By Jeff Clark, managing director, APAC, Silverpop

The masses are going mad for mobile technology – mocial mad. Mocial. Have you heard of it? It’s the term we’ve coined to describe the convergence of mobile, social and email channels. And the world has gone mocial mad, with people using their mobiles for everything from online banking to spending time on Facebook, from updating their Twitter status to jumping on group deals. This mocial madness has meant unprecedented flexibility for consumers on one hand, and new wrinkles for marketers trying to keep up with new devices and applications on the other. The most common response from Aussie businesses has been to create hastily developed iPhone apps, token Facebook pages and Twitter profiles.

Marketers, this is a big mistake. Why? Because above all else, people are using their mobile devices to check their emails. There are nearly a billion more email accounts than social network accounts worldwide, and a study we released in June showed that, on average, the size of respondents’ email lists trump their number of Facebook likes 70:1 and surpasses Twitter followers 90:1.

The point here is that in an effort to keep up with the newest and brightest channels, businesses are showing a tendency to go soft on traditional channels like email, but email is still a crucial channel through which to reach an impressive number of people. That doesn’t mean that all the effort to create marketing strategies fit for the modern consumer should be ditched in favour of email marketing strategies. The trick for business and their marketers is instead to find ways to connect each channel to the other.

My team and I are in touch on a daily basis with companies like the Sydney Swans, Heinz, Cracka Wines, Coca Cola Amatil and RedBalloon, helping them to understand the subtle interplay between the many communication channels available today. The key is to understand that different buyers are accessing information in different ways across channels. A 22 year-old may get info via an app on his phone, while a 54-year-old may access similar material via an email on her desktop computer. Additionally, the explosion of channels is also creating scenarios in which the same person prefers different forms of communication depending on the message. For example, a traveller might want SMS for flight delay notifications, email for upgrade and mileage status, and a Facebook feed for airline promotions.

Going mocial successfully – which means taking a connected approach to mobile, social, local and email marketing – is actually pretty straightforward. Here are some tips to get you started on the right track:

  • Use social and mobile avenues to drive email opt-ins, and use preference centres if you have them to connect with channel-choosy customers,
  • Use your email communications to grow fans by placing some text or icons in all your emails that lead people to ‘like’ you on Facebook,
  • Explain the benefits of your SMS program, mobile app, etc. in your emails and include links for signing up, and
  • Why not announce the launch of a new contest on Facebook via email?

 

In addition, it’s a good idea to think about which channels are best suited to each aspect of your business – sales, customer support or promotions, for example – and evaluate each channel, paying attention to each media strengths and weaknesses. To really achieve mocial success it’s important to keep evaluating the performance of your email, mobile and social channels against your overall business and marketing goals. This will give you a feel for what goals make sense for each channel in relation to your business.