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With consumers around the globe glued to their phones, mobile is supposed to be a marketer’s dream. The reality, however, is a lot less rosy. Surveys show that consumers rarely use a new app a second time. Instead, they spend the majority of their time with a handful of dominant and habit-forming networks: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Mobile is supposed to be a marketer’s dream. The reality is less rosy.
Such consolidation of attention and eyeballs spells trouble for marketers. Forced to go through powerful middlemen in order to connect with new and existing mobile customers, they have severely limited access to valuable customer data and little control over the overall marketing experience.
In the digital era, marketers need a much more direct path to prospective and current customers. As Gina Bianchini, the founder of Mightybell asserts, one of the most effective ways to create this pathway is to build a social network. Although business history is littered with examples of companies trying and failing to do this, there are wrong ways and right ways to do it. In the past, too many brands have assembled networks as pure customer-support vehicles or along bland, generic categories that serve the brand more than the customer.