October 20, 2016
By Ray Beharry
The mobile consumer’s journey is complex. While it is the most important aspect in the consumer’s decision-making, it is often the least understood by marketers and retailers. We know that mobile plays a part in the journey, but what part?
A striking 34 percent of marketers list mobile marketing as their most difficult tactic to execute. Fewer than 30 percent say they have an “excellent” grasp of mobile advertising, and 22 percent described their understanding as “poor.”
Personalization is what makes mobile marketing work, and that involves getting to know your customers, what they want, and how.
With the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence systems, cognitive computing platforms such as Watson and chatbots, we are getting closer to personalization at scale.
But these tools require sophisticated algorithms and a fundamental focus on data, decision-making and content distribution.
To easily identify customer habits and their perceptions of your company, mobile surveys are an excellent resource.
Surveys provide the intelligence needed to better understand your buyer’s journey, which helps you cover four important bases:
1. Find out what mobile customers want
Successful product development depends on figuring out what to build.
The best companies solve unique problems for their customers by first gleaning a keen understanding of their interests, preferences, wants and unmet needs.
When you know exactly who your customers are, you can target them directly, and this is a far more effective strategy than trying to reach everyone at once.
Fortunately, online templates can help you craft mobile surveys with questions customized to your business and industry to determine market size, perceptions and opinions.
Surveys help build personas by gathering demographic information, psychographic profiles, goals and challenges, shopping habits, and sales preferences.
You can also gauge a market’s size and customers’ willingness to try new products.
2. Identify how they currently solve problems
In the discovery phase, you tap multiple sources to capture information about customers’ shopping preferences, including analytics, marketing automation systems, ethnography, third-party research and primary research.
However, a mobile survey can reach random, anonymous audiences and deliver that data with speed, greater reach and perhaps more affordably than any other method.
Reaching the fast-paced, on-the-go mobile consumer is challenging.
With nearly 90 percent of smartphone users spending most of their time in applications, mobile surveys reach customers on their own turf.
Using a series of surveys, you can find out how people discover new products, what they like or want to improve about current favorites — from product descriptions to images — what types of sales they prefer, and even the checkout process and preferred payment methods.
3. Determine how your solutions stand out
Nine out of 10 of customers are not sure which brand they want when they begin shopping.
So, as a retailer, you must constantly evaluate how you and your competitors stack up in search results.
Are you using the right keywords? How often are they searched? What is your ranking for paid and organic search, both onsite and offsite?
Examine your competitors from your customers’ point of view to understand their buying experience firsthand: Search for products, sign up for emails, buy a product on their site, and interact with customer service to get insight into ways to beat that experience.
4. Tailor your messages using audience data
The final phase before purchase — the decision phase — is when you and your customer have a chance to put it all together.
Great products cannot be great without people using them, and that involves getting the word out.
When you obtain customer feedback, opinions and insights, it helps you build awareness, understand channels, and test key messages, logos, images, slogan, themes and promotions.
What messages will compel people to make a purchase?
Testing a marketing concept with a survey before launching it is a low-cost, effective way to fine-tune your efforts and get a jump on your competition.
Consider your online and offline presence and how you reach customers along the entire journey. How do shoppers find you? Is it easy to find a local storefront?
Work with your team on a full assessment of your search terms to ensure that they rank high enough to attract your target customers.
TO SUCCEED in today’s mobile-first world, retailers must embrace these shopping micro-moments and always be present in them.
There is no better way to connect with mobile-first consumers than reaching them where they are most accessible: on their mobile devices.
Ray Beharry is New York-based head of marketing at Pollfish, Athens, Greece. Reach him at email@example.com.