Connecting with your customers via mobile is a deep and personal relationship. Once engaged, your level of readiness to capture opportunity and deliver the right message to the right place at the right time should be at its absolute peak. If you get permission to communicate with people over the channel, you must be ready and able to deliver value.
If you are a brand that can count on its customers waking up in the morning thinking, “Gee, I wonder how my favorite brand XYZ is doing? I sure hope I get an update from them soon,” you are in a fortunate minority. You likely have already recognized the benefits mobility can drive.
However, the vast majority of brands approaching mobile need to use the mobile experience to deepen the relationship between brand and customer and to connect other multi-channel experiences. This is not to say that your brand focus should ever leave your sight; it just needs to ride shot-gun with “usefulness” to deliver results.
You can deliver usefulness by helping people figure out ways to enhance their life, to enrich their world, to deliver on the promise of instant, personal engagement in a way that is also relevant to why they know about you in the first place. To do this, make sure the customer experience aligns in an authentic useful way through the design element. Be thoughtful; consider what the right mix of static and dynamic information should be. Whenever possible, connect the dots between other communications touch points you have had with them, such as in-store, on the web, in email, or supporting other marketing initiatives you have live or that can be built upon. Otherwise you are likely throwing good money after bad to support an experience that just isn’t valued by consumers. Results will be middling at best and momentum for mobile will slow organization-wide.
How do you start thinking about where your correct place in the mobile consciousness might be? As an example, if you are being pushed to develop mobile Web strategy, ask yourself:
- What stages of the consumer engagement process are most relevant for this experience?
- Should the content and interaction progress based on those stages?
- Where does the content come from?
- How do I get content into a rich, device-specific UI?
- What are the desired “good” behaviors that I would envision to meet our business goals and what is the payoff for the customer?
A wholly separate consideration (but an important one) is connecting people to a mobile experience. Different connectors/technologies fit different scenarios. QR, MS Tag, SMS, mobile search, direct navigation, click-through from an email, social media activation… all are viable, and some play exceptionally well together.
We’ve referenced a deep understanding and consideration of the customer in many a Lunch Pail post. As a highly important component of successful initiatives, we’ll continue to stress the importance of maintaining a customer-centered focus across all of your direct digital marketing efforts. However, I often argue that in no place is relevancy more important than in the relationships you cultivate over mobile. With today’s consumer, anything less makes your investments vulnerable to those that have a better foundation, a strategic plan, and a deeper understanding of their consumers.