The New-School Marketer’s Guide to Mobile Orchestration

White Paper

Today we don’t just interact with connected smartphones and tablets but with connected cars, thermostats, gaming consoles and more. For consumers, this means experiences that are more personalised, that are context-aware and that are delivered in real time. For marketers, this transformation means new ways of delivering experiences that engage and delight customers. This whitepaper is about helping you understand the mobile orchestration opportunity and arming you with the right tools, examples and talking points to begin to make this approach a reality for your team and your company.

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Mobile has completely changed the way we interact with the world, from the way we consume and spread information to the ways we work and interact with each other. It’s changed our behavior forever and raised our expectations for the brands we interact with.

It has made our world more connected, more real-time, and more convenient than ever before. It has driven us to expect relevant information whenever we want it on whatever device we want. Today, we don’t just interact with connected smartphones and tablets, but with connected cars, thermostats, gaming consoles, and more. For consumers, this means experiences that are more personalized, that are context-aware, and that are delivered in real time.

For marketers, this transformation means new ways of delivering experiences that engage and delight customers. It also opens the door to a wealth of new data, giving insight into customer behavior across more touch points and channels than ever before. Savvy CMOs are beginning to take advantage of these signals to sense and respond to consumer needs in real-time, giving them the ability to build deeper customer relationships and deliver more marketing revenue than ever before.

This is the new reality for marketers, and it’s frankly one of the most compelling opportunities that the digital marketing industry has ever seen. The old rules for interacting with your customers have been rewritten for good—giving marketers both new challenges and new opportunities to develop deeper customer relationships than ever before.

The opportunity, however, isn’t in buying a slew of individual mobile technologies to execute, like SMS, push, mobile advertising, and Passbook. As with other marketing channels, operating in siloes can only deliver fragmented experiences that frustrate customers and result in missed opportunities for marketers. Instead, the opportunity lies in unifying mobile technologies and delivering orchestrated experiences that leverage signals from all channels (including connected devices) and that speak to the customers based on both who they are as individuals and how they’re interacting with your brand in their moments of need.

This New-School Marketer’s Guide to Mobile Orchestration is about helping you understand the mobile orchestration opportunity and arming you with the right tools, examples, and talking points to begin to make this approach a reality for your team and your company.

Mobile’s magic moment has arrived.

The evidence that mobile is on the rise isn’t just in the proliferation of handheld devices that customers carry with them from morning until night; the proof lies in what the mobileobsessed masses are actually doing with their smartphones, tablets, and wireless devices. They’re communicating, shopping, searching, traveling, playing, reading, and discovering. They are living.

Convenience is one major driving force in mobile’s upward trajectory, as are the intimacy and immediacy of on-thego communications. Before long, mobile technology will be the locus of all interactions between customers and brands.

According to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a leading venture capital firm, on average, consumers check their mobile devices 150 times a day.

According to SinglePoint, 90% of the time, mobile users open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. That attention to mobile is turning into e-commerce gold.

More than 20% of all current mobile traffic goes to e-commerce sites, according to Monetate.

Not yet convinced? A Google study shows that 79% of smartphone owners use their devices to buy products or services.

[Download PDF to see Graph]

Consumer behavior is changing quickly.

Fifty years ago, technology empowered brands, big and small, to reach customers in ways they never could before.

For decades, brands drove this outreach, buying 30-second television or radio spots and delivering a single, marketer-driven message to millions of people. More recently, brands have targeted vast subscriber bases with “batch-and-blast” emails or have delivered display ads to every website visitor, with no knowledge of who those visitors are. This enabled brands to deliver one message to a huge number of people, at massive scale.

Research shows, however, that these mass-produced campaigns—driven by the marketer’s calendar rather than what the customer might want—are no longer effective. Today, customers control their relationships with brands, not the other way around. Empowered by the technology at their desks and in their hands, consumers can fast-forward, delete, or tune out any messages they don’t like. Mass-marketing campaigns, without regard to the individual consumer, will soon be a relic of the past.

The genie is out of the bottle.

Consumers are in control, and the power shift is irreversible. So, what do consumers expect from the brands they interact with today?


They want complete control over the data they share with brands and what happens to that information.


They want messaging, optimized for the devices they’re using that tells them what they need to know even before they need to know it.


