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Think like your customer, not like a marketer

December 8, 2009

This from Gord Hotchkiss writing on 12-3-09 for Search Insider: Marketers: Shift your paradigm

About a year ago, at the Search Insider Summit (I’m actually at it again as I write this) I saw this clearly in a session on mobile advertising strategies. From the audience, which was made up entirely of marketers, there was frustration that the carriers wouldn’t allow targeting of mobile users through their account information. “You have all the information, why don’t you allow us to use it to target our messages?” was the cry from more than one frustrated marketer. I asked for a show of hands of all who thought, as marketers, that this would be a good move on the part of the mobile providers. Every hand shot up.

“Okay, as mobile users, who still wants to have ads targeted to you by your personal information.” Several hands suddenly wavered, hit by the force of shifting paradigms. Many went down. Others dipped noticeably as their owners realized their own hypocrisy. Suddenly, they were seeing the world as a customer, not as a marketer.

That’s some good stuff there. “Seeing the world as a customer, not as a marketer.”

In the brave new world of mobile marketing Gord’s point cannot be lost on anyone especially since you are dealing with the one thing in a person’s life that freaks them out when they lose it. If my TV breaks or when my ancient laptop gives me fits….no biggie. My cellphone starts acting up and I will get uppity in a hurry.

When it comes to marketing to a person via their cellphone,  put yourself in your customers shoes. Think of your favorite restaurant, brand, non-profit….whatever you patronize and wherever you shop and think about how you would want them to talk to you on your mobile phone.  This is what Gord is talking about. Moreover, when someone is on the go they will give you a chance to say one important thing to them so make it count.

Specifically, you need to ask for their permission to talk to them on their mobile phones. Might this be one of the reasons behind folks dumping their landline phones? Even with caller ID they find their way to me on my landline but on my mobile? No way.

How do you do this? With Ruxter you ask them to text your keyword to 63636 to opt-in to messages and content from you via your free Ruxter site. This is becoming an industry standard practice for getting permission to market to a person’s cellphone. In a few days we’ll be launching Ruxter PSI which will help you get folks opted-in to your Ruxter site via your PC website, via an email you send them using your email list or via your Facebook page. (I’ll write more about Ruxter PSI after it launches. PSI stands for “PC Subscriber Interface”.)

Once they have opted in, think of the one thing you want to tell these customers about what’s going on with you that they would care about. A special, an event, an exclusive offer, an urgent message, a new product, new pictures or video…..whatever you want to tell them but you need to think of it as the one thing you most want to tell them. Keep it relevant. Your customer is on the go and won’t take the time to peruse your PC site on their cell phone. The good folks at Gomez have already warned us about how little patience mobile customers have with balky websites.

The beauty of mobile marketing, and Ruxter is all about this, is that’s it’s highly personal to the user, it’s very dynamic for both parties and perhaps most importantly-it’s as cheap or cheaper and typically has a higher ROI than most every other form of marketing out there. Oh, and I forgot to mention-it’s with your customer at all times. Paradigm shift indeed.

Dale Knoop is the President of Ruxter and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

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