When my career began more than a decade ago, organizations and businesses had just begun to understand how to best use Facebook and Twitter. As a working journalist, I used it to tweet and post stories as well as keep up to date on developing stories, but I eventually moved into a space of strategizing and overseeing social media channels for non-profits and corporations. As I move into the next decade of my career, especially in building a stronger marketing foundation, I’m looking to:
- Better understand the intersection of messaging platforms and how they intertwine with mobile devices;
- Gain an understanding of data privacy laws and how they could impact marketing;
- The ability to articulate an omni-channel strategy for target audiences and how it best suits a business or organization.
In my final semester of the MS-DIM program, I look forward to learning greater thought and depth of content while also gaining a better understanding of mobile to become a leader in digital marketing or communications.
Social media as well as understanding mobile messaging has become more intertwined in recent years, so understanding this landscape is crucial as a marketer in this decade. In 2015, Pew Research Center wrote how more than 35% of smartphone owners and close to 30% of adults use messaging apps such as WhatsApp to avoid using SMS data1. In the years since, messaging apps have continued to grow and evolve such as Messenger through Facebook, WeChat, What’s App and others. A HubSpot blog pointed to the fact that messaging apps have 20% more active users than social media networks2.
While businesses have adopted these messaging apps and tools to communicate with customers, marketers are examining ways to leverage these platforms to create further business opportunities. Messaging platforms provide a direct dialogue and conversation with customers to learn their insights, behaviors as well as their needs. Harvard Business Review cites messaging as “increasing the opportunities to cross-sell, encourage sharing, solicit input, and flow seamlessly between commerce and support.”3 This doesn’t even bring in the layers of artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR).
As these are applications marketers are beginning to broach, especially in the age of COVID19, I’m hoping to dive into applicable examples as well as looking into further innovations and considerations for marketing via mobile. That being said, mobile marketing and social media face possible restrictions and challenges through regulations and laws.
When the EU instituted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), several social media managers as well as paid media managers immediately had to learn how to comply and work through this change. In the United States, California, Maine and Nevada each have state-based privacy laws, but more states have begun to examine similar laws4. More importantly, a 2018 independent survey found that more than 70 percent of consumers would prefer to keep their mobile phone data private if possible5.
For marketers, this data has proven a goldmine in terms of learning more insights and information about consumers than ever before and how to tailor messages. Therefore, navigating how to use that data responsibly while also understanding the legal and regulatory climate is an invaluable conversation as well as an ongoing challenge for marketers and myself, especially in the age of growing – not diminishing – questions. This conversation will go hand in hand with how we can more strategically craft content strategies for channels to reach the right audience.
In the past few years of social media management, I had an opportunity to manage a budget and target our audience – typically followers and those with similar interests. The “It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders” podcast recently discussed how Donald Trump’s campaign has more than 3,000 data points of information on audiences to be able to microtarget6. Although I don’t know if I want to get to that level of detail, I think it’s helpful to be able to understand personas, target audiences as well as how to target through multiple channels. I’ve seen successes and failures on a daily basis on my own social media platforms.
For instance, I’m not a beer drinker and very rarely a buyer, however, Coors Light seems to enjoy popping up into my Facebook feed frequently.
On the other hand, I enjoy shopping and researching products for myself or my children, so I often receive ads to redirect me back to a website or pique my interest for a product, such as hair products.
With as much information and data available and more growth happening toward personalized experiences, I’m interested to learn about targeting more effectively in channels and the content that is needed to meet the audience where they are.
Entering the MS-DIM program, I was excited to develop a greater marketing foundation while also growing into a possible leadership position in communications and marketing. I believe there’s a growing cross-section between mobile and social media that I haven’t considered, and with more channels and formats becoming available, it’s important to understand how to best use them. The data privacy laws and regulations are not going anywhere anytime soon, especially as consumers speak out for greater measures, so we have to understand what these laws mean and how they will impact the industry. Among the data we do have available, it’s essential to understand how to use it responsibly while also understanding how to better tailor content and target the audiences we’re wanting to reach. I look forward to the final semester opening the doorway to my future with some of my favorite topics, and I believe I’ll walk away with a greater understanding and curiosity for content, social media and mobile.
- Duggan, Maeve. “Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 30 May 2015, www.pewresearch.org/internet/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/.
- Fontanella, Clint. “8 Popular Mobile and Social Media Messaging Apps to Implement into Your Service Strategy.” HubSpot Blog, blog.hubspot.com/service/mobile-messaging-platforms.
- Venkatachari, Gadi BenMark and Dilip. “Messaging Apps Are Changing How Companies Talk with Customers.” Harvard Business Review, 23 Sept. 2016, hbr.org/2016/09/messaging-apps-are-changing-how-companies-talk-with-customers.
- Noordyke, Mitchell. US State Comprehensive Privacy Law Comparison, 2020, iapp.org/resources/article/state-comparison-table/.
- Business Wire. “Consumer Privacy Survey Shows 70% Want Personal Data to Stay on Mobile Phones.” Consumer Privacy Survey Shows 70% Want Personal Data to Stay on Mobile Phones | Business Wire, 13 Nov. 2018, www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113005171/en/Consumer-Privacy-Survey-Shows-70-Personal-Data.
- Sanders, Sam. “All About That Base: Trump And Biden Voters In 2020.” NPR, NPR, 18 Aug. 2020, www.npr.org/transcripts/901959166.