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Push, pull, participation and purchase – are you using the four Ps of mobile bridging?

By Julian Smith |

January 27, 2015 | 5 min read

As I’m sure anyone reading this article will be aware, in most parts of the developed world today smartphone adoption has reached near ubiquity and smartphone addiction is starting to set in. Pretty much every adult below the age of 60 now comes with a smartphone permanently attached and a growing number could not face a minute of their lives without one.

Thanks to their multi-functional, multi-purpose nature, these handheld devices are being continuously and repeatedly accessed throughout the day to manage, enhance and ease our lives. A recent study by Tecmark found that on average users look at their smartphones over 200 times a day – from the moment they rise to the moment they hit the sack.

For marketers, this means that there is now an ‘always-on’ opportunity to leverage mobile to enhance the targeting and engagement of audiences whether at home, at work, in the store or out-and-about. As well as using the mobile channel on its own, there is now the potential to use mobile as a bridge to integrate physical, real-world connections with digital, virtual ones.

The challenge with realising this mobile bridging, however, is how one encourages smartphone-equipped audiences to stop what they are currently doing, take out their device and start engaging with your brand/business. At Fetch we see that there are four Ps to mobile bridging that every integrated marketer now needs to consider. These are Push, Pull, Participation and Purchase.

Push

Marketers can push communications directly to mobile consumers, to prompt an action, wherever they might be. To those that they are trying to reach for the first time, they can use geo-targeted paid messaging, through providers like Weve. Or geo-targeting advertising placements, through providers like xAd, Blis or Bluepod. To those that have already engage with a brand by downloading an app, there is now the opportunity to deliver geo-targeted owned messaging, through in-app push notifications triggered by BLE beacon proximity.

This push tactic can be particularly relevant when you are trying to redirect consumer journeys and drive them to take an action in store, showroom or venue. But beware that scale and data accuracy are still challenges when planning and buying location-based ad campaigns and opt-in is a must when pushing out in-app messaging.

Pull

Marketers can incorporate a mobile call-to-action into existing real-world communications collateral, whether it be broadcast advertising, posters, packaging or point of sale, to directly encourage consumers to pull from the mobile channel.

While this capability has been around for a while, there are now more options than ever to choose from. Marketers can opt for the simple shortcode text response, to the much maligned QR code, to Augmented Reality, to NFC, to Automatic Content Recognition (like Shazam) to GPS-enabled apps (think mobile/real-world treasure hunts).

This tactic can be useful when looking to add an additional layer of mobile content/conversion onto an existing piece of communication or real-world experience. To incorporate the right pull tactic, marketers should consider what they wish the audience to think, feel and do at that moment and why. They then need to make sure that the experience is smooth, seamless and rewarding. Marketers should bear in mind how their owned digital media is optimised for mobile search, as more consumers pull content via search engines as a result of a specific contextual need or prompt.

Participation:

As social media behaviour becomes predominantly mobile, marketers have a growing opportunity to encourage time, place and context-specific participation from their mobile audiences.

They can encourage mobile social participation through photo/‘selfie’ competitions on Facebook or Instagram. Through hashtag content campaigns on Twitter, or encouraging audiences to check-in on arrival at a certain location.

This tactic can help generate mobile user-generated content and amplify local, on-the-ground activations to a much wider online audience via social channels. It can further help promote positive brand word-of-mouth and advocacy. Marketers should look to offer and highlight some kind of instant reward for participation – whether it be tangible (in the form of free product) or intangible (in the form of social network/peer-group recognition).

Purchase

As mobile payments and wallets adoption grows steadily in 2015, so marketers have a growing opportunity to stimulate direct purchase in the real-world via mobile.

They can prompt mobile purchase there and then, through the delivery of mobile coupons and promotional offers, point of sale calls-to-action and payment systems and mobile loyalty card rewards redemption. Marketers should look towards mobile loyalty-based apps that can be used at point of purchase in the first instance before transitioning to mobile payments when the technology is ready.

The types of businesses that have been early to adopt the four Ps of mobile bridging are those with a high street presence, in particular quick serve restaurants. The likes of McDonald's, Subway and Starbucks are now using many elements of the four Ps on a regular basis. But opportunities will existing for any brand or business to adopt one or more of the Ps, and as such should now be regularly incorporated into integrated communications thinking.

Julian Smith is head of strategy and innovations at Fetch

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