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4 Steps to Engaging Mobile Consumers

As mobile devices are embraced by a wider audience of consumers, a new mobile class has emerged.

The freedom and control that connected consumers get from their smartphones and tablets carries new sets of challenges and opportunities for brands and retailers trying to keep in step with consumers’ needs and expectations and for market researchers who recognize the potential opportunity to get into the hearts and minds of consumers in the moment and in context.

But while consumers are open to most mobile marketing methods, ads, untargeted mass messaging, and irrelevant apps are viewed as intrusive and worthy of being avoided. Rather, brands succeed when mobile communications are personalized, solicited, and relevant.

Here are four steps brands can take when engaging with connected consumers, whether for insight – or advocacy:

  1. Avoid unsolicited contact.
    Privacy is closely protected and permission is a prerequisite; mobile users loathe brands that initiate interactions without prior consent or approval.“I like the offers I choose to receive, such as emails and downloading apps. I don’t like unrelated ads when I’m playing an online game, etc.” Beth G.
  2. Come and connect, already!
    Mobile consumers are ready and waiting for contact with familiar brands on mobile devices, but few brands have cracked the code for providing consistent value via mobile technologies.“QR codes are so cool! I love when companies have links that lead to really interesting pages, not just their brand homepage.” Mubeena A.
  3. Hand over the reins.
    Mobile users require control over when, where, how, and how often they interact with brands on mobile platforms – the more personalized, the better.
  4. Create custom, relevant experiences.
    Untargeted and irrelevant content will be shunned by mobile consumers. Specialized, personalized and exclusive offers suggest an aptitude for giving customers what they need and want.“I absolutely hate seeing advertisements in my apps and games and extra ads when I am browsing. I quite like it when I get a coupon in a restaurant I’m at for checking via foursquare, and I like when I [get] deals sent to me in any form.” Brian M

Whether engaged in market research or marketing campaigns, brands must understand and embrace mobile technologies as consumers’ constant companion.

To leverage the opportunities to be more relevant and useful that mobile presents, marketers must recognize it as a consumer-driven means of adapting a brand’s offers and content … to individual customers.

This blog post is adapted from Connecting with Connected Consumers, a Communispace report on how mobility affects the lives, lifestyles, and expectations of the typical U.S. consumer, based on in-depth qualitative discussions with nearly 200 members of the IdeaSpaces, Communispace’s proprietary online communities. Read the full report here.

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