They want instant gratification, whether it’s purchasing a product in a few clicks, getting answers to a customer service inquiry, browsing products in-store, or keeping tabs on the status of an order.

Marketing orchestration 101: It’s all about the customer journey.

Responding to this dramatic shift of power from marketers to consumers requires a fundamentally different approach to marketing—a move from a focus on single-channel marketing campaigns to a focus on the entire customer journey.

In the past, marketers controlled the messages they wanted customers to hear, as well as the ways they wanted them to be heard. They focused on one marketing channel and on driving as many conversions as possible through that channel. An email team then focused on optimizing the email experience. A display team focused on the display experience. A mobile team focused on the mobile experience. And so on.

The problem is that, with each team looking to drive shortterm results on their individual channels of focus, the customer experience suffered. Relationships were damaged, and customers were lost.

Savvy marketers are beginning to respond to this problem by focusing on the overall customer journey. They are orchestrating a customer experience that unfolds over time, across channels and according to an individual’s behaviors and preferences. In doing so, they deliver an experience that is seamless, highly personal, and always relevant. We call this “marketing orchestration.”

According to Forrester’s study, The Rise of Marketing Orchestration,

“Marketing orchestration is marketing transformation. It flips the traditional marketing model on its head by first starting with what is the right journey for each customer versus what the product marketers want to sell to people through a discrete campaign. Marketers who implement this strategy not only gain the benefits of greater profitability, marketing efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction, they also deliver sustainable competitive advantages to product development, merchandising, sales, and even customer support through insights derived from orchestration.”

This shift is fundamental to the future success of every business. Those who are taking advantage are already seeing tremendous rewards, but those who aren’t risk falling even further behind the competition.

For example, according to McKinsey & Company, more than 50% of customer interactions happen during a multievent, multi-channel journey. And customer journeys are 30% more strongly correlated with positive business outcomes like customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend.

The mobile marketer’s toolbox is filling up…

In response to the dramatic shift in the way consumers interact with brands, marketers are buying solutions to deliver campaigns on every mobile touch point, ranging from SMS, Passbook, and push to mobile Web, mobile email, and more.

Over the next few pages, we take a closer look at these tools and the ways marketers can use them to engage with customers on their devices of choice.

Mobile Web

Although mobile apps are gaining in popularity, today many smartphone shoppers still shop directly through brand websites.

This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for marketers. Brands that fail to optimize their sites for mobile leave customers unable to read product details and, even worse, unable to click on buttons to purchase products. Smart marketers have configured their websites to dynamically respond to customers’ devices to facilitate shopping on the go, which creates a great experience and helps drive the bottom line. In fact, two in three customers are more likely to make purchases from mobile-friendly sites than ones that aren’t optimized for mobile, according to a Google report.

Mobile Email

Well over half of emails are opened on mobile devices, which should be enough to convince brands that responsive email design should be an immediate priority.

Good responsive design ensures that emails render beautifully on all mobile devices and operating systems, in addition to making sure things like phone numbers, email addresses, and products are easily clickable. Losing a sale due to a poorly rendered email just shouldn’t happen anymore. For more on responsive design, download the Responsys Mobile Email Guide.


Nearly 90% of SMS messages are opened and read within the first 90 seconds of receipt, making SMS a perfect way to alert customers to upcoming sales, same-day discounts, contests, new products, or delivery shipment status.

For example, airlines can notify travelers of flight changes, pharmacies can ping customers when it’s time to refill a prescription, and retailers can provide nearly real-time insight into the status of a delivery. The immediate and intimate nature of SMS can be a double-edged sword, however. With SMS, it’s critical that brands only send to opted-in customers. Failing to do so could not only result in hefty fines, but it could also seriously damage brand reputation and customer relationships. For marketers, the key is in honoring customer preferences and delivering a relevant customer experience.

Push Notifications

Today’s consumers continue to spend an increasing amount of time in apps—in fact, they already spend more time in apps than they spend watching TV.

Push messaging enables brands to engage customers with messages delivered to connected devices, through their mobile apps. These connected devices can range from smartphones and tablets to connected gaming consoles and cars. And, because they can leverage both traditional customer information like demographics and past-purchase history and critical device data like app engagement and physical location, push notifications open up entirely new ways of engaging with customers. For example, a marketer can deliver an automatic push to occur when a customer has not recently engaged with an app, when an event of interest has happened, and even when a customer is physically near a location where a brand’s products (or a competitor’s products) are sold. What’s more: Push alerts capture a tremendous amount of data that can then be used to foster a more positive customer relationship moving forward.


