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Building Mobile Experiences: Is the Right Element At the Center of Your Mobile Strategy?

The way consumers both think about and interact with brands has changed quite drastically over the past couple years, with mobile being a major driver of that shift. Companies have begun to recognize that there is great opportunity in reaching customers, developing relationships, and building loyalty through mobile channels. Yet, many don’t really understand how to best insert or integrate mobile into their brand’s digital strategy. Many often simply “check mobile boxes” while failing to really understand how, when, and why customers really use mobile in their daily lives.

Too often we can get enamored with the promise of technology and it’s potential that we overlook the application of fundamentals of customer behavior applied to strategic thinking. It is a deeper understanding of customer’s wants and behaviors that ultimately can create a successful mobile strategy that makes strong connections and establishes the need and value of your brand..

 Putting Your Customer in the Center
Kholer Faucets has a great commercial in which a couple meets with a prestigious architect, and after listening to all his well-established credentials, they produce a chic-looking faucet and instruct him to build a house around it.

I often think of this commercial when asked to build a mobile strategy for a brand – where the faucet in this case is the brand’s intended customer. Too often, brands build a mobile strategy in which the center of the strategy is their marketing campaign or website and then they look for ways to simply drop it in mobile channels. Rather than ask the question “How can I extend this into mobile?” the brand should ask “Where are the right mobile opportunities to engage my customers?” This is not always an easy question to answer, but focusing on these opportunities can have a much greater impact over time.

Here are a few things to consider when attempting to answer this question:

Identify the actions around brand engagement
Many needs and actions surround a situation in which a product or service is used. Can you list what customers are doing right before or after they interact with your brand? How about factors that affect when they use it (daytime, nighttime, right before it rains, when standing in line at checkout counters)? What about 24 hours before or after? Recognize customer needs and actions related to your brand’s service or product and note how customers use mobile to try to satisfy those needs and support their actions.

Understand how consumers use particular mobile channels
Three key strategy components to keep in mind when considering mobile opportunities are:

* Context (consumer choice to engage based on relevancy);

* Purpose (how the channel fits with the desired action; for example, using Twitter versus Pinterest);

* Design (the intended ideal method of interaction based on reaching an end goal). Investing time and energy in a mobile service or strategy that fails to address these components increases the likelihood of the service failing to deliver.


Build solutions around the mobile opportunities
Take the needs and actions and fill in the context, purpose, and design around them to identify potential mobile opportunities. Again, these are not opportunities to simply drop in brand messaging, but opportunities to take advantage of providing additional value that supports your brand and satisfies a customer need. The goal is to do so seamlessly and with as little effort on the customer’s end as possible. The more opportunities you find, the stronger the strategy becomes. You may not find ways to address every mobile opportunity, but sometimes even a few small ones can make more of a difference than poorly executed large executions.

Conclusion
Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes is nothing new, but with the ability for mobile to provide the possibility of brand interactions like never before, knowing when, where, and how to do so specifically within mobile channels has great potential. New ways to reach customers through an ever-expanding mobile ecosystem provide more and more opportunities to connect with, engage, interact with, support, and strengthen customer relationships. Finding the right mobile opportunities can help differentiate you from your competition to meet the ongoing and evolving needs of your customers. Remember, the key to success is putting the mobile customer at the center of your plans and building everything around them!

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Clint Tankersley

Clint Tankersley

Director of Commercial Strategy & Innovation at Cadient Group
As Director of Commercial Strategy and Innovation, Clint Tankersley works hand in hand with clients to develop and integrate innovative solutions applying emerging technology along with current and new digital trends to enhance the brand experience. Prior to joining Cadient Group, Clint spent six years at WebMD, where he was most recently the Director of Product Development in their Innovation Group focusing on Health Information Technology (HIT) industry trends, government programs and mobile health (mHealth) solutions to identify potential strategic partnerships and product integration. In addition to this most recent role, he had also managed commercial platforms and products for Medscape, as part of WebMD, with a specific focus on marketing and engaging healthcare professionals, working directly with many of the top pharmaceutical companies and brands. Outside of WebMD, Clint worked as a consultant to develop and launch a disease management app that supports Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. Clint graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and received his M.B.A from Babson College.

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