We recently read an interesting article by Chuck Martin @ MediaPost titled “Mobile Shoppers & Privacy vs. Relevant Offers” that we think highlights some of the challenges marketers face in ensuring they’re relevant (yet respectful) in communicating with mobile consumers. The article references a recent IDC study on mobile shopping that reports smartphone users’ opinions are split nearly equally (53% vs. 47%) between whether it’s more important to respect their privacy or get relevant offers from retailers. According to Greg Girard, program director retail Insights at IDC, “A 53/47 split overall is a dead heat. That leaves retailers with a one in two chance of missing an opportunity to be relevant and the same odds of offending a shopper. Success is all about context, and with each consumer setting his or her own, retailers need better individualized insight to improve their odds of success.”
The odds of getting it right pose a real challenge for brands. If wrong, it could be a real turn off for consumers, who in many cases, will opt-out right away if the offers are perceived as either intrusive or not relevant. Determining what is relevant and when it is relevant is the real question. While not an easy question to answer, we believe there are some best practices that will help shape marketers’ strategies for delivering relevancy at the right time.
We all know that consumers believe their smartphone is a highly personal communications tool, much as email was when it was first evolving. Email marketing has become ubiquitous and marketers have filled consumers’ inboxes with offers that lack relevancy so much so that many consumers don’t even take the time to unsubscribe from email distribution lists – they just set their email filters to send all offers to spam. This makes it increasingly difficult for marketers to determine relevancy.
Since consumers decide whether they want to opt-in (and opt-out) for mobile offers, it’s even more critical for marketers to understand consumer preferences and tailor their offers; otherwise, their opt-in rates will be low and/or opt-out rates high. Even more important, for those that have opted out, the opportunity to get them to opt-in again in the future is even more limited if they’ve had a bad user experience. Marketers lose their golden opportunity to gain a mobile consumer.
Asking the right questions (through “gating”), offering direct response opportunities at retail, and being able to analyze meaningful data offers a powerful tool towards ensuring relevancy. But, only if the marketer actually delivers what the consumer says they want.
Stay Tuned: Next up – How to Get it Right!