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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 06, 2020

How to break through mobile clutter to engage

Time spent on devices from smartphones to tablets continues to increase. From user generated content to scrolling social media feeds and streaming content from Hollywood, there is a lot of competition for brands to find and engage mobile users. Here are a few tips to break through mobile clutter.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: People are spending more and more time on mobile devices -- what is driving consumers' use of mobile at this point?

Matt Ramerman, Sinch Engage: First of all, consumers rely on their phones as a source of communication -- it is the nucleus of their relationships, connecting people no matter the distance. Entertainment is also a primary driver of mobile use, especially for the younger demographics -- among the digital- and social-native, mobile-first generations. Based on a survey from Whistle, approximately four out of five (81%) Gen Z consumers said putting on a mobile video while doing other things keeps them entertained. The Whistle study indicates that Gen Z relies heavily on smartphones to support a constant need for entertainment.

The reality is, many people turn to their smartphones -- which now come equipped with capabilities beyond our parents' wildest dreams -- to manage every aspect of their lives.

What it comes down to is power and portability. Providing sophisticated computing in an ever more hand-friendly device enables us to fill the interstitial moments with content and experiences - and all at the tips of our fingers, delivered directly to our mobile phones.

Kristina: As people spend more time on mobile, brands are pushing more ad dollars and attention to mobile. What effect is this having on the space?

Matt: Just as consumers are spending more time on mobile than ever, brands are spending more ad dollars on mobile. Advertisers will pour more than $240 billion into mobile ad spend in 2020 (up 26% from 2019), per App Annie. But with so much focus on mobile, marketers must prepare for a chaotic and competitive space. While on the one hand, this creates more opportunities for brands to reach customers, it also means marketers must work even harder to break through the noise to capture their distracted and divided attention. Tactics that once worked, like email, are no longer going to be enough. Our Mobile Consumer Engagement 2020 report found that consumers are more likely to leave email messages unread than mobile messages -- 40% of consumers say they have at least 50 unread emails in their inbox, and nearly 1 in 10 consumers admit to over 1,000 unread emails, but just 4% say the same about mobile messages.

Kristina: What can brands do to break through all of the other ads, social media posts, videos, etc. that are making it harder to engage with their core customers?

Matt: Consumers today demand nothing short of personalization and relevance of content and context. And on top of that, they are hungry for rich media and messaging (think: personalized video, omnichannel messaging and AI-fueled conversations). Our recent global study uncovers a clear gap between how brands today are using mobile messaging versus how consumers would like them to use it. Advances in mobile communications and conversational messaging -- including new channels like WhatsApp and RCS -- continue to accelerate, providing businesses an unprecedented opportunity to engage with consumers wherever, whenever. However, businesses have been slow to provide this high-value, real-time messaging that consumers prefer across all channels. To break through the noise and interference, brands and marketers must embrace the future of messaging in order to reach consumers in a personalized and contextual manner on the channel of their choice.

Personalized video is among the most exciting opportunities that many businesses are not yet fully using today, even though it's available through MMS and mobile landing pages. Conversational messaging is empowering companies and transforming the customer journey. OTT (over the top) services are changing the way people consume media. WhatsApp -- a key driver of mobile messaging growth -- is one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide.

Moving forward for brands, I predict that RCS messaging will become one of the most compelling vehicles to cut through the noise and engage with consumers.

Tags: mobile ads, mobile clutter, mobile engagement, mobile marketing, mobile trends, Sinch Engage, social marketing

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