This Apple service allows customers to store coupons, event tickets, gift cards, credit cards, and boarding passes on their mobile devices.

Marketers can introduce customers to Passbook via email, SMS, push, or QR code. Marketers can easily test out Passbook, since it doesn’t require app integration like push does, nor does it require extensive setup and compliance like SMS. Also, it can be deployed to consumers through a hyperlink, meaning that distribution through email, SMS, push, or QR code is relatively simple. Passbook offers can also include text codes and bar codes, making them compatible with any point-of-sale system. And since Passbook provides customers with a simple and convenient way to organize their payment and ticket information, marketers can deliver a great customer experience, while increasing mobile engagement.

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In-Store Wi-Fi

Providing Wi-Fi in store can add value to the shopping experience by letting customers read online reviews and even make purchases.

Nine in ten smartphone shoppers used their devices to purchase products while at brick-and-mortar stores, according to a report from JiWire. Marketers can use Wi-Fi to tap into customer behavior and provide customers with cross-sell and up-sell offers.

Location Specific Offers

Smartphones already have the ability to deliver locationspecific alerts and ads, depending on a user’s physical location.

What’s more: This technology is evolving at an incredible rate. For example, developers like Apple have rolled out “beacons,” a low-energy Bluetooth-enabled technology installed on devices that connects with a store’s physical transmitters.

For example, when a customer is browsing televisions in-store, a push notification with reviews and additional product information can be delivered to the customer in real time—bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds.

Mobile tools and technologies are getting smarter, but….

Marketers need to rethink their approach to focus on delivering an orchestrated mobile experience for their customers.

To get there, marketers need to focus on overcoming both the organizational and technological roadblocks they face today.

  • Marketers are forced to rely on siloed applications to deliver each type of mobile communication. For instance, SMS, push, and Passbook are all their own technologies.
  • Marketing teams are siloed: Email is owned by one team, display by another, mobile by a third, and so on.
  • Marketers who attempt to build custom solutions are recognizing the inherent problems in home-grown solutions— namely that they don’t scale, require significant maintenance, and are incredibly brittle.
  • Marketers naturally look to improve performance within each technology, often losing sight of the broader customer experience.

How to orchestrate mobile marketing: 3 examples

Mobile Web, mobile email, SMS, push, Passbook, Wi-Fi, and iBeacons are all excellent (and often underutilized) ways for marketers to engage with their customers. But the real opportunity exists in the ability to orchestrate these mobile touch points together to create a customer experience that’s highly individualized. This is not just an ideal for marketers; consumers want this experience, too.

According to Responsys survey data, 44% of consumers prefer to receive orchestrated mobile communications and 53% indicate that their feelings about brands are impacted positively when communications are orchestrated.

Let’s bring mobile orchestration to life with three examples.

1) Mobile communication from purchase to delivery

A major retailer operates online and in-store. A customer walks into a brick-and-mortar store with a sign up front announcing 25% off all shoes to those who text “SHOES” to the retailer’s mobile shortcode. When the customer does so, she immediately receives an SMS with a short, branded URL that links to a coupon for in-store purchase. After buying her new pair of boots, she receives a mobileoptimized email thanking her for her purchase. When the product ships, she receives a push notification alerting her to its status and estimated arrival date. She gets another push when the shoes are delivered to her door.

Not only has the customer received a great deal on a product she wants, but the process is transparent, in real time, and customeroriented, as well. This is a great experience.

2) The cross-sell and up-sell opportunity

An avid skier buys a plane ticket for a mountain vacation. He immediately receives a responsively designed confirmation email on his phone. Within the email are various cross-promotions for local hotels and rental car agencies. He delays making a car or hotel reservation. Exactly 24 hours before his flight, he receives a push notification letting him know it’s time to check in. He completes his check-in on the app, and his mobile boarding pass gets stored in Passbook. When his flight lands, he receives a friendly reminder via SMS that a partnering rental car agency has available SUVs with four-wheel drive.

The customer has received personalized messaging, delivered to him on his device of choice, with content that matters to him and offers that are based on his needs at that moment in time. This is a great experience.

