World Cup Highlights Growing Importance of Mobile-Centric Customer Engagement

Filed in Mobile Engagement, Mobile Marketing by on June 26, 2014 0 Comments

Is it just me or is this World Cup proving that things don’t always go as planned? Two weeks in and I’ve been on the edge of my seat watching a series of increasingly dramatic games unfold with surprising results that I’m not sure anyone saw coming. I mean who could have predicted that Spain and England wouldn’t even make it to the final 16?

I digress, but what hasn’t been surprising is the use of mobile throughout the tournament. Twitter data from the first week alone shows just how captivated fans were worldwide with the first game between Brazil and Croatia having generated some 12.2 million tweets. And Google’s research tells us that interest in this year’s tournament, as measured by search volume, is greater than that in the Olympics, the Tour de France and the Super Bowl combined. These and other mobile stats coming out of the tournament are a clear demonstration that mobile has truly arrived and is the channel of choice for today’s sports fans – and those mobile-savvy sports fans equal mobile-savvy consumers.

Unlike the results of some of the World Cup games, the use of mobile as a channel of choice shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Internet as a whole is growing, but mobile is growing even faster. Mary Meeker’s latest Internet trends report tells us that people are spending 20 percent of their media time on mobile. And 84 percent of mobile device owners use those devices while watching TV – who wants to be watching ads when you can be tweeting about that second goal from Portugal in the final 30 seconds of the game against the USA? Not to mention the fact that global messaging services like WhatsApp and Snapchat in the U.S., WeChat in China, and Line in Japan have accrued more than a billion users in less than five years.

So what does all this mean for today’s enterprises? For starters, despite the trends for increased screen time, mobile is getting just 4 percent of ad spending, leaving a huge opportunity for mobile ad spending growth. But it’s no longer a case of one-size-fits-all push advertising. Mobile’s many different services, as demonstrated by the growth in messaging, mean that marketers need to consider multiple channels. These include apps (including messaging apps), text messaging, social networking sites and mobile email when engaging with customers who are demanding messages tailored to their location, their habits and their preferences. And those hyperpersonalized communications need to be seamless and presented in one voice.

That’s where an omni-channel communications strategy comes into play (pun intended). But that omni-channel strategy has to be mobile-centric. That means more than ensuring a website is mobile-optimized or that a company has an app.

In fact, companies are seeing mobile as the driver for omni-channel personalization. Online travel site Orbitz, for example, is working on a feature that helps its consumers continue shopping when switching between devices by remembering their recent searches. The feature pulls up a rich destination image of the location a customer was searching for as well as the details of the search. So Orbitz customers might start searching during their commute on an Android phone but then, in a single tap on an iPad, pull up and complete the booking when they get home.

So as the group stages wrap up in Brazil and sports fans worldwide turn to their mobile devices to share their opinions on the latest set of surprising results, brands worldwide need to take a close look at their customer engagement strategies to realize the value of making them mobile-centric.

 

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Alastair Hanlon is a former Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at Syniverse.

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