What Brands Are Doing Wrong On Mobile

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SW_20131024_NY_4246C_lowresAs consumers spend more of their time swiping at mobile devices than browsing the web or even watching television, a mobile strategy isn’t an opportunity; it’s a matter of survival, says Urban Airship chief marketing officer Brent Hieggelke.

During a keynote at Street Fight Summit in New York Thursday, Hieggelke argued that brands need to change the way they approach mobile, shifting from looking at the platform as yet another marketing channel to treating it as a central tool in creating a better consumer experience.

“The companies that don’t treat it as the number one priority will be swept away by mobile,” said Hieggelke. “It’s time for a major wake up call in the brand world. It’s a little scary how slowly they’re moving.”

The Portland-based company has made a big push over the past year to build out its location targeting technology, adding location data and other context targeting technology to its push marketing service, which the company white-labels to brands and application developers. Two years ago the company acquired location data startup SimpleGeo, which formed the foundation of a location-based push messaging product that it rolled out in October 2012.

The firm debuted its location targeting tools last year, managing the pushing messaging campaigns for the The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. Hieggelke says that location played a big role, helping serving content to the millions of visitors who downloaded the Official London 2012 Join In app For instance, Hieggelke said, that the the team pushed out a survey to users who attended an event days earlier on their mobile device and saw response rates for a survey jump 10 times compared to similar email campaigns.

Where brands have gone wrong with mobile, says Hieggelke, is in viewing its as another marketing channel rather than a new way to improve the consumer experience: “The big paradigm shift is that this cannot feel like marketing. Whatever you’re doing it has to improve the customer lives. If you’re not think about whether you bring value then consumer than you’re doing it incredibly wrong,” he added.

A big part of creating that value relies on brands understand the consumer’s context, drawing on a range of data from purchase history, behavior on a device, and most importantly location. But not just where someone is, says Hieggelke. What’s more important is accessing their entire location history to deliver messaging based on the places they’ve been not just the places they are right now.

“What we need to get to is connecting all of the context that’s out there,” said Hieggelke “The companies who will win are the ones that will figure out what makes sense at what moment, and reach out and delight their customer in one motion.”

Steven Jacobs is Street Fight’s deputy editor.

For more coverage of Street Fight Summit, click here…