Mobile Marketing: The Next-Generation Platform and Game Changer

The current state of mobile marketing was addressed in three separate panel discussions (Automotive Mobile Strategies, Game Mechanics, and User Behavior; Mobile Campaign Strategies; and Taking Mobile from Experiment to Experience) during the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV.

Amit Aggarwal

Participants on all three panels stressed the need to have a strategic focus and “smart fundamentals,” using mobile as a component within broader campaigns. In developing the strategy, marketers need to understand what kind of consumer they are trying to reach, what the consumer wants to do, and which tools marketers will need to put in front of consumers. Mobile currently has very high bounce rates because marketers are not creating enough compelling mobile destinations, most of the panelists acknowledged.

John Deschner, senior vice president of Deutsch, also recommended having an invention/experimentation budget (e.g. 5%) that can be used to test ideas. His suggestion: “Try to learn cheap and fast, but commit to it—you just need one of them to blow up.”

A Summary of some Key Points from Topics Discussed

PC vs. Mobile Automotive Behavior:

• On smartphones, consumers want information quickly, while on iPads, they’re more interested in exploring

• Sharon Knitter of discussed how the dominance of new-car owners’ use of tablets led them to gear their iPad app to new car content, while they see more used-car VINs looked up on smartphones

• Inventory searches are lower on the iPhone

• VIN lookups are 30 times greater on an iPhone

• Map access has 11 times greater conversion on the iPhone vs. the PC

• Click-to-call conversion is higher on iPhones (it’s too difficult to fill out lead generation forms)

A Comparison of Mobile vs. Desktop Sites:

• The mobile site must be thinner (for example, fewer features, fewer pages), more responsive, and yet still have an appropriate level of information

• Redirect appropriately

• Tablets are fundamentally mobile devices, especially when considering all the hardware (GPS, camera, etc.) that are not being used

Apps vs. Mobile Web Site:

• Develop new elements for mobile first because it offers the greatest reach, but remember that apps drive more traffic

• Web toolkits allow marketers to use almost all the hardware on the smartphone except the camera

• Mobile websites allow marketers to build one set of content, while apps take more investment and have a more involved process

• Apps are stickier and average 4 minutes per session, while mobile sites average 1 minute per session

• Dealers should forget apps for now because they don’t get the reach

It’s All About Location

• Reverse SEO enables apps and GPS locators so that a personal device will notify the owner/consumer when there’s something he or she wants. Retailers can tag competitive locations, e.g. Sears’ service centers

• It’s powerful, but must be opt in. Even then, marketers must remember not to bombard consumers

• Consider privacy issues because marketers only get one chance with that consumer

• Don’t create something just because the technology exists

Mobile Video

• Mike Nelson, digital marketing manager of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., said that mobile video is very important. His company has built a huge library for consumers and sales staff using the same assets.

• recently converted all of its video to HTML5 and is looking to convert all dealer video inventory in the first quarter of 2012

Dealer Communication

• Dealers are not aligning with tech trends. For instance, dealer staff calls the owner when service work is done rather than texting

• Dealerships could offer a texting option when submitting leads

• When dealership sales forces use iPads and integrate them into the sales process, they are able to create one unified information interface and meet the consumer on their own level

And Because We Love Stats. . .

• An average 239% year-over-year growth in mobile advertising for automotive

• 169% year-over-year increase in mobile auto display advertising

• Nearly one-fourth of online car shoppers are using their mobile phones, up 41% from last year

• Mobile apps are downloaded at the same volume as is music

• 30% of tablet use occurs in front of the TV

—Amit Aggarwal, Contributing Editor, J.D. Power and Associates

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