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How to Enhance Mobile Marketing With Personalization

by Kane Russell  |  
November 5, 2013

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Tactics for enhancing a mobile marketing strategy with personalization
  • Specific examples demonstrating ways to make mobile experiences more personal

Everyone today understands mobile marketing's potential to produce business success. Mobile drives 20% of all e-commerce sales, and sales via mobile are projected to increase from $139 billion in 2012 to more than $400 billion in 2015.

One vital step toward capturing this potential is personalizing the mobile experience for customers. Mobile is personal, with every device feature, sound, and function customizable. Any marketer will acknowledge the demise of "spray and pray," replaced by data-focused segmentation and targeting. However, though 43% of companies deliver a personalized experience on desktop computers, only 13% do on mobile.

Fortunately, there are a few easy-to-implement tactics to personalize mobile for customers. Understanding each will help businesses monetize mobile more effectively.

1. Drive opt-ins

Perhaps this is obvious, but getting an opt-in opens up infinite possibilities for personalization. Be bold when encouraging customers to sign in on the mobile Web, submit their phone number to receive mobile alerts, or authorize push notifications when downloading apps. Consider Stuart Weitzman's homepage:

Whereas the page's top offers New Arrivals and Trends, a quick scroll reveals a gateway asking visitors to put on a nametag before entering. Moreover, on the desktop Web, Stuart Weitzman uses website-takeover popups for returning visitors, urging them to submit their email and/or mobile number to receive an optimal brand experience.

These practices demonstrate how companies can encourage consumer opt-ins without simultaneously alienating new visitors still in exploration mode. Overall, do not passively expect subscriptions to roll in. Think of mobile as if it were a real-life relationship. Be casual up front, but eventually you need to "have the talk" and actively drive signups.

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Kane Russell is vice-president of marketing at Waterfall Mobile. Its technology helps companies build mobile marketing campaigns that customers love.

LinkedIn: Kane Russell

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  • by ToddK Tue Nov 5, 2013 via web

    We have done some experiments with the use of personalized QR codes which marry to a personalized mobile website experience. While QR codes may still prove to have a ceiling for adoption, our approach was to build a database of characteristics about those in our (potential) customer list. The QR code is scanned by the target/recipient, the database provides the personalized content, including calling the user by name, and presents information suitable or more appropriate for the user. Refining the experience can occur through questions asked during the encounter with the personalized mobile website.

    Our success with this has prompted the development of platform/foundation for use. More information about this can be found at

  • by Adella @ Wishpond Thu Nov 7, 2013 via web

    Hi Kane. Great article! I would like to highlight “exclusivity” for personalized mobile marketing. As ToddK mentioned about a QR code, it's a great tool to utilize mobile-exclusive deals. For example, Emart’s created a shadow QR code that only became visible when the sun was at the correct angle. This campaign gave access to special offers or coupons. Through this campaign, Emart offered 12,000 coupons, membership increased 58% and sales increased 25% during lunchtime. What are your thoughts on it?

  • by João Soares Tue May 12, 2015 via web

    Nice description on how to adopt personalization on a broader perspective. I would add another use case, since so many mobile apps include some sort of advertising and that sometimes drives users away it is possible to test several ad placement techniques or even turn them on or off for particular user segments. One thing I'm used to see is app publishers turning off ads for people that have not yet reached a particular usage level and turning it on after users are already engaged with the app content.

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