Syniverse Holds First Session of Mobile Engagement Webinar Series

Filed in Mobile Engagement, Mobile Marketing, Webinar by on February 13, 2015 0 Comments

Webinar1-ThumbnailOn Jan. 27, I was delighted to help inaugurate a Syniverse webinar series dedicated to the new center of the mobile ecosystem – the mobile user. Today’s mobile-empowered users have gained – and have come to expect – to interact with their favorite brands in ever richer and more intuitive ways. The need for enterprises to reach consumers “in the mobile moment” with communications that are more contextual and personalized has become imperative, and our new webinar series is precisely aimed at helping them achieve this.

Our first event was titled “In 2015 It’s All about ME . . . Mobile Engagement That Is” and included, in addition to myself, Syniverse’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Clark; Syniverse’s Senior Sales Executive Director for our Enterprise and Intelligence Solutions group, Rob Hammond; and our special guest speaker, Peggy Anne Salz, Chief Analyst and founder of MobileGroove, a research and consulting firm.

During the hour-long webinar, we focused on sharing some of our best practices for getting started with mobile engagement and how companies can use mobile to enhance marketing opportunities and customer service. In particular, we introduced the audience to our new ‘Mobile Engagement Maturity Model’ which has been designed to help organizations understand where their mobile marketing and customer engagement efforts currently fit in relation to a long-term strategic vision for optimizing customer engagement.

Below are some of the key insights we offered at the session. I invite you to peruse them and let me know your thoughts. And if you weren’t able to attend the event and would like to listen to it in its entirety, you can access a recording of the session on our Syniverse for Brands website home page.


Webinar in Action

A photo of us in action while hosting the webinar at Syniverse’s Tampa headquarters, with Rob Hammond on the left, me in the middle, and Kim Geralds, Senior Director, Global Digital Marketing and Strategy, who managed the technology components for the session. Not pictured are Mary Clark and Peggy Anne Salz, who were calling in from different locations.


Digital Is Not a Channel
There really is no such thing as a “digital channel.” Digital is simply another term for a technology format; mobile is the true channel. By focusing on digital, companies can blind themselves to the opportunities that lie in interacting with customers.

Specifically, “digital” limits a company’s thinking since it derives its significance from inwardly focused organizational design rather than native consumer interaction. Consumers don’t access information or make a purchase through “digital”; consumers use mobile to actually connect and interact.

This distinction is crucial for companies to keep in mind as they shape their mobile strategy.

The App Challenge
The app has risen to become the centerpiece of many companies’ mobile strategy, yet apps face several challenges that impede their use as engagement channels. Specifically, with the proliferation of apps has come oversaturation, resulting in a sea of retail, social media, news, game and entertainment icons battling for real estate on a mobile user’s home screen.

Consider for a moment the consumption process for an app. First, a user goes through a discovery phase. Then there is the need to learn about the app. Then a user goes to the appropriate app store, searches for and finds the app, and installs the app. Then the user has to accept the user agreement, approve notifications and approve location use. Finally, the user enters credentials or signs up. This is not a low-friction consumption process.

For these reasons, among others, apps offer limited effectiveness in engaging users, and companies need a broader and more diversified mobile strategy that goes beyond apps.

Text Messaging Is Still No. 1
Despite the proliferation of apps and increasing sophistication of smartphones, text messaging continues to offer one of the most ubiquitous, versatile and reliable mobile channels. In a mobile world of multiple devices, operating systems and service providers, messaging is still the one common denominator through which all mobile users can communicate with each other.

According to a Forbes compilation of 50 essential mobile marketing facts, 96 percent of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery. Despite periodic news reports speculating on the decline of messaging, this channel continues to be the silent workhorse of mobile and will continue to offer an unmatched foundation on which companies can anchor their mobile strategy.

The critical aspect of text messaging to keep in mind, though, is that it is not only important as a channel in and of itself. More importantly, it serves as a springboard that can bridge mobile users to other mobile channels through which they can be engaged. For example, a text message can include links to drive a user to a Web page, an app download, a video, or even something like a ticket that can be added in a user’s Passbook account. In this way, messaging can serve as a crucial tip of the spear in spurring initial engagement with users.

A Path to “Action”
Rather than the traditional notion of a “path to purchase,” mobile communication with consumers should be thought of as a “path to action.” That is, instead of only focusing on a purchase, or the “destination,” marketers should consider the whole chain of communications, or the “journey,” in reaching and engaging mobile consumers.

The question then is, What mobile channel do companies use to interact with consumers at any one point in a mobile communication process, and how do they make the most of each of those interactions? Are text messages, push notifications or emails the best channel at a particular touch point? And how can information unique to a particular consumer or group of consumers be used to personalize communications to them at these points?

Mobile Engagement Maturity Model
In an attempt to help marketing and customer service organizations diagram and focus their mobile strategy, Syniverse has just developed a Mobile Engagement Maturity Model to help organizations understand where their mobile marketing and customer engagement efforts currently fit in relation to a long-term strategic vision for optimizing customer engagement.

The model consists of a detailed grid that charts how different mobile engagement channels, such as text messaging, in the vertical axis, correspond to different data sources, such as transaction data, in the horizontal axis. Once a company has identified its current state, the model can be used to inform strategic decisions around which mobile channels and tools to invest in to provide the best ROI for that company’s specific customer engagement objectives.

We’re just in the early phases of using the Mobile Engagement Maturity Model with some of our customers, but we’re excited about the possibilities of this model as well as the concept of a generic industry model that can help companies better focus and execute their mobile strategy.

If you would like to find out more about the model, you can download part one of our two-part Mobile Engagement guide – “Introducing a Model for Mobile Marketing Success.”


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Todd Thayer is a former Vice President of Product Management at Syniverse.

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