There's been more and more talk about "conquesting" these days. This was a tactic first seen, or at least first referenced, within desktop marketing -- to describe delivering a message when a consumer is browsing a competitor's site. But, with the rapid growth of the mobile channel and location marketing, our tendency as an industry has been to limit the "how to conquest" conversation to a really narrow view on location. After all, it's easy to get your head around the basics of location: you compete by going into a competitor's physical territory and offering an alluring alternative to the customer. I believe we have limited understanding of location itself, and therefore of its deeper options and power.
In fact, conquesting might strike you first as one of those things marketers dreamt up in the spirit of "what a clever idea," with less (if any) consideration toward the immediate or long-term impact. And while our technology enablers quickly solved the "how," there has been seemingly little thought toward long-term effectiveness and even less toward evaluating customer benefit. So, if you start to think more about consumer behavioral dynamics and longer-term pay-off on engagement, you begin to see the bigger picture.
Yes, conquesting is aimed to counter a competitor's message, often in their own backyard. But that doesn't mean we are limited to location-based or geo information alone. Thinking bigger, we can leverage available data about time, place, device, content, and real-world behavior, to show up and mute a competitive brand with our own personalized and resonant offer. We can strategically insert ourselves, our brand offer, at the right time and within the right mindset, to win the customer's attention and affection in the form of a conversion or sale. Let's take a look at the new definitions and data-driven tactics provided by mobile alone.
Thinking Bigger with Mobile Conquesting -- New Options
Mobile brings us so much more than location insight alone. Yes, the mobile device allows me to know where someone is in the physical world, and thus informs me if I have an opportunity to potentially disrupt their transactional engagement with my competition. But, beyond location alone, we're able to ascertain interests, trends, and tendencies, which when related to the competitive market, present additional opportunities to divert or win back customers to your brand.
In addition to messaging a consumer while they are in or on a competitor's store or site, you can message someone after they've visited, or if you're really gathering your intel, actually message them before they would have normally paid a visit to the competition. You see, with this approach, besides conquesting physical world engagement, a marketer can conquest mindshare and market share.
The Power of Tapping Into Mindshare
Conquesting mindshare is arguably the goal of every marketing effort, including geo-conquesting, in so much at the end of the day the goal is to influence the consumer to think about and desire your product or service. Grabbing mindshare is the precursor to a purchase, whether that is accomplished through long-term awareness or a point-in-time distraction. When, where, and why is the customer or prospect thinking about your competition, and how and when do you best get them to think about you, instead? This could be more about the time of day, or activity in which someone is currently engaged, versus where they are located.
The Value of Conquesting Varies by Industry Segment
Answering the question, for one's own brand, as to the motivation for conquesting in the first place, can help establish a strategy and outline the best tactics for your particular brand or industry. For example, if you're a consumer package goods manufacturer, conquesting users in a supermarket is not about "stealing" the attention of the consumer from the store and directing it toward your goods; rather it's taking advantage of your insight into the location and current shopper activity of your prospect. On the other hand, if you're a regional auto dealership, conquesting on the competition's lot, down the street, is 100 percent about distracting that consumer from the other brand and offers, and persuading them to make an alternate choice.
So, you may ask yourself: Is a conquesting strategy and approach worth my time? Are there too many tactics to manage? Isn't simple location-based targeting enough? Well, ask yourself, instead: If you could know as much about your consumer's proximity, mindset, behavior, and preferences as possible, and leverage and optimize that analysis on the spot and on the fly, creating consumer delight through personalization and luring them away from your competitors, adding consumer behavioral insights to location, why wouldn't you?
The most important consideration when evaluating if and how to incorporate conquesting is the quality of the consumer experience you are instigating. Will it be received positively? Will it be perceived as good for them? Is their personal benefit clear? Based on your insights on their shopper or consumer behavior, will they react to your message and think: I'm glad I received this, and glad I received it right now. Or might they be put off? If your tactics are designed with the consumer lifestyle, mindset, and consumer reaction in mind, you have a powerful tool.
If you can rethink conquesting, putting the consumer's interests/needs and set of personalization factors first, then you have something powerful. Now you are, in fact, delivering your offer based on the consumer's values, versus doing your darndest, oh so haphazardly, to steal your competition's customers. And in this, you create more value for your brand than ever before possible. That is the treasure of conquesting thoroughly and effectively.
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Writing on mobile and mobile insights, Shannon E. Denison brings a blended background of time spent providing data analytics services to Fortune 500 companies, and on the client side as a frequent user of data analytics systems. Her background combines consumer psychology, statistics, and marketing - including graduate research in advertising effectiveness, along with 20 years of experience leveraging research and data to evaluate consumer behavior and solve business challenges.
She now serves as VP Product and Insights for Voltari, a provider of data-driven solutions for smart marketing and advertising. For more than a decade, Voltari has empowered brands and agencies to maximize their advertising dollars through smart mobile marketing and advertising solutions. Voltari's real-time, machine-learning optimization delivers content and messaging to people who are most interested in it, when they are most likely to interact, through an integrated and scalable, managed service platform. Voltari's patent pending mobile ad recommendation engine enables clients' campaigns to gain performance efficiencies that improve over time. The company is dedicated to providing the most advanced audience targeting and optimization products to its marketers and agencies - and continually delivering insights. The Insights group Denison oversees focuses on the distillation and dissemination of campaign performance and consumer insights. She writes from this vantage point.
March 19, 2014