The Rise of Mobile Messaging: Digital Experiences that Will Truly Engage Customers

September 25, 2017 Vibes

It’s All About Customer Engagement

It’s no secret that consumers rely heavily on messaging for timely access to information and use it more than any other communication channel. Apps and websites are overkill for most mobile moments, whereas messaging optimizes customer engagement through a mix of notifications and conversations in the form of texts, images, links, forms and more. So what are the digital experiences that truly matter to customers, and how do marketers best implement mobile messaging in their marketing strategy?

Technology and mobile have been the two most important drivers of changing the ways consumers interact with brands. There are three core ways mobile has changed consumer expectations:

  1. Immediacy: Now that consumers have a connected device in their hands they expect to be able to get everything they want. It doesn’t matter what it is—consumers now have an immediate demand for information.
  2. Simplicity: There is the expectation of curated content that makes things easy, and push notifications or messages being sent out when a person needs it.
  3. Context: Relative to our location, past behavior and time sensitivity, consumers expect instantaneous information in the form of messages.

The convenience offered through mobile is the key factor that sums up these three core consumer expectations.

The Mobile Mind Shift

In the last 5 years, the outcomes of the mobile mind shift have contributed to another shift, the shift in customer loyalty. Being loyal to a particular brand means that consumers expect to have their need or want fulfilled in that exact moment. The challenges and opportunities this new loyal mindset presents for marketers can be narrowed down to the following three key areas:

New Ways of Customer Engagement: Mobile Moments

When a new technology comes along, brands usually take time to internalize the new things they can do to better engage with customers. Mobile creates a constant feedback loop of data, so brands are able to understand the needs of customers at any point in time, enhancing the learnings about the individual consumer. Marketers then need to think about targeting customers with strategies that deliver individualized experiences.

The new customer mindset is, “I want the brand to engage with me when I have a need, not when the brand has a need.” Marketers need to flip their thinking to outside-in to deliver experiences to consumers that reflect that process.

The way brands can do this is by personalizing a 1:1 relationship. Start to test and learn with new data capabilities provided by vendors that can help you decipher the data. Vibes as a technology service provider help brands move these conversations to a 1:1 scale.

Win, Serve and Retain Customers in Their Mobile Moments

There are billions of mobile moments every day. Forrester defines a mobile moment as a “point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.” Consumers want easy access to content and services, not to go hunting for information inside an app. They want this content to be delivered to them in a timely and proactive manner. Getting the right message and not being interrupted with irrelevant content is important for a consumer.

So how do brands and marketers react to an overwhelming amount of mobile moments? Statistically, consumers are only using about 30 apps and spend 80% of their time using 5 apps each. As marketers, we need to look beyond apps and websites expecting consumers come to us. To better engage with customers, we need to think about how simplicity, context and immediacy play an important role in creating mobile moments.

Fortune 500 Companies Get the Importance of Mobile Identity

Forrester is seeing brands that have never implemented a loyalty program start paying more attention to these types of marketing initiatives. Even the most sophisticated Fortune 500 companies that have already established strong mobile initiatives are saying, “we’re not doing enough and we want to do more.” These companies understand how important mobile identity has become, and it speaks to a level of maturity the marketplace is seeing within mobile.

What Tactics Should Marketers Pursue to Engage Customers?

Use IDEA to win in your moments to map out the customer journey. Are they frustrated or happy, and how do you best help them? Create mobile experiences to better engage your consumers. Start small, set hypotheses, build the experiences and have set KPIs. Since this often can require additional marketing resources to execute, a mobile partner such as Vibes can help marketers shorten the cycle and can get your brand the testing and learning capabilities required to effectively drive ROI.

Don’t Make Mobile Apps Your Only Customer Touchpoint

Marketers need a portfolio of touchpoints. As technology evolves, customers will come to brands less, so marketers have to think about becoming better at serving customers in their eco-systems. It might be on their smartphone, a text app like WhatsApp, or at home through a connected device.

A strong mobile engagement strategy has messaging at the center. If a mobile app is the only channel that your brand is using, you’re most likely missing out on a big segment of your audience The emergence of conversational experiences, such as chatbots, will provide opportunities to create more valuable and engaging experiences for customers.

New Consumer Expectations

Consumers want to hear from brands once a week as long as brands have something valuable to offer customers. If the messaging is timely and relevant, consumers will respond. Here are some of the top statistics around why consumers unsubscribe from a brand from Vibes 2017 Mobile Consumer Report:

Best practices of mobile marketing are continuously evolving, but here are a few you can put to the test right away:

  1. Identify your customers mobile moments
  2. Think beyond the app with your messaging and content strategy
  3. Automate customer engagement by tapping experienced and proven vendors
  4. Keep up to date on best practices for messaging

We hope this information was useful to help you better engage with your customers. If you’re not sure of how to get started with mobile marketing, we would love to speak with you.

Until the next webinar!

 

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