How Brands Can Go Mobile in 2013
This guest post is written by Aquent Director of Global Marketing Katja Wald
Mobile devices have changed the way consumers interact with companies. Consumers are now accessing websites on the go, liking an organization's Facebook page and clicking on ads that interest them in certain applications. With consumers adopting mobile technology at a rapid pace, companies are eager to capitalize on this mobile explosion.
In fact, based on survey results from the Google Analytics Blog, 87 percent of marketers are planning to increase their mobile efforts in 2013. Now the questions become: what are the major challenges marketers face with utilizing mobile for marketing campaigns and how do they tackle those obstacles to successfully growing mobile as part of the overall marketing program?
Proving the ROI
According to the recent Aquent and Forrester report, demonstrating the ROI of mobile marketing is one of the top challenges for marketers planning to grow their marketing programs. With mobile marketing still in its infancy for many organizations, marketers are struggling to prove the efficacy of the programs they create. They must also understand that mobile measurement is different than online measurement and even within mobile alone, measurement varies depending on the tactics being deployed. This is mostly due to a lack of understanding how to obtain the best data and analysis possible from each mobile marketing campaign and overall knowledge in how to quantify mobile ROI.
Having the Mobile Marketing Expertise
Another challenge faced by organizations is the lack of mobile-focused employees to execute on mobile marketing initiatives. Companies new to using mobile for marketing purposes have tried to assign mobile responsibilities to its traditional marketing team who are already accountable for other business-critical marketing projects. They lack employees with mobile marketing experience, who know how to translate marketing fundamentals to mobile. They need a mobile marketer whose primary responsibilities would be to develop the mobile marketing strategy, create the mobile marketing campaigns, and manage the data analysis coming out of the programs.
Struggling with New Technology
Mobile is a complex platform that can be utilized in a variety of ways for marketing. When dealing with this emerging platform, many marketers do not have an understanding of how mobile technology works from a programmer's perspective. They lack staff that is well-versed in application design and development, mobile optimized website creation and mobile display advertising design. These marketers need a technically savvy developer that can spend the time to guide the brand through the options available for mobile websites and applications, and create the technology from soup to nuts.
For brands to solve these challenges and efficiently leverage this channel, they'll need skilled mobile-centric marketers and mobile programmers to get the job done. The mobile marketing expert will help the marketing team strategize how to best use mobile, better demonstrate ROI and eventually integrate mobile with other marketing channels. The expert developer can effectively craft the mobile technology for specific campaigns and design the program from the ground up. These resources can come from a variety of places - organizations just need to know where to look.
Finding the Mobile Experts
Once the position that is need for a company's marketing team is identified - whether it's a mobile-focused marketer, experience mobile developer, or both - the company needs to understand their options of where to find the right person. There is always the option to post an open job position to the company's career page, but in order to find a more immediate qualified hire, companies should look towards external resources like staffing firms, digital agencies and independent contractors.
Although contract workers with past experience in mobile can quickly be integrated with a team and hit the ground running with little ramp-up time, many marketers may be skeptical about bringing in a temporary employee to help with a long-term program. Therefore, it's important to understand why and how these temporary workers are beneficial for the success of a mobile program.
Temps Have the Specific Skills
Contractors and temp workers are no longer used for only administrative tasks. Organizations rely on them to execute on specific business programs - whether it's revamping an IT database or redesigning an organizations' Web presence. This trend follows suit with the explosion of mobile; talented temps can be relied upon to develop mobile apps, help deliver marketing strategy and create marketing campaigns for a variety of social media platforms. These highly-skilled temp employees enable companies to dive into marketing initiatives, and begin addressing the changing market needs quickly.
Additionally, contract employees are a great way to test out a few different aspects of the hiring process. First, hiring managers can evaluate individuals based on the work they produced during their contract. Depending on the employees' contributions to the team, managers can determine if they would like to transition the worker to a full-time employee. Secondly, the organization can use a contractor as a means of testing out a new program, such as executing on mobile initiatives. Once the mobile program proves its ROI, the company can then assess what additional resources it should invest into the program.
Mobile has emerged as a new platform for marketers to explore - the challenge is understanding how best to utilize it. Knowing the challenges a marketing team faces with a mobile marketing program and determining the experienced employees that need to be brought onboard is key to growing a successful program. Considering to hire experienced contract workers is a promising avenue to take as marketers embark on the process of growing their mobile strategies, but it is one they must determine for themselves.