Consumers take control in 2011

Paul Berney
09 Jun 2011

There are two key trends in marketing this year that look set to change the landscape for marketers worldwide. One is that consumers are now mobile and that marketers need to take the channel into account when planning their campaign strategies.

The other is that consumers are increasingly taking control of their interactions with brands and organizations as never before. This is demonstrated by the growing power of social media and the importance that peer recommendations have taken on for brands.

Taking these two trends together and considering that mobile allows consumers to have the most control over the communications that they enter into, it is evident that mobile will both cause and enable this change in consumer behavior to take place. The question for brands is, how will this new consumer centric form of engagement impact on them, and how can they gain maximum value from it?

Of primary importance for brands in this new playing field is understanding who the consumer is, what the similarities and variants are between them in different parts of the world, what the evidence is that they are becoming more driven by mobile and, crucially, what the moments are in day to day life that will encourage them to pick up their phone and engage.

According to a recent study by the Mobile Marketing Association and Lightspeed Research, 25% of consumers are more likely to respond to advertising – be that print, online or outdoor -- if they are able to do so via a mobile response such as SMS. Also, entertainment and utility-based applications that can be used repeatedly stand out as the most popular amongst consumers, helping create a permanent and effective brand presence on the handset.

Marketers need to determine how to make these insights a critical part of campaign design and engage with consumers in order to achieve the fundamental goals of acquisition, retention or brand building. This ability to match a campaign mechanic to a target consumer’s lifestyle is far more important than getting bogged down in the technology options and trying to match the mechanic to the strategy.

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