This post is based on a presentation I gave at the 5th Annual iMedia Brand Summit. In the talk Mike wanted give the marketing audience 10 practical pieces of advice on how to manage their communications strategies in a mobile world. In the presentation and this article we’ll deep-dive on three pieces of advice and crunch through the other 7 in the lightning round (every presentation should have a lightning round after all).
We have moved beyond the point where we should be arguing if mobiles are a viable "channel", however there are a few trends that are important to share for context’s sake:
- PC sales have reached saturation whereas mobile computing is still growing at a phenomenal rate
- US homes have 500m internet connected devices, with the average home having 5.7 connected devices
- There are globally more smartphones than dumbphones
- In Australia smartphone penetration was 37% in 2011 and went over 50% in 2012
- Getting mobile correct is a major win for global consumer tech. When Facebook reported Q2 2013 earnings it showed investors that if finally ‘got’ mobile, with it accounting for 41% revenue
- This resulted in a 20% jump in their share price in one day.
1. Centre everything around customer journey mapping (CJM)
The aim in creating CJMs is to deliver simple experiences across complex systems. CJM is valuable because it enables us to understand our target audience’s mindset and build services and communications that engage them at a particular point in time within a particular context. Context is an extremely important variable when creating mobile experiences. The reason that context is important is that mobile brings the user/customer’s location and surroundings into the Human Computer Interaction equation.
The end result is intuitive interfaces and services that meet a particular need at a particular moment in time. They break down purchasing friction, they surprise, delight and engage.
CJM is a way to give you a 50,000 foot view of how your customer interacts with you/your channels/products across the entire lifetime of their relationship with you. It takes the principles of UX and applies them across the customer lifecycle.
To create one:
- Break down the customer engagement funnel into key stages
- Identify the customer behaviour at each phase
- Identify barriers stopping the customer from moving down the funnel
- Create communications/services that either remove the barriers stopping them moving down the funnel or take advantage of their existing behaviour
- Feed the insights/data/information you generate from this activity back into the CJM
- International cosmetics and beauty retailer Sephora’s brand promise is to make their customer’s lives easier with technology
- They continually experiment in ways they can deliver on their brand promise
- In an experiment to move their loyalty cards to Apple’s Passbook they found that average 600K+ Passbook customers spent twice as much as a non-Passbook customer
- It’s important not to do your CJM in the confines of your boardroom, you need to get out of the building and talk to your customers
- Nordstrom took getting out of the building seriously and co-created an iPad application with their customers in one of their stores, within a week
Adidas retail example
- Adidas re-imagined the window shopping experience
- Their Neo window shopping installation allowed people to interact with a shop window, get virtual models to try on clothes, create a shopping basket and purchase their basket from their mobile
- People could find, try on and buy without having to enter the store
- Coke engaged consumers from two CJM segments with their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, the two segments being people walking past vending machines and people interacting with their rich media mobile ads
- By doing so they connected people around the world to re-experience a classic Coke ad together
Adidas media example
- Adidas restructured their PPC planning based on targeting people who wanted to find a store near them
- To do this they integrated Google Search and in store sales data and modelled conversion rates between a location search, a store visit and a purchase
- This allowed them to greatly increase the ROI of their targeted search ads
Be water my friend
We have an ever-increasing number of devices, operating systems and browsers through which we experience the web and web services. As the internet of things (IOT), continues to gain momentum, expect to live in world where every product (toaster, pen, soda can, milk carton) is internet enabled. Within this world we need our content and services to be flexible so we can easily optimise content to these different devices.
Though consumer mobile usage is dominated by a handful of devices, OS’s and browsers, it’s important that the way you think/architect your system allows you to scale as and when you need to. If you don’t, you’ll be rebuilding your infrastructure for every new dominant device/system/browser. This is costly and doesn’t allow you to scale your communications programs effectively
You also need to be aware of your customer segment behaviour. If your audience involves teenagers your site better look good in a Nintendo DS!
Each new form factor/device offers a new opportunity. After eBay launched their iPhone app they saw $5 billion in transactions through the app in their first year. The note taking service Evernote has built a user base in the tens of millions based on their strategy of being on every device possible – in a 2012 interview on getting to 34 million users their CEO Phil Libin noted that 75% of their users originally came from mobile devices. Evernote built its business on being available on all form factors, when a new device pops up they create and dedicate a new team to the device, each team battles with the others for the best application. Before the iPad was first released the Evernote team were walking around the office with cardboard cut outs of the iPad so they could get to grips of what it would be like using the device. Evernote was also one of the first mainstream applications on google glass
Evernote’s strategy of hiring more designers/developers for each new device isn’t viable for every organisation though. The good news is, there are plenty of services (free and paid) out there that will help you optimise your content/functionality for multiple devices. It’s critical that clients and their agencies know about and use these services in order to create content/functionality that is fluid and changes depending on the device their user is on. I’ll list out a comprehensive list of these free/paid services in a future blog post.
