One can argue that finding the balance between aggressive and passive has been the leading challenge facing marketers in this era of new technologies, devices and screens.
In the hopes of assisting, I’ve again turned to the experts to help us navigate.
Hank Wasiak, former vice chairman of McCann Erickson WorldGroup, has adapted his thinking over more than four decades in the advertising business.
“To me, the key thing when looking at something is to be early and fast,” he told me I an interview for my Mobilized Marketing book. “I’ve been the poster child for this. You want to overthink things sometimes. You want to get it perfect but things move so fast. To me in this world, especially in mobile, iteration is more important than innovation. You can find out quickly because you’re in real time in the hip pocket, the breast pocket and in the heart of your consumers.
“You have to put on a flak jacket and get a little more risk averse.”
In 2017, more marketers figuratively donned protective gear and went for it.
“In 2016, marketers told us that on average, they were using 3.5 mobile techniques (out of a total of 13 we asked them about) and had another two in the pilot stage,” Gartner research director Noah Elkin wrote https://blogs.gartner.com/noah-elkin/mobile-marketing-means-serious-business/ of where we are with mobile marketing.
“Fast-forward to 2017, and marketers now have 4.3 tactics live on average, and are piloting 3.1, representing a combined increase of 33 percent.”
How do we repeat that progress in 2018?
Elkin told me in the second part of my The Art of Mobile Persuasion podcast interview which has now posted as episode 27 https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/art-mobile-persuasion-podcast/id1156481550?mt=2.
“We think in a more sophisticated way about how mobile functions across the customer journey,” he said. “Not just as a separate channel and sometimes as an add-on, but how it can play a starring or supporting role at different stages.”
For example, he pointed to wireless being the optimal avenue to reach consumers in context, at the right place and time.
“Mobile plays this key function as the remote control for the whole experience,” he said.
As to other technologies that are available to us, Elkin offered recommendations on how to proceed in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and what to do with the increasing use of voice-enabled devices.
“Not that the machines are going to take over as is sometimes predicted in a doomsday-type scenario but what are the processes, for example, how can artificial intelligence maximize your email subject line creation and testing,” he said. “That’s an area where there is a huge body of data where the speed and precision of machine learning can make a tangible difference.
“It might make a 2-3 point difference in open rates in a single email campaign which might not seem so much but if you multiple that if you are a big volume e-mailer like a retailer or a travel or hospitality firm, over the course of a month or a year, you’re talking about a significant difference. It’s not limited to email. We’ll see artificial intelligence used not just for consumer-focused marketers as well as business to business and enterprises as well.”
When it comes to spending marketing time and money on Alexa-type campaigns, Elkin had these thoughts:
“We’re at the early stage of adoption of these devices. We’re seeing growth in the skills that these different platforms enable for marketers. I think that there are long-term implications for things like search. How do marketers optimize for search in an age of voice-driven communications? And what kind of results do you need to return as opposed to if someone is doing it on the desktop or mobile device?
“Marketers are still learning how to be conversational in an effective way in these environments. This is the time to be experimenting. That’s an area where we will continue to see evolution and innovation in the year ahead.”
And where we will see some be passive and others take a more aggressive position.
Here’s one more view, this one from Miles Orkin who previously led mobile for the American Cancer Society and is now Chief of Staff, SUMux (Search, User, Maps) at Google.
“You have to be prepared to set yourself up to fail but do it in a measured way,” he told me in a book interview. “Don’t bet that you will be the next Mark Zuckerberg (who founded Facebook).
“If you fail, you will be selling coffee.”
Listen to Episode 27 of The Art of Mobile Persuasion podcast here - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/art-mobile-persuasion-podcast/id1156481550?mt=2