Monday, May 4, 2015

Digital Marketers: 3 Action Items on the Importance of Using Mobile Messaging Apps in your Marketing Strategy

The mobile device user base has seen an uninterrupted period of outstanding global growth for several years now. The world is witnessing phenomenal development that has provided a fertile ground for an unprecedented diffusion of mobile messaging applications.  

As an IMC graduate student and digital marketing professional, I have learned and fully internalized the importance of understanding and integrating mobile messaging in the overall marketing strategy. I share with you two articles that expand on the impact of mobile messaging apps worldwide.

In the article WeChat Retains Crown as Top Mobile Messaging App by Jason Mander, we learn that 2014 was the year of the mobile messaging app. All around the world we've seen communications migrating from big social networks and SMS/MMS services to dedicated mobile messaging tools. The proliferation of smartphones and the fact that these mobile messaging apps are provided for free have allowed these apps to rapidly penetrate a worldwide user base. WeChat, the Chinese built platform represents an outstanding example of an app with extremely rapid growth and penetration. Its user base is now expanding beyond the borders of East and Southeast Asia.

Latin America has also proven to be a tremendous market for mobile messaging apps. The makeup of these platforms has proven to perfectly satisfy sociocultural needs.

In the article From WhatsApp to LINE: The Growing Competition in Latin America’s Mobile Messaging Sector we learn that unlike traditional SMS applications, these apps allow users to send an unlimited number of text messages, accompanied by videos and images, to one person or a group of people at no cost, regardless of the brand and model of the smartphone that a consumer is using.
The Latin American market is indeed a fertile ground for marketers that tap into the mobile messaging phenomenon. Latin Americans like to share and socialize with family members and friends, and with friends of family members.

It is critical for a marketer in the digital age to fully understand how these emerging platforms are being used by the target end user and how to leverage not only the social network aspect but also the ability to deliver relevant and quality content through these channels.

After reading these two articles, I have three action items every digital marketer should consider for their next integrated marketing strategy:

1. Discover Usage - Learn what apps your target markets are currently utilizing

2. Target Effectively - Learn how your target markets are utilizing these apps (i.e., what features, what purpose, time of day, day of the week, overall usage frequency, etc.)

3. Determine ROMI - Determine how the use of these apps could enhance your digital strategy and return on marketing investment (ROMI). Understanding market penetration and usage patterns will be critical to forecast engagement and conversion performance.

There is no question mobile messaging is a worldwide phenomenon that represents a huge opportunity for marketers. It will take a concerted effort to understand the technologies, social patterns, and potential integration to the current digital marketing mix.

Angel Viveros | @angelv_me

Angel Viveros is a leader in digital marketing whose passion lies in the development of integrated marketing communication strategies that leverage the power of technology. He was worked in the travel industry (JetBlue Airways) and in the fitness and wellness business (4Life Research USA). He is currently pursuing a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

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