4 Best Practices in the Age of the Mobile Customer

Nov 12, 2015

The customer journey reached a tipping point in 2014 when the volume of mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic. Forrester estimates that mobile and tablet commerce will top $293 billion in 2018.

Mobile moments--anytime that a customer pulls out a mobile device--are redefining customer relationships according to Forrester. And, Forrester's statement couldn't be more accurate, "In an era of empowered, perpetually connected customers, you need your customers more than they need you. To succeed, you must get serious about the way you define, implement, and manage the customer experience."

Mobile is no longer a strategy to surprise and delight; it is now at the core of driving the customer experience (CX) and ultimately the buying journey.

In the age of the mobile customer experience, marketers should have an understanding of how to capture their customer's mobile moments - to figure out the right use of mobile whether you are a bank, a retail organization or an app-centric business. This column offers insight into best practices for creating mobile moments that ultimately improve CX and performance.

  1. Think differently now about how you segment audiences and map the customer journey. The pervasive use of digital platforms means a huge amount of data is available from many sources to understand behaviors and actions throughout the customer lifecycle. Traditionally, marketers would go out and ask questions. It is now much more about what the customers are giving us as marketers. We must triangulate digital, market and customer centric data from multiple sources. This happens in many different ways -- through linguistics (questions they are asking while shopping), data (age, location, device used, dog owner, parent, single, married, new homeowner) and visuals (what they are pinning - wedding gowns, house paint, travel destinations, or baby nurseries). Today, marketers can tell, by triangulating what customers are saying, what they are looking at and their demographic data to know where customers are in the customer journey and when and on which device is the optimum time to engage them.  
  2. The content for mobile moments is critical - the CX has to be right.  Mutual relevancy is the key to success. Think about the world in two ways -- the customer (what she/he wants to hear in a mobile moment), and the brand (what they want to and are able to say in that scenario). Imagine a Venn diagram representing the two universes - the overlap is where "mutual relevancy" is achieved. Social data, together with client data, shows the topics and themes that will optimize the impact of mobile engagement. This allows marketers to make informed, data driven recommendations about the content, timing and tone of messages that are appropriate for target audiences, and most importantly are appropriate for mobile devices.  
  3. Personalize the customer experience. Answer, ‘What are the mobile moments your organization can create by studying customer behaviors based upon their actions, not their intentions?' If you do, you can clearly understand how to be relevant to your customers. This means more opportunities to be in mobile moment because people carry their mobile devices everywhere. Turning data into insight means clients can then analyze, adapt and evolve their marketing to optimize personal experiences and performance in real time.
  4. Ensure ROI and mutually beneficial relationships. The effort should be equal to the benefits to doing business, connected to what is important and driven by a very deep understanding of who your market is and who your customers are. This includes thinking about the technology you adopt, the context in which you operate, the customer experience you design and the campaigns you execute. If they have mutual relevancy and fair exchange then that equals a profitable relationship for the customer and the brand, and thus an accelerated return on investment.  

How you set up and manage your marketing platforms, the customer programs you operate and the creative campaigns you deliver are each and collectively vital parts to delivering the total customer experience.  And, how smart businesses are at gathering, interpreting and acting upon data - turning it into useful insight and actionable strategies - determines the effectiveness of every marketing dollar.