a mobile first perspective. New York & Company sees mobile as the entry point for its customers and the priority for its business. The company put the tools in place that let it create and preview experiences for multiple channels, starting with mobile.
With consumers moving to multi devices, any retailer has to think omni-channel and what it means for true marketing in the moment.
We all know that winning the glances often translates to one real end: revenues. It may be a dirty word, but all this is about driving engagement with the end game of getting people to buy. As we shall see in the final article of this series, turning all this into revenues is perhaps the subtlest and hardest part of the process.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)