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Mobile Marketing Lessons from SXSW

One of the things that took center stage in this year’s SXSW festival was mobile advertising and marketing. The massive interest in mobile can be attributed to the fact that marketers have embraced mobile advertisement on a large scale. Marketing related interactions were massive and one of the conclusions reached regarding mobile marketing include the idea that marketers can now reach more customers than ever.

1. The challenge is no longer to reach customers but to influence them.

Marketers can now reach more customers than ever because so many people now have mobile devices. There was a consensus among the SXSW crowd that for mobile marketing to be effective, there has to be a shift in focus of mobile audience. It is time marketers started looking at the mobile audience as human beings instead of bits of data.

With digital marketing, there is always a danger of not knowing the needs of the customers. There is a need to have a solid grasp of what they really need. For instance, one survey showed that customers do not like long check-in or checkout processes. If marketers want to create a strong influence on customers, they must be ready to offer smart solutions to a real problem and add some magical component if possible.

2. Most brands still haven’t moved from CPI.

It is amazing how even big brands are clueless when it comes to defining what mobile success looks like. In most cases, marketing professionals feed clients all sorts of nonsense and numbers that are not helpful to them. This is the story of cost per install, or CPI. It was clear at SXSW that even sophisticated companies sometimes become clueless when it comes to mobile advertising and that is why marketing agencies are making a killing in the marketing industry. What does this tell us? Brands that want to succeed in mobile marketing should forget low cost and aim for high quality.

3. App store optimization is no longer helpful.

Organic traffic is by far the most useful means of getting traffic. One of the things that consistently came up at SXSW was that app marketers should appreciate the fact that mobile marketing is more than just coming up with creative and cool ideas—although that is still absolutely important. What is more important is for marketers to realize is that the basics must be covered if they are to get any headway.

4. Product, product, product!

Having a fantastic product will make your marketing efforts easy but it does not save you from the pitfalls of failures if you employ miserable marketing strategies. Any marketing strategy you employ must always lead to the product itself. In other words, your marketing agents should have a thorough knowledge of the product. Your marketing team should be very product-oriented and display enthusiasm for the product. Enthusiasm makes a huge difference and that is why you might notice some not-so-good products performing better than other products.

The main lesson we learn from SXSW is that there is still a lot that needs to be done when it comes to mobile marketing. Marketers will have to reconsider their strategies and see whether those strategies are bearing fruits. If there is a need to go against the norms, so be it.

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