The following is an executive Interview conducted by the Droid Report with Jeff Hasen, CMO of Mobivity And Author Of Mobilized Marketing:
Droid Report: Mobivity is an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and solution which you were appointed as Chief Marketing Officer during summer of this year. Can you tell us more about your role and some insight on Mobivity’s upcoming marketing initiatives for 2014?
Jeff Hasen: Mobivity’s mission is to bring businesses customers more often. The company’s expertise is in local engagement via mobile for individual locations of a large corporation like Chick-fil-A down to the Mom and Pop entities that can thrive with mobile solutions. Our mobile loyalty messaging via SMS taps into the ubiquitous activity and interest of smartphone and feature phone users. Our innovative mobile loyalty Stampt™ app that QSR’s and local businesses use to incent customers with paperless “punch card” that rewards for multiple visits. My role is multi-faceted, with a big emphasis on education and identifying and evangelizing the proof that mobile works.
Droid Report: As a top Chief Marketing Officer on Twitter, you recently tweeted the following about the revamp of Stampt last week, “@jeffhasen Proud of revamped http://stampt.com – our #mobile loyalty #app that enables businesses to turn consumers into loyal customers #mobivity .“ What are some app features that inspire loyalty?
Jeff Hasen: According to Deloitte, retailers who take meaningful steps to drive consumer loyalty are 88 percent more profitable than their competitors who do not. Other studies show that customers belonging to a loyalty card program visit a business twice as often and spend four times as much money. With Stampt™, businesses replace paper stamp cards and attract new customers when the 100 nearest locations with Stampt are presented. Sales are enhanced through push notifications of the latest offers.
Droid Report: C-level executives have been bullish about the business of digital. A recent McKinsey Global Survey indicates that engagement through social-media channels before, during and after a sale is a top priority. The survey also reported by comparison, companies have been slower to adopt digital approaches to engaging employees, suppliers, and external partners. How do you feel about Mobivity’s digital customer-engagement practices?
Jeff Hasen: Mobivity’s clients win because the solutions are permission-based. Consumers have raised their hands and said that they want to engage with particular brands. The key is relevance. That’s why daily deals are waning – instead, permission-based mobile programs that address an individual’s needs and wants provide a great ROI. It’s because the communications are one-to-one rather than one-to-many.
Droid Report: Do you feel confident in adapting digital strategies with the pressures that exist for marketing today?
Jeff Hasen: Absolutely. Marketers need to fish where the fish are. Smartphone penetration now exceeds 50 percent. You will be hard-pressed to find consumers who aren’t multi-tasking while watching television or shopping. In many ways, what used to be passive is now interactive. And savvy marketers provide value to eager mobile users.
Droid Report: As mobility matures, the industry expects a tipping point for organizations in 2014. CMOs today have also been adjusting to the new reality of the critical role of the CIO and Information technology equating to marketing success. Marketing executives have pressures to better optimize for Android mobile and other mobile devices. What are your thoughts on the transitioning impact on CMOs within different mobile areas?
Jeff Hasen: Mobile marketing cannot live on an island. No marketing channel can. Successful programs begin with the identification of business objectives. Then strategies and tactics are built to meet or exceed the objectives.
Droid Report: Ensuring data quality is also considered another important area with data having to derive personalized results relevant to the consumer. Innovation could add a lot of value to such areas. What advice would you give to CIOs today to become a facilitator and not an obstruction?
Jeff Hasen: Security and privacy are of utmost importance. CIOs need to be cautious and follow best practices, but also realize that as businesses’ constituencies have gone mobile, organizations need to adapt with the times.
Droid Report: Juniper Research forecasts mobile location-based services revenue to reach more than $12.7 billion by 2014. There was an interesting insight from you via your website relaying, “ I have no quibble with the assertion that indoor location-based services will mature in 2014. There is value for mobile users.” Growth of mobile adoption has been spurring a plethora of marketing channels. Do you feel this to be excessive and significant pressure for CMOs and marketers to become even more diversified with having the right knowledge, strategies and expertise?
Jeff Hasen: Significant pressure, yes. Excessive pressure, no. As much as some marketers might want to do what they’ve done for years, they need to work on more than direct mail pieces and mobile web sites. More commerce and decisions are being made via mobile devices and this trend will only accelerate in 2014.
Droid Report: Mobilized Marketing: How to Drive Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Devices from Wiley Publishing is the book you had authored last year. Your book offers examples from more than 130,000 campaigns for readers. Is there any advice you may have on executing an effective mobile strategy?
Jeff Hasen: With mobile, everything and nothing has changed. Businesses still need to sell stuff. It’s the how that’s different. But we all need to follow proven marketing principles – map to business goals and determine what in the marketing mix fits best to achieve those.
Droid Report: Jeff, you are also an instructor in the Rutgers Mini-MBA program. You also co-created the certification program for the Mobile Marketing Association and actively train marketers and others on mobile’s definitions, techniques and benefits. What would you like to see accomplished through your “Moments of Trust” lessons?
Jeff Hasen: I’ve been talking about “Moments of Trust” for more than a decade, long before the mobile device became so important to us all. These are touchpoints for a business and a consumer that drive sales and loyalty. It used to be said that you could lose the battle for public opinion in two hours. It is more like two minutes these days when consumers can use mobile devices to post to Facebook, Twitter or text and influence others. In many ways, I don’t see them as smartphones or feature phones. Instead, I see them all as megaphones that can make or break a brand.
Droid Report: (DIY) mobile marketing technology has been popular with both big and small businesses, with easy-to-use app builders compatible with the Android platform. Motorola has even unveiled its own DIY smartphone ‘Ara’ project with Phonebloks last October. Mobile devices and DIY tools appear to offer great opportunities and capabilities. What are your thoughts on its future?
Jeff Hasen: I don’t believe that DIY tools and small and medium sized businesses were made for each other. SMBs wake up every day to make sandwiches, dry clean clothes, and the like. These business owners need to be sensible when it comes to mobile. I believe core products and services are permission-base databases built through SMS opt-in, a mobile loyalty program, and simple mobile web sites that show hours, location, and featured products. Often times, a company like Mobivity is needed for coaching, expertise, and the technology.
Droid Report: Is there anything else you feel Android users and the Android market should know?
Jeff Hasen: Yes. Mobile works. A quick service restaurant franchisee in Dallas says that each SMS opt-in is worth $10 a month in incremental sales. A four-location pizza operator has more than 10,000 unique Stampt users – 50% of his customers – and sees mobile loyalty as a differentiator. There are tens of thousands of successes. Mobile has long past the “nice to have” phase for businesses who need more customers more often.