Mobile Marketing’s Easy Button is Finally Ready to Push

I have a great deal of empathy for fellow CMOs. We hold the dubious distinction of having one of the only roles whose average tenure has been compared to the gestation period of an elephant — 22 months. Gross on so many levels.

In the last decade, the collective “we” managed to double that longevity, and I believe that digital played a key role. Digital made it possible (not necessarily easy) to more directly attribute marketing efforts to measurable business outcomes.

Of course, digital has required a huge amount of determination and grit. Marketers needed to instantly add an analytical mindset to artful execution, and growth marketing is continuing to advance more considered and scientific approaches.

The Only Constant is Change

Channels we mastered like email now regularly set aside our content, bucketing it under “Promotion” tabs. We built large social audiences only to find out we were renting them, reaching very few organically. And even while we continue to perfect the balance of customer utility versus promotion in native apps to engage our most loyal customers, up pops artificial intelligence, chatbots and messaging apps.

Then bring in the tools, too many to count even for the wonderfully informative Scott Brinker of who recently found 1,900 companies missing from his 3,800 company Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic. Mix in the data from all those tools … often disparate and only part of the picture. And then layer all of that against a mobile-fueled backdrop of rapidly changing consumer behaviors and constantly rising customer expectations.

If that weren’t enough, pressure from within has never been greater as marketing executives are three times more likely to lead strategic growth initiatives in 2016 than they were in 2012, according to Gartner.

It’s clear we need a Fist Bump Your CMO Day.

Where Opportunity Doesn’t Mean Starting from Scratch

With many advents we’ve seen over the years, it often feels like we’re exploring entirely new territory. The rules, best practices, ideal user experiences and impact to business results only become clear over time.

This great big easy button is not one of those. It improves something that most every business has been doing for decades, by solving inefficiencies and unlocking a simple way to better serve customers over time.

I’m talking about mobile wallets, and more specifically the non-payment side, which turn paper coupons and plastic loyalty cards (and much more) into dynamic, addressable customer communications channels.

Mobile wallet apps such as Apple Wallet and Android Pay come pre-installed on newer devices, providing an easy and highly visible way to broaden your reach to all customers with a smartphone, not just those that have your app or opted into SMS. The barriers to get someone to install a loyalty card or coupon are much, much lower than getting them to download your app. Plus, you can distribute mobile wallet passes through all your other digital channels and even printed materials like in-store signage.

It’s Prime Time to Seize the Advantage

As Apple, Android, Samsung and many others invest heavily in building out mobile payment ecosystems, greater consumer awareness offers businesses a much larger opportunity than streamlining checkout and scrimping on interchange fees.

In fact, we recently surveyed 2,000 smartphone users and found 54% of them had used mobile wallets, including 30% in the past week. The top most used and desired items in their mobile wallets are loyalty cards and coupons.

Another high-level and somewhat surprising finding: Mobile wallets are now among the top four ways consumers prefer to stay updated on sales, offers and coupons, alongside decades-old channels including websites, email and text/SMS. Adoption is especially high for people with above-median household incomes and millennials, an age group where apps and mobile wallets displaced text/SMS from the top four preferred communication channels.

In addition, the young and more well-off also skew much higher in behaviors that make mobile wallets an ideal fit, from letting physical coupons go unused or expire, to desiring the dynamic engagement and reminder functionality that mobile wallets provide.

Get all the data for yourself to understand consumers’ attitudes, expectations and adoption of mobile wallets in “The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing.”

Get Some Mobile Wallet Inspiration

If you need to totally blow your mind with what mobile wallets make possible with just a few weeks of effort (no app required), check out what POLITICO Europe did to grow readership with its EU Referendum Tracker for Apple Wallet (case study here).

Want even more? Check out our Mobile Wallet Idea Book, for innovative use cases that showcase how wallet passes can increase the value you provide customers quickly, easily and cost-effectively.