The success of any marketing campaign hinges on one important factor - relevance - and never has this been as important as it is for mobile marketing campaigns.
"As mobile marketing campaigns increase in popularity, so does the fear, uncertainty and dread (FUD) associated with these campaigns," says Angus Robinson, founder and CEO of Brandsh, an agency which specialises in mobile and social media. "Consumers have a right to privacy, and if the campaign is not relevant to them, they will immediately question why you're contacting them or 'interrupting what they are busy with'."
However, if you ensure that your content is topical, taking into account the wants and needs of your target audience as well as the timing of your communication, the perception of interruption will be greatly reduced. Robinson cites a banking example, saying that if you are trying to convince your audience to save a certain portion of their salary; you should be sending the SMS around payday, at a time when it is relevant to your audience.
One of the most important components of relevance comes down to content. "The campaign needs to be about the content, not about the product you are trying to sell. With mobile marketing, you have to make sure your content adds value to your consumers' lives. We recently ran a mobile marketing campaign with Standard Bank and the main objective of this campaign was to introduce them to the bank's financial services and products," says Robinson. "However, after assessing the target market - matriculants - it was obvious that we wouldn't get a positive response with a standard 'push' approach. We adopted a MXit campaign which focussed on helping matriculants get through their final year at school. Content included aspects such as stress management, studying and exam writing tips, and career advice.
"The campaign was very popular, proving that engagement, interaction and useful content provides a meaningful experience for consumers."
The concept of relevance extends beyond your campaign and includes your audience. Robinson says that a "relevant audience" is extremely important to your campaign, and this is where profile databases that are either built or bought as media, such as Vodacom's AdMe, develop immense value. "If you use each interaction with your customer as an opportunity to build on your data base, you eventually won't have to look externally to purchase media, as your own media can be the foundation of future campaigns, helping you save funds which can be used better elsewhere. Each mobile marketing campaign is an opportunity to better understand your audience. You can do this by making use of contact forms, Please Call Me forms, mobile to email systems, etc. These all allow your audience to start interacting with you as a potential client, taking you into the acquisition cycle."
Audience relevance also presents an opportunity for publishers to start pricing their media on a 'cost per relevant audience' basis as opposed to the standard cost per click or cost per thousand.
Robinson concludes by saying that mobile marketing campaigns are all about communication - and if you work on this premise it makes sense to ensure that your campaign makes use of social media tools such as mobi sites, Facebook and Twitter. "You should make use of any platform that provides interaction, inserting your content in your user's daily activity without being intrusive," he says.