- Possibly the best current examples of companies adapting their content/functionality across multiple devices comes in the form of web properties using responsive design
- Time clearly showed that being available in more devices increases business metrics with a 15% increase in unique site visits post responsive redesign
- It’s when we blend multiple screens together to form an integrated experience that really interesting things happen
- Heineken managed to hack into one of the most popular properties in existence, the UEFA Champions League match, with their Star Player app
3. Create value
I’m sure we’ve all seen a scene like the one above, a group of people in a queue/train/restaurant all choosing to interact with their mobile phone rather than the people around them. It’s a sad state of affairs to say the least and it comes down to our phones being so damn useful.
In a recent publication on Trends in Mobile Marketing WARC talked about mobiles and tablets allowing us to have ‘smart downtime’. Commutes, lines, airports even heavy traffic have turned into productivity moments for us thanks to mobile computing. Not only that but this relentless fascination with replacing our real world experiences with screens is taking over our lives… a recent IPG piece of research found that we spend more time with media than we do working or sleeping.
The smart downtime moments are the perfect opportunity for brands to gain exposure by providing something of value. On the flipside, if a potential customer of yours expects you to service them in some way and you don’t, their short attention span and ability to find your competitor’s service in a few seconds will quickly move an opportunity to a threat.
This trend of customers constantly having access to information, communication and services is so powerful that Forrester research have dubbed 2010+ “the age of the customer”, a period in business as important as “the age of manufacturing(1900-1960) / distribution(1960-1990) /information(1990-2010)”. Forrester track companies who deliver particularly good Customer Experience (CX) with their annual CX Index. Last year Watermark consulting took the top and bottom performers of the CX Index and compared their 5 year share price average with the S&P 500, the top 10 performers outperformed the S&P 500 by 22.5%, the bottom 10 underperformed the S&P 500 by 46.3%.
Your ability to create engaging customer experiences from services to interesting content and discussions is critical to marketing and business success. This is the future of loyalty and CRM and will be the central focus for marketers in the near future.
In order to create something of value you need to reach what the startup industry has dubbed product/market fit. The best reference on how to do this is the book Crossing the Chasm by Geoffery Moore. In the book Moore goes into how business need to act to take advantage of the diffusion of innovation. In particular how to choose the right target market based on your product’s lifestage, understanding the whole product and ultimately getting to product/market fit. The market segments relate to the technology adoption lifecycle (above).
Because these products/services provide value people want to interact with them; they become your loyalty/CRM program. As they continue to add value they also have the potential to break through and become revenue streams in their own right. Caterpillar and Rolls-Royce have both evolved their product and parts/service offerings to include inventory management systems that give fleet managers detailed analysis on machine parts.
Nike + Fuel Band example
- The Nike + Fuel Band is a great example of continual improvement to get to product/market fit
- The first version of the product was a pedometer that went in your Nike shoe and synced your running with music from you iPod
- They evolved this to a community where you could share your runs and find other runners/running tracks, that evolved to an iPhone application which evolved to the Fuel Band
- Financial service apps seem like a no-brainer now however there was a lot of push back when CommBank launched their Kaching app in 2011 (I could only imagine the internal fights that would have happened)
- Meanwhile the app has now moved over AUD $9 billion, a whole new market for CommBank to leverage
- Use cohort analysis to compare your mobile and ‘other’ web users and identify differences in behaviour
- Test your average and 95th percentile page loads for mobile sites/apps, this way you know the average and worst experiences your users are having
- See through your worst users eyes, by this we mean test your site/service on a Nintendo DS or an old Android phone, use only a 3G connection, if you’re frustrated with the experience your users will be too!
- Facebook is not a strategy, we’ve said this because we see too many marketers using Facebook as a default digital strategy, don’t
- Work from your couch, spend a day a month working on nothing but your mobile devices, get an understanding of the frustrations and experience of your customers
- Execution over ideas, don’t wait for your biblical moment of inspiration for a big idea that will change the world, it won’t, in the world of technical services execution wins over ideas. Instagram was a photo sharing site, an idea that had been executed many times prior, because of their execution they became a billion dollar company in a year
- Start something! Every journey starts with the first step, if you haven’t released something in mobile, it’s well past time