It’s no news that the digital world is continuously evolving and that the media and telco industries are no longer the primary driver in the adoption of innovative technology. Personal media is now seeing rapid interest and investments from almost every industry including retail, government, healthcare, as well as large enterprises assessing how personal media can be used within the workplace.

Personal media encompasses the growing range of personal devices from mobile phones to tablets, portable and home gaming consoles and ebook readers like the Kindle. Using these devices, we can communicate with consumers like we’ve never been able to before: personally. We therefore need to treat content delivery on each device very differently. The power of personal media technology can be used to increase sales, enhance brand identity, improve consumer experiences, deliver location and contextually relevant information, deepen engagement, improve productivity and reduce costs for both consumer and employee audiences. So how does this relate to FMCG?

We are all hooked on mobile devices with apps providing us with almost everything we need: news and weather information, organisers, games, social media content, file sharing, education and ecommerce, and we are getting increasingly used to spending a lot more time ‘in-app’. It’s a competitive environment and it seems that every brand thinks it needs its own mobile app. However is an app the right thing for your product? Before jumping in the deep end, it’s worth exploring your personal media objectives and evaluating if it’s really a mobile app that you need in the first instance. If it is product awareness, engagement, product trial, flexibility, speed to market or to increase sales and ROI, there many other ways to leverage the mobile experience.

A multi-channel approach

We as consumers are no longer satisfied by just one form of media at a time; we like to talk, listen, watch, research and share all at once. In fact, over 70% of smartphone users use their phone while consuming another form of media, according to Google’s Mobile Ads Blog. This means that your customers are using their personal media devices in parallel to other interactions with your brand. They are browsing the web on their tablet, watching your ad on TV all whilst sharing their experience on social networks via their mobile device.

Understanding how fragmented media consumption has become, Pepsi take the multi-channel approach with their major annual promotion, leveraging SMS, online and on-pack promotion to maximise the reach and impact of the promotion across the target market. Through SMS and the dedicated microsite they receive over 1.68 million entries in the promotion, the campaign deemed to be one of Pepsi Australia’s most successful ever.

Broader reach – mobile sites are an option

If you are looking for wide reach and don’t want to focus on a single device or operating system, a mobile site may be another option. One key thing to recognise here is that a mobile site is not a micro-representation of your web site but rather an extension of it. You should always focus on a few key features of your offering that lends itself to the mobile device and provides utility. An additional benefit of a mobile site is that it also provides flexibility and speed to market as brands can avoid campaigns going through the app store’s approval process.

Nestlé wanted to trial a location based mobile marketing solution for its Chokito chocolate bar to grow specific store foot traffic and sales. Using a variety of prompts, users were directed to a mobile optimised site that contained the offer details and redemption voucher. Users then presented this site to the store attendant to redeem their $1 Chokito. A mobile site was used to deliver broad reach across the target market, accessible by all internet-enabled mobile devices. The mobile site provided the required flexibility to enhance the message to consumers over the campaign period.

SMS technology is still standing strong

SMS is simple, familiar and has global reach to almost every mobile phone. Per month, consumers use SMS more than they spend minutes on voice calls. Neustar’s whitepaper that researches the effectiveness of SMS in increasing ROI, details how SMS is still one of the best mobile marketing channels today. People generally welcome rewards, deals and coupons with open arms and with almost 30% of smart phone users using their mobile to research deals and coupons, says Google Mobile Ads Blog, if you then throw in bonus rewards, points and status incentives, you’ve got a game that we all can’t help but play. Snyder also identifies that 85% of text messages are read within 15 minutes of being received which highlights the reactive and instant nature of SMS.

Diageo support many of their brands competitions with in-store promotional activities encouraging immediate entry once the product is purchased through ‘SMS to win’ activity. This helps brands track activity by store through tracking codes, strengthens the retailer relationships, as typically these promos are exclusive to a particular retailer, and increases sales in store. Your digital media strategy is not your personal media strategy, but the two do go hand in hand. You need to consider the ways consumers engage on mobile as it is for completely different reasons and requires different journeys than on a desktop or laptop device.

If you integrate personal media into your overall FMCG marketing mix, your message will not only reach a much wider audience, but it can help reinforce your message and open up a means for immediate action and two way communication with your customers. By expanding your reach into personal media your ideal consumer can find you in a more relevant way. Your audience is on mobile and they are listening and waiting for you to send them the right message.  Make it relevant, make it rewarding and make it effortless. Getting into mobile can be simpler and quicker than you think.

Rebecca Pogea
BY Rebecca Pogea ON 5 March 2012
Rebecca Pogea, account manager, Tigerspike