In a space that is evolving by the day, it is more important than ever for marketers to stay ahead of the mobile technology and trends that consumers are demanding. As we kick off the new year, here are some trends that we see as key components to a comprehensive 2017 mobile strategy that will keep your customers engaged and loyal to your brand.

The ‘Discount, Double Tap’ concept will gain adoption through mobile wallets

Tokenized payment systems, such as Apple and Android Wallets, block purchase insight as retailers can no longer rely on credit card information as an identifier. This is why mobile wallet loyalty cards and NFC will become the star of the checkout in 2017. State Farm has the “discount, double check”, now retail and restaurant will have “discount, double tap.” Tap your mobile device once to pay and tap twice to apply your loyalty account.  This new dynamic will enable the brand to maintain the ability to gather purchase information about the customer.

Marketers will blend mobile marketing automation tools with consumer preference data to get ahead of consumer demands

The key mobile capability for 2017 is automation. In exchange for their data, customers now expect personalization and custom offers tailored to their preferences, delivered in real-time and consistent across all digital channels. Improvements in mobile marketing automation make it possible to meet these increasing demands while also targeting the consumer on a preference-based and personal level.  With the mobile automation tools becoming smarter, more intuitive and less expensive, it’s now possible to bring the power of real-time, personalized mobile offers to businesses of all sizes.

The universal coupon is a good initial hook, but customers now expect brands to get to know them as quickly as possible. Because of this, more brands will be going beyond demographic data into the land of behavior and preference data in 2017. Consumers will have little patience for brands that send a whole milk coupon to a customer who is lactose intolerant, or prime rib to a vegan. Relevance is critical in grabbing the inattentive eye and mobile glance in a noisy world of information overload. The combination of orchestration, CRM and automation will enable and increase the value of offers based on where the targeted customer is in their path to purchase.

Chatbots will take the load off of organizational resources

Chatbots are nothing new, but they have certainly made an explosion the last half of 2016. With the improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), companies like IBM (Watson), Google, Amazon and Microsoft have made their AI capabilities accessible to the world.

Now, apps, text messaging, and web sites have the ability to interact with consumers using their “human smarts.” This helps businesses meet customer expectations for real-time responses on the consumer’s preferred channel and eases the load of social media and mobile  teams by handling the increasing weight of customer service, while introducing new functions like recommendations and ordering. Meeting these high expectations of fast customer service strengthens the brand loyalty while reducing resource pressures on organizations.

Brands will look to other mobile technologies as a part of an ‘App Plus’ strategy

For many brands, the crown jewel of their mobile strategy is their native app. But with over 25% of apps being abandoned after the first use, marketers will develop more of an “App-Plus” strategy to support their efforts for keeping users engaged. For example, mobile messaging can reach users who have turned off push notifications by deep-linking them into the app. The concept of using messaging to augment a push strategy is a viable one. A recent 3C survey reveals messaging growth will outpace that of app development in 2017 with 84% of brands investing 5-20% more in mobile messaging compared to just 64% for apps.

Brands can also leverage mobile wallet to round out their app strategy—which provides a brand-rich experience, with a simpler, more lightweight footprint. Since apps only reach your most engaged and loyal customers, mobile wallet provides a way for brands to reach their next-best customers who may be left out of the engagement loop.

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