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How brands can drive consumers towards their mobile offering

A major investment in your mobile offering – a new app, enhanced interface or an in-context offering can be extremely rewarding for a brand.

However, it's also hard work and potentially risky for the business. Get it right and you’ll engage with your consumers in new and exciting ways. Get it wrong and you’ll leave your consumers feeling cold and disengaged.

So how do you know whether you’re taking the right approach? And how will you be able to drive consumers towards your mobile offering?

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How brands can drive consumers away from their mobile offering

While many, if not all, brands recognise how important their mobile offering is to their consumers and to ongoing consumer engagement, it doesn’t mean they’re getting it right.

Before looking at how to drive consumers towards your mobile offering, it’s important to understand what can go wrong. This can be down to a number of reasons, but the most common culprits are:

  1. Confusing what 'mobile optimised' really means

As brands make the move towards mobile, they often think they only need to take their content and resize it for it to become mobile optimised. Temkin Group discusses how brands might take a lengthy customer feedback survey and present it to consumers through a responsive design, but fail to make any substantial changes to the structure or the format of the survey. This can result in a poor experience for the user and a lost opportunity for the brand to increase engagement.

  1. Using mobile, regardless of whether it's the right channel

Just because mobile is available, doesn’t mean it’s the right channel. Some consumers are not comfortable with using mobile in all situations. Temkin Group, again, gives an example in its insight report, stating that “relationship surveys and feedback requests that are not tied to a recent interaction do not benefit from being deployed through mobile”.

  1. Forgetting that mobile is a communication channel

For consumers, collecting feedback without doing anything about it is frustrating. This disconnect becomes more obvious on mobile because consumers are used to having two-way conversations through their mobile. It's the brand's responsibility to establish a two-way conversation and come back to customers with actions they've taken to improve the customer experience.

Understanding the factors that drive consumers towards your mobile offering

In a few short years mobile has gone from being a niche channel to a real business driver. The question for brands is no longer “should we consider mobile?” it’s “how can we make the most of our mobile offering?”. But, when it comes to understanding how to drive consumers towards your mobile offering, there is no single answer.

These are the three key areas that brands need to understand:

  • The maturity of your mobile offering – as a business, how ready are you to fulfil the promise of your mobile offering?
  • The intent of your consumers – what is it that your consumers are looking for from your mobile offering?
  • The context of your consumers – when, where, how and why are your consumers engaging with your mobile offering?

Understanding each of these will mean that your mobile offering can be tailored to your consumers’ needs and you’ll create realistic goals to improve your mobile offering.

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How mature is your mobile offering?

In a recent report, Five C’s of Mobile VoC Disruption, Temkin Group identifies three stages of change that brands go through:

  1. Mobile-Enabled
  2. Mobile-Adjusted
  3. Mobile-First

The transition through these stages requires a brand to be honest and recognise where they are now and how quickly they can make changes to become mobile-first. For some, they will be well on their way. Others will be further behind. What is important here is to recognise that progression on this journey needs to be made with a clear understanding of what the business can handle and where your consumers want you to be.

This may mean different mobile offerings to different customer segments. It may also mean different offerings for different parts of the business.

But, essentially, it comes down to realising that for you to drive consumers towards your mobile offering you have to be in a position to deliver on the promise of the service – in a way that suits their needs.

What is the consumer intent?

Brands are normally great at getting it right when consumers want to make a purchase – at the bottom of the funnel. Their challenge is making their mobile offering engaging at the top and middle of the funnel when consumers are researching and considering their options.

Consider also that once a purchase has been made, opportunities can come from engaging with consumers post-purchase, to create a closed-loop mobile offering.

According to Google, there are four moments that consumers can go through as part of their customer journey:

  1. I-want-to-know moments

At this stage, customers are researching their options. They want helpful, useful and interesting information. They are not ready to buy and will become disengaged if confronted with a hard-sell approach.

  1. I-want-to-go moments

This moment is all about the location. Customers are typically looking for a local business that offers the product/service they need. Brands should think about how convenient they can make it for customers to visit and anticipate this stage in the customer journey.

  1. I-want-to-do moments

This moment can come both before and after purchasing. Customers may be searching “how-to” videos online or looking for ideas to complete a task. These enquiries can be simple or complex, but the key is having the answer ready for the customer.

  1. I-want-to-buy moments

This moment is the one brands typically feel most comfortable with, as it’s all about making the sale. But just having the product/service ready and available isn’t enough. Customers in this moment will still need all the right information so that they are confident they’re making the right decision.

To successfully drive consumers towards their mobile offering, brands have to accommodate these different and, sometimes, contrary needs. Otherwise, consumers won’t be compelled to use or engage with the mobile offering. Taking the time to understand consumer intent will help you to focus on specific consumer needs, creating a mobile experience that is bespoke and relevant throughout the customer journey.

What is the context of your consumers?

As well as intent, understanding consumer context will help to shape mobile offerings.

Here’s an example, consider the difference between an 'I-want-to-go' moment during business hours and an 'I-want-to-go' moment after the shop is shut? Should there be a different type of mobile offering based on this situation? Consider, as well, the difference between an 'I-want-to-buy' moment when the consumer is inside the store and an 'I-want-to-buy' moment when the consumer is out and about?

Understanding the relationship between intent and context will help you consider the key moments in a customer journey and where to prioritise them. The result is a mobile experience which serves the customer exactly what they need in each and every moment.

By Sam Roberts

Sam Roberts is a Digital Marketing Executive at Rant & Rave. Rant & Rave was launched in 2000 and is a leading customer engagement specialist, counting half of the FTSE as clients. Its real-time technology lets brands proactively communicate with and listen to the voice of their customers so they can take real-time, inspired action.

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