By John Lim
The mobile device has created a new breed of consumer: The Mobile Consumer. We have not seen this type of change in human behavior since the advent of the automobile. While the world-wide-web changed consumer behavior, it did not change human behavior the way mobile has. As a society, we are more aggressive, less vocal; we don’t hesitate when pulling out our phones during meetings and dinners. We are starting to change our forms of communication; mobile-originated emails and SMSs often replace phone calls. This new mobile consumer is also affected by the real-world conditions surrounding them, especially the weather, and for the first time, has the ability to be in both the physical and digital world simultaneously.
So, how do we effectively handle this new consumer? The one who will wait in line to get into a store, but refuses to wait in line after getting inside? The one who has instant access to almost any information needed in the palm of their hands? The key is to understand that these new consumers require more intelligent, highly relevant communication and stronger engagement opportunities. Mobile ‘touch points,’ such as QR codes, SMS, NFC and photo recognition allow us to instantly connect the consumer in the physical world to content in the digital world. They help turn otherwise static items, such as mailers and product packaging, into interactive experiences, extending the life of the items, and delivering a more enhanced experience to the consumer. Allowing these touch points to drive consumers to a tailored experience in real-time is one of the most powerful ways to successfully monetize the mobile channel.
Knowing this, there is a basic set of guidelines when using mobile touch points. The first is the actual mobilization of all your traditional means of marketing – billboards, ‘For Sale’ signs, packaging, print materials, email links – all of these should be mobilized. Using this underutilized real estate is the easiest way to effectively integrate mobile into your marketing mix, with the opportunity for a high return on investment. Not only that, but with mobile touch points, you can now track all of these traditional touch points in one place. Every single touch point accessed by a consumer is an interaction that would have previously been missed, and therefore, is a win.
After the consumer interaction, make sure you provide a positive mobile experience by covering all of your assets. This is often forgotten, but is crucial. Consumers are using mobile to interact with your brand through email, social, web and more; in fact, many of these touch points, including email and Facebook are accessed more frequently from a mobile device than online. Therefore, you need to ensure all these work correctly when accessed via mobile. If they are not mobilized, the user is likely to have a bad experience and because of that, might not interact with your company again in the future.
In the end, it is about the entire mobile consumer experience, both traditional and digital. To ensure success, we must be more intelligent with our message. It is important to take into account what is affecting the consumer when your message is delivered; real-world conditions surrounding them, such as the time of day, the weather, their location, as well as their past interactions are important factors in delivering the right experience to drive monetization. Using this information, you can guide consumers to a retail or online store based on what is most profitable and likely to result in a sale. In order to successfully monetize your mobile efforts, you must engage this new mobile consumer, and tailoring the consumer journey is the key to doing that.
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