Tesco Mobile Xtras: It’s All About The Give-And-Take

by Duncan MacRae Zeta Global

Marise Treseder, head of marketing at Zeta Interactive, looks at Tesco Mobile’s new advertising model and considers what brands need to do to make the most of mobile.  

Mobile paves the way for brands to take their relationships with customers to a new level of intimacy. As a portal that has the potential to lead brands right into people’s pockets, it’s no surprise that marketers are keen to tap into the unique opportunities of mobile marketing.

Not only does mobile enable brands to target customers anywhere, at any time, it also exposes marketers to rich insights that they wouldn’t be able to access elsewhere. This can be anything from learning more about consumers’ shopping habits, preferences and lifestyles to a more granular understanding of their circumstances and mindset when they are engaging on mobile devices.

But, as with any relationship, success relies upon a degree of give-and-take – what you might call a ‘data value exchange’. Tesco Mobile’s new quid pro quo offer of money off in return for ads viewed is an innovative example of a brand taking this concept to the next level.

Give to get

From this weekend, Tesco Mobile customers will be able to shave money off their phone bills in return for them agreeing to view advertising on their home screen.

In exchange for £3 off their monthly bills, customers who subscribe to the service will see personalised ads, offers and content. Using Tinder-like functionality, they will then be able to swipe left to quickly and simply dismiss the ads, or click to save and see more information.

This ticks the personalisation box but, perhaps more importantly, it puts the consumer in the driving seat, enabling them to choose how and when they want to engage with the brand. This means they can enjoy the benefits of the transaction on their terms without it feeling intrusive or unwelcome.

With ad blocking on the rise, the offer of a clear monetary reward makes Tesco Mobile’s model an innovative new way for brands to engage with customers who may previously have been resistant to mobile advertising.

It is inevitable that businesses will look to follow Tesco Mobile’s lead to find innovative ways to make their customers feel like they are getting something back from brands on mobile. So what do marketers need to know to strengthen brands’ relationships with their always on-the-go clientele?

Always give something back 

There is a wealth of information to be gathered at every stage along the customer journey. From where and when initial browsing begins all the way through to the point of transaction – and beyond – brands can build a truly 360 degree understanding of the customer. But these insights are a privilege, not a right, and they can be taken away at the drop of a hat.

Brands that want to create truly successful mobile marketing campaigns must use the information collected not just for their own benefit, but crucially to add value to the customer experience as well.

Transparency is key

At the centre of any good relationship is trust. Customers need to understand exactly what they are signing up to, what a brand will do with their data and how this will benefit them personally. But a perceived lack of transparency about how data is used has left some consumers reluctant to divulge anything that doesn’t immediately enhance their engagement with a brand.

To build this trust, companies must be able to show they are using data appropriately and effectively. And for the customer who for too long has been targeted by irrelevant content, increased personalisation is the biggest pay off for sharing their data.

It’s not all about mobile   

There’s no question that most of us are joined at the hip to our mobiles, but it’s easy to become focused solely on how to reach consumers through this device alone and neglect other critical channels. Mobile shouldn’t be a brand’s be all and end all. Businesses need to be wary of placing too much emphasis on ‘mobile first’, take a step back and think smartly about where mobile engagement fits into the overall marketing mix. A cross device approach is key to ensuring that the customer experience is as seamless as possible, ultimately increasing conversion rates.

The mobile echo chamber 

Most importantly, mobile should be used as a listening device or an ‘early alert system’ for brands. By interacting and feeding back their preferences, customers generate ‘moments of insight’ that allow brands to target them in a more intimate way – across every channel.

There is no doubt that mobile is a means for brands to get closer to their target audiences. But it is a two-way relationship that will only work if brands take the time to get to know their customers and genuinely respond to their wants and needs. Today’s empowered and time-poor customer must see direct and tangible benefits – in some cases perhaps even financial – if they are going to give brands permission to get up close and personal on mobile.

Marise Treseder is a data-driven marketer experienced in CRM strategy and insight. Placing performance optimisation at the center of her work, Marise has focused on customer-centricity, channel integration, iterative test and learn approaches and makes her strategies actionable through through structurally aligning teams and technology. Marise has worked at eBay Marketplaces and has advised clients within utility, financial, ecommerce & retail sectors.

Zeta Interactive is a digital marketing and smart data company working with more than 250 brands worldwide.