3) A personalized experience based on location

A customer buys tickets on her computer for an upcoming sporting event. She receives a confirmation email prompting her to download the ticket seller’s app. When she downloads the app, her tickets are downloaded to Passbook, eliminating the need to carry paper tickets. On the night of the game, the app then guides her to her seat. When she sits down, she receives a push notification letting her know she can now order food to be delivered directly to her seat. She places an order for hot dogs and soda; thanks to a beacon installed underneath the seats, she can have the food delivered directly to her, without missing any of the action of the game.

The customer is able to simplify her stadium experience, eliminate the stress of finding her seat, and catch more of the game she has paid to see—all because of mobile orchestration

This is a great experience.

6 steps for getting started with mobile orchestration

We’ve given you a snapshot of what mobile orchestration looks like. Now, the next question is: Where do you start? How do you get from a “batch and blast” text message or push notification to the highly orchestrated mobile experiences we’ve described? Here are five steps to guide marketers toward a new way of thinking about and doing mobile marketing.

Step 1. Break down organizational silos.

Why aren’t brands better at orchestrating marketing—mobile marketing, in particular? Many rely on marketing teams that aren’t structured to take advantage of the tectonic shifts we’ve discussed. Instead, marketing departments are divided into silos, where they operate independently from each other and the sales teams. For instance, an email-marketing group will strategize on and execute a campaign that has little or no connection to what its display advertising counterparts are doing or what the social media folks are deploying. Each marketing team is its own fiefdom.

The lack of coordination within teams has been especially apparent in mobile marketing. Marketers often aren’t even in charge of a brand’s mobile strategy. Instead, an IT department or an outside agency will run an SMS campaign. This disconnect is a big mistake. Marketing teams cannot offer an orchestrated customer experience if they, themselves, are not orchestrated.

Here are the steps necessary to build a marketing team that is coordinated and focused solely on the customer:

  • Give marketers responsibility for all mobile messaging.
  • Make sure marketing teams are physically located near one another, to ensure close collaboration and coordination of programs. Email marketers, for example, should work alongside mobile and social media marketers with a common goal in mind: to deliver a consistent experience for customers, regardless of where they’re engaging with the brand. Similarly, mobile marketers need to communicate with coworkers who manage email loyalty.
  • Eliminate traditional job titles, and replace them with titles that reflect the ways in which marketing is evolving. For example, instead of titles like Director of [Channel], focus on key stages in the customer lifecycle or customer experiences your brand is looking to deliver—for example, Director of Relationship Marketing.
  • Hire marketers with cross-channel skills. Every email marketer, for example, should understand how mobile is impacting the customer journey. Within mobile, a team member in charge of SMS should have a mastery of push technology, mobile-optimized email, and every other mobile touch point.
  • Once the silos are broken down, get to know your mobile team. Understand what drives the team, their priorities, how they can integrate into your current strategies, and vice versa.

Step 2. Centralize all of your mobile customer data.

Marketers can’t deliver a personalized experience if they don’t know who their customers are: what they’re buying, when they’re buying, and how they prefer to buy. Today’s technology enables marketers to collect information on how individual customers are interacting with distinct channels and to analyze those interactions to glean information on what customers want. Marketers now have the ability to know not just what their customers are purchasing but also the different ways they use mobile to live their day to day lives. For example, maybe they prefer to use their laptops in the morning to shop for household products before they head to work and their tablets in the evening for entertainment and consuming content. What’s more: You can use that information to deliver distinct customer journeys. For example, if a customer clicks on a sweater offered in an email message, a mobile marketer can know whether the best next step is to send a push or an SMS offering a discount on that same sweater.

Research proves that knowing how customers are engaging across multiple channels will significantly increase the odds of those customers interacting with a brand. For example, Forrester Research reports that emails delivered directly after some form of customer action boast 70% higher open rates than business-asusual messages.

Step 3. Center your mobile strategy on the customer, not the campaign calendar.

Too often, traditional campaign calendars are based on assumptions about customers and their buying habits that don’t reflect the reality of their customers’ engagement with the brand. Customers no longer wait to head to the nearest mall to shop on a Saturday afternoon. They’re always shopping, and it’s happening across multiple channels.

