What do shopping, brand loyalty and smartphones have in common?
They are all personal experiences. People crave personal connection. When they move through the shopper journey, they desire personalized conversations and unique experiences with retailers and brands – especially on their mobile devices. For smart omnichannel marketers every decision must begin and end with the shopper. Marketers must seek to understand shoppers’ needs, attitudes, interests and behaviors. This is the key to creating a solid marketing strategy and building sales and loyalty.
The biggest shift in the past 5-10 years…Shoppers are in control.
Shoppers rely more on ‘Word of Mouth’ recommendations (be they in-person or online) through friends, colleagues and ‘influencers’ versus information (or advertising) that comes direct from brands and retailers. More than ever, shoppers are empowered with information at their fingertips…spending more time in the ‘pre-purchase’ phase. Understanding shopping behavior, including (but not limited to) when/where/how they use media is critical to know to get on their shopping list.
What does this mean for brands and retailers?
Marketers must create content that helps shoppers. This can be done by providing detailed information on product features, illustrating usage occasions, being open with price comparisons, sharing product availability, ratings, and reviews or offering tools to help people easily share information and ask for feedback.
How brands and retailers should engage shoppers on MOBILE
It’s easy…just create and deliver messaging that is personal, relevant and timely. But, delivering on this concept is the complex part. Here are step by step checklist for getting it right:
- Identify highest opportunity target segments
- Understand when, where and how best to engage shoppers as they move freely between channels
- Create content and personalized messaging. Here it is important to understand the context of where and when the content will be delivered as each has unique aspects and elements (Examples: Mobile Web, Mobile Apps, Email, Push Notifications, SEO, Mobile ads, Native ads, Mobile Coupons, Text-to-Win, Mobile Receipts, Video, Click-to-Call, Influencers, Social Media, Beacons, SMS, MMS, Chatbots, AR, VR, etc.)
- Support and integrate key elements of the marketing mix throughout the entire shopper journey (before, during and after)
- Staying current and future focused given that technology changes and improves so quickly, the tactics used today will most likely not be implemented in the same manner 6-12 months from now.
- Establish goals and measurements to monitor. This will determine how the program delivered and help make any course corrections during the life of the program. After the fact, it will help identify improvements for future programs and provide learnings to incorporate any new mobile tools as technology evolves.
THIS MAY SEEM OVERWHELMING, BUT WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?
While it may sound a little overwhelming – and the above list really only scratches the surface – shoppers will tune out messages that don’t resonate. So, here are additional things to consider when creating mobile marketing programs:
- Start simple…test and learn
- It’s all about the shopper…make it easy and pleasant to help them make decisions
- Build for today, but consider the future (given the fluid nature of technology)
- Create content/messaging that aligns with shopper media consumption (growing video)
- Think 24/7/365 to connect with shoppers before, during and after their experience
Following this roadmap can help you get started. The goal is create a natural and engaging ‘personal’ experience with shoppers on their smartphones. Messaging should be seamless as they navigate through our new omnichannel world.