Differentiation for Retail brands is still possible
Brands can leverage the power of mobile a lot more than they already do. The fact that we, the consumers, are always on our mobile phones and are happy to be contacted by the brands we like, means a great deal of opportunity for you.
Everybody we know owns a mobile phone and uses it incessantly, almost obsessively, to do pretty much everything, wherever they might be. I don’t consider myself a mobile addict, but I am the first to admit that my phone is the last thing I want to forget when I leave the house in the morning. Because I know I am going to need it during the day – even if it’s just to check my agenda, buy a ticket to the cinema or add milk to the shopping list. I say I ‘need’ it because I came to get used to it – I got used to this freedom of communication and like to be available all the time, anytime. And expect the same from the people I love and the people that care about me.
In fact, this reality we live in, is making us extremely demanding with the way and promptness we expect to be contacted by. There’s not much excuse these days for misunderstandings, mismatched communications and missing each other (on a meeting or a date, for instance).
The proliferation of smartphones was hugely responsible in making this world an always-connected one. We are so much more informed than we were 25 years ago, before the infinite world wide web was invented, and are now very aware of the value our personal data provides to companies that collect it all the time, everywhere we go.
So, we are aware that we live in a world where everything is about data and we know that data equals power. Which means that we are less willing to provide information about us unless we see some value in it, a real benefit – ‘What’s in it for me?’
A study from IBM showed that ‘the Gen Z consumer expects and wants personalized interaction, considers quality more important than price and wants to be engaged with a brand across all its channels.’
I can speak for myself (again): I am more than happy to submit my details in a form to get a loyalty card or to get regular updates from a brand that I love, so not to miss any deals, treats, invitations, news, etc. But this also means that I will be expecting that special treatment in return… and Brands: dare you if you disappoint a keen consumer like me! You have the data, so make sure you use it well.
‘There are rapidly changing expectations, consumers want it easy, right now – that great experience is wanted from paying to dealing with customer service.’
In fact, this is a great opportunity for brands to differentiate from their fierce competition. They ‘can’t win on price, so they should choose to sell on value over price by providing a memorable customer experience’
The importance of providing value to earn customers’ trust is also reiterated in a study from Wunderman and Penn Schoen Berland called ‘Consumers want to be wanted’ where they come up with the term ‘wantedness’ to define the degree to which a brand proves their commitment to earning a customer’s business across every touch point and entire path to purchase.
The point I am trying to make is that brands can leverage the power of mobile a lot more than they already do. The fact that we, the consumers, are always on our mobile phones and are happy to be contacted by the brands we like, means a great deal of opportunity for you.
I am talking about cross-channel optimization, yes, but we mustn’t forget that mobile phones themselves present a multitude of channels to engage from.
As we can read on a Forrester report, “loyalty marketers and B2C marketing pros that view mobile as just another communication channel squander a critical opportunity to reach, recognize, engage, and enhance experiences for loyal customers wherever they choose to interact.”
Think beyond email, beyond mobile apps, beyond programmatic, beyond social media, beyond responsive websites. I invite you to explore the possibilities of integrating much simpler and much more versatile mobile channels such as in-app push messages, SMS, voice, social media, OTT or WiFi into your cross-channel strategies and ensure you are engaging with your customers in their preferred channel. Not sure what I mean? Watch the video below and see a world of opportunity unfold before your eyes.
Hopefully you find this valuable enough to open the conversation about differentiation using mobile marketing?
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