year of mobile Two years ago, 2009 was announced as the year of mobile marketing. When we entered 2010, the marketing community again held our breath for that moment of utter mobile innovation. Now that 2011 is here, everyone is sure this will be the year of mobile. Or is it?

These hopes and hesitations were thoroughly discussed during the mobile marketing session at MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Summit . Neal Narayani, Director of Marketing at Caesars Entertainment , shared how his company’s adoption of mobile marketing resulted in higher revenue. Here are some of the takeaways from his presentation:

Don’t Annoy People

The first piece of advice Neal offered to marketers was to not annoy people. Ask yourself whether mobile communication will irritate your target audience or solve real challenges? Use mobile to assist people, not creep them out. As Neal said, you need to be creating “mobile services that delight customers.”

Start The Journey From The Site

In most cases, the journey of a mobile customer will start from your company site. At Caesars, for instance, people first fill out their reservation forms on a computer. It is towards the end of this transactional process that the hotel introduces the mobile element. Texpress Check-in is a mobile feature that lets you skip the check-in line and pick up your keys in a more expedite way. Neal shared that more than 15,000 people have signed up for Texpress Check-ins.

Use Customer Data You Have Access To

“We know your check-in day and check-out date,” said Neal, explaining why Caesars offers relevant offers to its guests. Knowing that the average stay of a hotel guest in Vegas is two days and a half, Texpress will send three offers (one a day) in an effort to engage the visitor during her stay. For instance, the mobile service will send information about featured shows and dining options. “We continue to engage you with mobile throughout your stay here,” said Neal.

Mix Up Customer Service & Marketing

Texpress switches from a marketing role to a customer service function. On the day of departure, guests can check-out using their mobile devices. In this way the feature continues to solve the problem of long lines and rushed travel.

Know What You Want To Measure

Before starting to experiment with mobile marketing, know what it is that you want to measure. Is it application downloads or visits? Is it email sign-ups? Neal advised to have these metrics in mind since methodical testing is critical.

Tie Your Business to Geo Fits

Focus on ways in which you can tie location to your business. Tie content to geographic information and further segment mobile offers based on that. That will connect you with customers when they are most engaged with your brand. For hotels, this optimal moment is when you make reservations. For airlines, it is when travelers are at the airport, totally immersed in their journey. When is that moment for you?

Maybe whether 2011 is the year of mobile depends on you. Are you prepared for it?

Originally published Jan 28, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013


Mobile Marketing