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Is customer engagement during COVID-19 still possible?

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As we spend more time at home, closer than usual to our TVs, we instead depend on our mobile devices more and more to stay connected with the world. Why's that?

The 60-inch TV may be within eyesight, but your set is pretty much the same as anyone else's—a big, impersonal black box that sends one-way information. Your mobile, on the other hand, is your most personal (and personalized!) piece of technology, and it’s what keeps you connected 24/7.

Are you looking to supercharge revenue streams and slash churn? Find out how our marketing solutions can help. 

Five reasons why mobile beats everything else :

  1. Your phone rings the way you want it. 
  2. You receive messages from people and brands you choose. 
  3. Your little device follows you from room to room.
  4. It's convenient - within an arm's length at all times. 
  5. And best of all, it fills quiet moments with entertainment and social connections. 

So: what does all this mean for marketers? 

First, let's look at some fascinating numbers. 

Mobile phone data usage jumped by more than 50% this March compared to the previous years. 

Before COVID-19, businesses were spending 13.5% of their marketing budgets on mobile. That's a whopping 321% increase over the 3.2% reported in February 2015. 

Expenditure on mobile is projected to grow by another 72% over the next five years, accounting for one-quarter of total marketing spend. 

Whether this growth continues is unknown. Predicting the future is more difficult now. 

But what should marketers do in the short-term and amid COVID-19?  

Here are some of our recommendations:  

Be Agile 

Revisit and revise your current mobile marketing playbook. The behaviors and interests of your customers and prospects have changed. A plan written last year fails to take any of that into account now.  

Know your customer’s mood 

Market to the current mindset and conditions. The overuse of phrases like “the new normal” and “unprecedented times” have customers fatigued. Have they had enough of hearing “cover your mouth” and “wash your hands”? Although important messages, brands need to be sensitive to the general mood.  

Lead with empathy
  • We have all felt the effects of COVID-19, but not all in the same ways. Show that you an organization with compassion for those affected
  • Remember that with mobile messaging, you're entering a personal space reserved for friends and family. Don't forget it! Gain their permission to communicate to them on their channel of choice and don't violate their trust
  • Personalization is more important than ever. One size does not fit all when it comes to reaching consumers. Local preferences, tastes, and culture should be essential to your strategy. Tailoring messages is vital during the pandemic, given the vast differences cities, states, and countries
  • Show "foreknowledge" by communicating to the individual rather than to the list. Foreknowledge is anticipation, consideration, care, and concern for a unique person
  • Use third-party data like location, weather, time-of-day, and contextual information to be relevant in your communications

The new messaging paradigm

The above tips will enable your brand to cut through the clutter and get closer to your customers. 

Among the tools available are messaging - a direct, immediate channel - and video (or rich media). 

On top of that is personalized, conversational messaging, as well as personalized images and videos. Personalization and 2-way conversation bring exponential customer engagement, conversion, and give you the power to persuade.

Why? Interacting with customers on a 1:1 level makes your brand come across as more human, and, in that way, you can strengthen relationships.

Drive customer engagement via end-to-end personalization campaigns across any mobile channel. Sinch makes that possible – get in touch   
By Jeff Hasen

Jeff Hasen is one of the leading strategists, evangelists and voices in mobile. Companies benefiting from his talents have landed on Wired's list of most innovative entities on Earth and been named pioneers and the early leader in the burgeoning mobile marketing category.