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Mobile Marketing Automation: A Must for Businesses and MSPs

With the proliferation of mobile devices and the development of effective and accessible automation technologies, is this the year mobile marketing automation (MMA) becomes table stakes for business success? I think the implications here are much broader than that, as the managed mobility service market itself is exploding. So, not only do businesses need to be paying attention to mobility and automation, managed service providers need to be creating and delivering solutions that facilitate that.

Growth for the managed mobility service (MMS) market is predicted to expand at a 30.5 compounded annual growth rate between 2014 and 2019, ultimately ballooning to a market worth some $11.05 billion. Businesses (and marketers) need mobile solutions that allow them to capitalize on their customers’ growing reliance on devices, and MMS providers need to step up and provide this expertise, because trying to do it in-house with limited expertise or resources, for many businesses, is not only cost-prohibitive, it doesn’t good business sense.

Why Mobile Marketing Automation?

Accessing the web on mobile devices has surpassed that of desktop access, and that trend is only going to increase. Think about your own use of your smartphone (or tablet). We walk around with our omnipresent devices, relying on them for directions, information, messaging, monitoring our health and wellness, researching things we want to buy and, of course, making purchases. Mobile marketing automation allows a brand to put their marketing messages at customer’s fingertips at the exact moment they will have the biggest impact. While currently in its infancy — VentureBeat pegs penetration of MMA at about 1.5 percent — the opportunities are significant: Personalized real-time engagement, hyper-contextual targeting through triggers like location and behavior, analytics that allow narrow segmentation of users or customers, are just a few of the things marketing automation allows marketers to do. Enough to make a data driven marketer’s heart sing, for sure, and definitely enough to equally titillate IT teams and/or MSPs focused on developing and providing enhanced mobility solutions.

We’ve just started to scratch the surface of what MMA can do.

Examples of MMA in Action

In a recent report, “Mobile Marketing Automation: How the most successful apps drive massive engagement and monetization,” VentureBeat took a deep dive into MMA vendors and summarized their key product features.

The past year has seen significant moves by key players in the space. Here are some examples to get you thinking about MMA and how it might apply to either your organization or, if you’re an MSP, how your organization might work with your clients to develop and provide these kinds of MMA solutions:

  • Urban Airship launched interactive push notifications, designed to create a feedback loop with mobile users, giving them options like “share” or “shop now.”
  • Kahuna released details of a funding injection of some $11 million, to help create “the gold standard in mobile marketing automation.”
  • Swrve, a worldwide leader in mobile marketing automation, secured a $10 million Series B round of of financing, taking their total funding to $22 million.

Overall, marketing automation is not new. Marketers have long been using it for web and email campaigns. But the customization available with mobile marketing automation is what makes it so revolutionary and what makes it exciting for MSPs and the IT teams they serve, as well as their marketing counterparts.

“It’s not about sending 10 messages. It’s about sending the best one message,” Adam Marchick, CEO of Kahuna, told VentureBeat. He claims Kahuna’s platform can more than double customer engagement, with a push message response rate of around 20 percent.

The Role Integration of an MMA Strategy Plays for MSPs and Their Clients

So why is a strategy specific to MMA important for MSPs (and their clients)? Here’s some food for thought: By 2020, it’s predicted that customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship (with your brand) without talking to a human (Gartner research via Hubspot). Don’t you think that chances are good they’ll be doing this with a device in their hand, rather than sitting in front of a computer? If you’re not yet sure how important developing a mobile marketing automation strategy is for you and your business, maybe that’ll get you to thinking. And if you’re an MSP, hopefully you’re already thinking about MMA and working with your clients to develop mobility solutions that take advantage of technology and the ability to hyper-target to help move the needle when it comes to your clients’ growth and profitability.

The results above are but a few examples and, hopefully, brands and marketers are paying attention to what’s happening in this space. I’m reasonably confident that MSPs are paying attention, but stories like this can hopefully help MSPs talk with their clients about the many opportunities available to them and entice them to work together to integrate MMA into their marketing strategies, so as to better accomplish their marketing and sales goals.

From a marketing standpoint, we have the ability to be as creative as ever when it comes to campaign development, but what’s really cool is that we’ve also got data at our fingertips that allows us to highly target our audiences and focus on delivering that one right message, to the right person, at the right time. And make something happen as a result. Even better? We can track it, we can watch it happen and we can replicate it. I know I’m a big, fat geek about these things, but what isn’t fascinating about that? And managed services providers, with deep expertise in both the power of data as well as mobility, can help.

From an IT standpoint pro’s standpoint, what’s exciting about this is that you and your team have the ability to deliver real solutions that can move the needle in measurable ways. I don’t have to tell you that IT teams are a critical component of today’s successful business operations, but there are instances where senior leadership hasn’t yet realized that and provided a seat at the strategy development table for CIOs and their teams. Helping to lead the way with mobility, demonstrating proof of concept, and showing concrete business results are how you make that happen. And for MSPs, partnering with your CIO clients and their teams, as well as with their marketing counterparts — that’s when you call all make beautiful music together.

This isn’t something that is in the future, mobile marketing automation is now – and marketers and brands who are paying attention stand to reap some pretty awesome rewards. More importantly, they can deliver for their customers more quickly and more effectively – and happy customers is what it’s all about.

What do you think? Have you run across mobile marketing automation campaigns as a consumer? If there are any that have been particularly awesome, I’d love to hear about it. What about from a marketing standpoint? Are you focused on integrating marketing automation into your mobile marketing campaigns? If you’re an MSP, do you have any success stories that you’re willing to share or challenges you’ve encountered along the way? Anything you’re interested in sharing on that, you know I wanna hear.

Other resources on this topic:

The Changing Role of the CIO [Study]
10 Cool Marketing Automation Startups to Watch
Mobile Email Clicks are 2X More Valuable Than Desktop [Study]

photo credit: Too Connected via photopin (license)

This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s PivotPoint. Dedicated to providing valuable insight from industry thought leaders, PivotPoint offers expertise to help you develop, differentiate and scale your business.

Shelly Kramer

Shelly Kramer is a 20+ year marketing veteran and CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing consultancy, and the President of Broadsuite Media Group. She’s a business strategist focused on B2B digital transformation, and delivering integrated marketing solutions for clients. She’s an expert at omnichannel marketing, content strategy and execution, connecting social media to business initiatives, and helping clients leverage the web for growth and profitability.