By adaptive - October 29th, 2013

Communicate the right messages to mobile consumers at the right time and place so that they actively engage with your brand.

The mobile screen is becoming the new brand battleground, a place where your organisation is fighting for the attention of a consumer that is bombarded with messages. And mobile is now where your corporation’s customers consume content. According to Statista using data from ComScore, 65% of social media activity now takes place on mobile platforms. This week we ask our experts how best to capture customers on the mobile device.

Infographic: Photos, Maps and Games Are Mobile-First Content | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

“A convergence of trends in consumer behaviour and technology has resulted in a migration to what is now commonly referred to as the ‘third screen’ with the first two being the television and the PC,” says Lynette Hundermark, Apps Business Director at Prezence, “Your always-connected audience can now interact with your brand on social media as and when they are interacting with it in their real lives. This has major consequences for how we speak to our consumers.”

A person’s mobile phone is, by its very nature, an extraordinarily personal tool. According to Mobile Life from TNS a mobile strategy is: “a requirement for any brand, and that a proper understanding of consumers’ relationship with their phones is essential if advertisers are to maser the world’s most ubiquitous communications platform.

“A place on a consumer’s mobile phone is becoming a powerful opportunity for marketers to influence behaviour, build loyalty and drive purchase. It is also very challenging to achieve and very difficult to maintain. And while the mobile represents a major opportunity for brands that can earn a place on its home screen, it represents a significant challenge to those unable to adapt to mobile-powered consumer behaviour.”

Mobile is changing how brands interact with consumers. Mobile allows for a more personal communication and can offer more reward and engagement for both parties. As TNS says, the mobile is well suited to addressing the consumer needs of:

  • Experience
  • Independence
  • Convenience
  • Relevance
  • Reassurance

The infographic by Brandfolium below shows where and when consumers interact with their mobile devices. With an impressive 87% of them doing so on the move and 44% of them engaging while shopping – this is a market that needs targeted and precise communications in order to succeed.

Brandfolium Mobile Infographic

“Telemetrics’ research has shown that mobile devices have increasingly become the go-to resource for consumers looking to make a buying decision,” says Bill Dinan, President of Telmetrics, “Any business wishing to reach out to consumers must tailor their strategy to reflect distinct buyer motivations and behaviours, across not only the different vertical categories, but even devices.”

Know thy user

The most important element is to know your target market. Will they be among the 59% spending their time in queues for the bus, or are they more likely to be out socialising? Understanding their demographic and peak engagement times will result in a strategy that’s relevant and targeted.

“A mobile device never leaves the side of its master so you can communicate with your customer 24/7,” says Pierre Dorfling, Head of Digital at Boomtown, “Getting onto a user’s mobile device you literally get into their pockets, but to stay there you need to know everything there is to know about the owner. Mobile allows you to target individuals, people with likes and interests, but also very location specific. Imagine you get a message from your favourite store about a discount on that new PS3 you want so badly, when you come within a 50-metre radius of that store? Would that make you want to buy from them?”

Pierre Dorfling, Head of Digital at Boomtown

Leticia Supple, Content Strategist and Founder at Brutal Pixie, agrees, “The most effective way of targeting your customers on mobile is by being on top of your metrics. Know which devices they use, when they read your messages, what their pattern of use is like, what they click. Test your messages and design using A/B split testing. It is only by paying attention to the how, when and where that you can determine a strategy, nothing beats audience research.”

Place your corporate information at their fingertips and make sure it is easy for the consumer to access, read and use. Don’t send them round the houses, or have them battle with sites that are not mobile friendly and are made up of endless lines of text. Be interesting, vibrant and quick. If your customer is waiting in line for a bus or sitting on the train, they may have to abandon their mobile at any moment. Information about your brand must be delivered in the first four lines and explained in even less.

“In the UK, price comparisons and reviews are the top two mobile research activities as mobile users generally take time to conduct thorough research before they purchase,” says Dinan, “Nearly 50% of both smartphone and tablet searchers expect search locations to be within walking or driving distance and businesses can increase consumer traction by prominently including business location details, contact information and links to maps and directions in their mobile content.”

Know the user and what they want and give it to them in spades. This will draw your customers to your brand and see them start to engage with your services. However, there is more that you can do to inspire loyalty and more effective results – apps and emails.

“Even if a customer has limited access to social networks while travelling, and even if their batteries are running flat, they will still check their emails,” says Supple, “People check their emails on their phones at work too because many employers will block access to non-work related websites.”

Alex Genadink, Founder of Problemio, believes that apps are a great way of grabbing the wayward consumer’s attention, “Mobile apps can give great distribution when compared with other sources and many people search for apps that can help them accomplish various tasks when they are not at their PC.”

Dinan of Telemetrics agreed with Genadink’s assessment saying that businesses need to ensure that they are providing optimised site and app options so research and advertising information is easier to consume: “Although UK mobile searchers are very reliant on the mobile web, many smartphone and tablet users also use apps,” he says, “Ensuring the mobile searcher can choose their preferred method to view will help encourage a purchase.”

An ending of note

A strong mobile media strategy will support your business as it shifts onto the platform and learns its way around. The impact of the mobile device and its rapid expansion into the consumer lifestyle is still being assessed and there are bound to be more avenues, ideas and solutions that come to play as both brands and users become savvier.

“Focus on having a plan that is cognisant and aware of mobile’s popularity,” says Hundermark, “The key in crafting your content is to be aware of the fact that your audience will be interacting with it in a variety of situations and screens. See the individuals in the audience and be interesting, relevant and responsive.”

Ultimately the core principles of engagement across social media platforms and brand development are as valid on mobile as they are anywhere else. Adhering to these principles will ensure that customers feel less like numbers and more like valued participants in your brand. Give them the information they are looking for and ensure it is optimised for the mobile device itself.

In the concluding part of this series we will be examining how to integrate your campaigns and ensure consistency across all social media on all devices.

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