As 2016 winds it’s way down we can look back at various mobile strategies and developments with a clearer vision. Handsets themselves have evolved to be more useful and much better in quality. More devices now are water resistant, extremely good cameras, shatterproof screens, larger memory capacities and more. No doubt you’re seeing many commercials for virtual reality devices connected to your phone, apps to control your home security and check your blood pressure, and even wearable tech tied that syncs with your phone. All this development continues to reinforce our dependence on our phone. And as the powersports industry continues to grow and embrace these technologies it lends to some fantastic opportunities for 2017.
Here’s a quick recap of things we covered in 2016 and a look ahead and things to expect for 2017.
- SMS/Texting holds strong as the foundation of mobile marketing.
- Mobile optimization for your website is critical to being found through search.
- Location based marketing is growing and opportunities to be in the space to reach customers grows along with it.
- Mobile is important to EVERY aspect of your dealership. From service to parts to sales your customers must have opportunity to engage with you via mobile.
- Mobile marketing and social media marketing are similar but they are not the same.
- Your data is an incredibly valuable resource and mobile can leverage it better than any other medium.
- Long codes are NOT designed effective for mass marketing via mobile. Short codes are more important than ever to eliminate spam and drive best practices for the industry.
- Your customers expectations for mobile continue to grow and this puts pressure on you to deliver.
- Start familiarizing yourself with the term “Internet of Things”. IoT will become a much larger part of our marketing vocabulary in the coming year.
- Deeper understanding and implementation for mobile search will be critical.
- Mobile loyalty programs will find more ways into your dealership. Having a loyalty program without a strong mobile component and you will not get far.
- Social platforms with a mobile-only audience will grow. Think SnapChat and Instagram. These will continue to grow and there will be new players to watch for.
- More emphasis placed on mobile-friendly inventory channels. It’s not enough to have your inventory on your site but how is it offered on YouTube, Facebook, etc…?
- Dealers will be challenged to develop their customer base better through mobile efforts and less dependent on social media platforms.
- Live mobile broadcasts and mobile video will become more affordable and manageable.
- DATA DATA DATA will be the mantra. Measure and dissect every aspect of your marketing efforts with better analytics tools available. Pull together all your metrics and reporting into one centralized source to better oversee all the digital work being done by your dealership.
Not everything mobile in 2017 will be a success. And not everything you see will be right for your dealership. So deciding on which rabbit hole to chase down will be another challenge yet again. But arm yourself with expertise and those that can assist you in navigating the ins and outs of mobile and you will have success.
Ron Cariker is owner/president of 7 Media Group, a diverse mobile marketing firm based in the U.S., and the leading mobile provider for the powersports industry. Ron and his company have worked with over 100 dealers across the U.S. for the past 7 years. He speaks extensively across the U.S. and internationally about the mobile industry and mobile education.