Campaigns that revolve around a calendar—for instance, sending an email about tropical vacation destinations during the winter—aren’t even close to being as effective as sending an email based on someone’s specific travel intent, such as browsing flights for a specific destination.

Shifting your strategy from the campaign calendar to the customer is especially pertinent to the mobile channel. For example, can you imagine single customers receiving a series of promotional mobile messages for no reason other than the fact that it’s almost Valentines Day? Talk about invasive. However, the unfortunate truth is that experiences like this are all too common when mobile marketing is focused on the campaign calendar, rather than on the customer.

Step 4. Allow customers to decide when and where they’re contacted on mobile.

It’s easy to find out when customers want to engage. Your brand’s preference center should give customers the opportunity to indicate how often they want to receive communication across every channel and consumer touch point, including mobile. For example:

Content: Does a customer want to receive promotional offers, updates about new products and events, or company-related news? Let her decide. For instance, Kirkland’s home décor retailer offers customers the option of receiving special promotions and alerts. The company also has bridged the physical and digital worlds by enabling customers to sign up for mobile messaging while in store. This has helped the brand to deliver on both online sales and in-store engagement and conversions.

Frequency: How often does the customer want to be contacted: daily, weekly, or maybe monthly? Perhaps she doesn’t like to be contacted early in the morning or during dinner. Again, let her determine the timing.

Channel: On which channels does the customer prefer to communicate? Give her options for SMS, push, email, or even phone calls.

Preference management will only continue to increase in importance as consumers take control of their relationships with brands. Because failing to honor customer preferences in mobile marketing can result in costly and public fines and lawsuits, it’s critical for marketers to ask and listen to what their customers want to hear from them. The good news is that marketers who listen are rewarded—with Forrester Research reporting that 89% of brands that effectively leverage preferences report higher customer satisfaction, and 80% of those brands report better campaign results.

Step 5 Leverage smart data and signals to inform your mobile communication strategy.

Once you have embraced the need to collect and honor consumer preferences, you can begin taking advantage of the wealth of new data available to marketers being collected through apps and connected devices.

By integrating marketing technology into apps on mobile and connected devices across the Internet of Things, you can begin to capture new types of data that were never before thought possible. This information gives you the ability to further develop customer profiles and improve customers’ marketing journeys.

For example, apps on connected devices can collect information such as:

  • Device Type
  • App Operating System
  • Geographic Location
  • App Engagement
  • Loyalty Information
  • And much more

Step 6. Invest in the right platform.

Finally, it’s critical that your organization invests in the right technology platform to make mobile marketing orchestration a reality. In addition to a team that is focused on the right experiences and working closely together, marketers need to ensure that the technology they leverage to deliver their mobile interactions empowers them to orchestrate the entire journey, as opposed to optimizing a siloed campaign.

The mobile marketing industry is relatively young, fragmented, and rapidly evolving. In this environment, it’s critical to find a technology that’s scalable and has a track record of delivering innovation, and it’s critical to find a partner with experience delivering orchestrated marketing experiences.

While evaluating the right mobile orchestration platform, consider the following:

  • Step back, and evaluate the experiences your brand wants to deliver with mobile.
  • Take stock of all the mobile channels you currently use to engage customers, as well as where you think it will head as new mobile channels present themselves.
  • Ensure that every mobile communication technology is tightly integrated with other mobile communication technologies.
  • Find a platform with a single place to build and execute customer journeys across channels.

It’s critical to find a partner with experience in delivering orchestrated experience and a technology platform with a single canvas to design orchestrated mobile experiences.

The mobile marketing opportunity is here. Seize it. By now, you certainly don’t need more convincing about mobile marketing’s level of opportunity.

After reading, we hope you leave with a new perspective on how, as a marketer, you should be orchestrating your mobile technologies to deliver a truly individualized customer experience.

Working with separate vendors for your mobile marketing can be a quick and easy solution in the short term, but it leads to a disjointed customer experience and typically adds more complexity to an already siloed marketing organization. The size of the mobile marketing opportunity is far too significant for this type of Band-Aid approach.

We want you to realize that there’s a better way—that you can create an orchestrated experience for your customers across every mobile channel.

Yes, it will require shifts in mindset and technology. Unless you’re satisfied with the status quo, however, taking an orchestrated approach to mobile will pay off, both for your customers and for your brand.

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