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How ‘dial up’ customer loyalty with mobile marketing

Research shows 48% of Australians check their mobile phone at least once every 30 minutes. But for businesses, does this ‘obsession’ translate into endless opportunities to drive loyalty with customers?

Customer loyalty and the mobile mix

Compared to different channels, mobile is a compelling way to communicate with customers because brands can be confident their message will be read and acted upon in a short amount of time. There’s up to a 19% click-through rate for personalised links. 

And where there’s a call to action, that percentage spikes to 45%. For a company that wants to send a message out to all of its customers using technology that’s just as familiar to a 14-year-old as it is to an 85-year-old, there’s little in terms of alternatives that can provide the same value that mobile does.

And APAC marketers get it. 58% of APAC marketers are creating mobile-specific content as a strategy to improve engagement, and the majority of marketing professionals (84%) consider ad length and design for mobile when creating mobile content, according to a recent WARC report. 

How to extract loyalty value from mobile marketing

Despite mobile marketing emerging as the hottest trend in relationship marketing, some brands and organisations are still hesitant to latch on to its loyalty benefits. It all comes down to the three key reasons, including:

  • Failure to launch: These organisations understand the value of SMS, but they don’t know how to get started. They don’t know what they need to put in place before sending a message; for example, the provisioning of codes and gathering of consent. 
  • Analysis paralysis: These organisations know they want to use SMS, but they simply can’t decide the most effective way to implement it as a strategy. They question if they should use SMS for promotions, notifications, delivery or appointment reminders, etc. They want to understand where SMS is most effective to justify their investment. 
  • Regulation concerns: Whether a small startup or a large enterprise, nobody wants — or can afford — to damage customer relationships. These organisations and brands want to know how to effectively implement SMS into their marketing toolkit while staying in bounds with current regulations and providing best practices for customers.

The future of mobile marketing and loyalty 

A number of major industries like retail are jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon, sending messages to their customers. Ranging from marketing campaigns to promotional codes and appointment reminders to bank alerts, A2P (application-to-person) messaging is a trend that’s growing. 

Not only has there been an increase in the adoption and number of businesses who use SMS, but the way they’re using SMS and mobile marketing is also flourishing. Take a look at mobile wallets, for example. Consumers are increasingly using their phone to pay with their credit cards. One, it’s easy because, as we addressed, their phones are always with them. And two, the pandemic has made us obsessed with contactless.

Marketers look at this behaviour from a loyalty point of view and see that it’s a great opportunity for loyalty cards to sit in these mobile wallets. They can just tap and redeem points. The tapping could trigger messages, relaying a new tier has been reached or that there’s a sale they might be interested in. 

These are great opportunities to deliver not only value but convenience too. We talk about going from the physical to the digital world and then back to physical again, in terms of engagement. Well, mobile increasingly resonates with brands as a way to do this, especially in this post-pandemic environment where physical contact is minimised.

Mobile marketing offers businesses and brands the ability to message customers easily, effectively and instantly. In fact, once an SMS is sent, the immediacy is profound — roughly 90% of messages are read in 90 seconds.

Getting mobile marketing right

It’s not enough for a brand or organisation to have an SMS program with notifications, promotions and alerts set up. They have to personalise each message to ensure it is relevant to the consumer.

This could be understanding whether someone is a first-time or long-term user or discovering what their interests are. For example, if they’re looking at ski holidays, send them an SMS that’s tailored to ski holidays — not a ‘fun in the sun’ getaway.

With SMS, there’s a multitude of different attributes that create context — has the customer filed a complaint recently? What were his/her last transactions? Have they enrolled in a loyalty program recently? This type of information can all be used to create an environment that fosters relationships with consumers.

Having this information allows you to create the content decisioning channel that offers the most impactful and valuable personalised interaction. These leads then drive customer lifetime value.

Using SMS in the context of the broader digital engagement with the consumer is key. That greater understanding will help brands and businesses send text messages that are powerfully poignant and impactful.

Enterprises that know their customers better, and can contextually serve them, according to insights will positively differentiate themselves. Mobile offers a wealth of assets, equipping brands to do exactly this. The insights gained from mobile can be applied across any form of customer engagement to deliver a more personalised and impactful relationship.

About the Author

Andy Gladwin, Head of Global Mobile GTM, Cheetah Digital

Voted by the industry as being among the Top 25 Most Influential in Mobile, Andy Gladwin is a recognised thought leader and strategist. With more than 15 years of experience in the mobile messaging market across different levels in the mobile value chain, Andy continues to be an active participant within industry bodies. His unique, deep understanding of CPaaS, SaaS and enterprise business drivers led the Mobile Ecosystem Forum to appoint him as its Ambassador for Enterprise Engagement. Today, he resides in the UK where he is the go-to-market leader for Cheetah Digital’s Global Mobile service offering.

About Cheetah Digital

Cheetah Digital is a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider for the modern marketer. The Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite enables marketers to create personalised experiences, cross-channel messaging, and loyalty strategies, underpinned by an engagement data platform that can scale to meet the changing demands of today’s consumer. Many of the world’s best brands, including Starbucks, Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Levi’s, and Williams-Sonoma trust Cheetah Digital to help them drive revenue, build lasting customer relationships, and deliver a unique value exchange throughout the customer lifecycle. To learn more, visit

Sara Coghlan
Author: Sara Coghlan

Andy Gladwin, Head of Global Mobile GTM at Cheetah Digital

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