Moving into mobile?
How companies are leveraging mobile technology to extend consumer engagement
At our Strategic Growth Forum in November 2012 in Palm Springs, we set out to capture the views of experienced entrepreneurs and executives on leading practices in the mobile consumer space.
In particular, we wanted to know:
- What’s the current thinking on how consumers use mobile?
- How can you drive brand engagement via mobile?
- Can business make itself loved on mobile?
- What’s the next big thing for small (phone) screen advertising?
What’s the current thinking on how consumers use mobile?
Constant connectivity is a key trend. Mobile devices are an extension of the person, and consumers switch seamlessly between devices depending on task and time of day.
“What no one could have foreseen is the way the mobile phone has become almost an extension of the human personality. This never happened with the television set or the desktop computer or laptop. But now, you are your phone. Your phone is you. At meetings just look around at the table and see the way people put down their phones and keep them in sight. One way to get someone’s attention really fast is to grab that phone and just try to take it away from its owner!”
“I like to think that each device has its own attributes. Research shows that the tablet, for example, is our prime-time companion. Most people who have them use them at night. That’s the nighttime electronic. We still have to think about how to eliminate the creep/privacy issue factor.”
“Take a close look at your industry and how your consumer is interacting with his TV, mobile and tablet. When are they most in use? In the morning, or when they fall asleep? Which one gets the most use?”
How can you drive brand engagement via mobile?
Collaboration dominates current thinking on how to engage consumers – it’s the fast track to extending your reach.
“It’s about collaboration and connectivity.Look at the social component – friends are building their own networks and communities. Are your friends ‘liking’ the same ads? Sites? The social element is definitely worth exploring.”
“If your app allows for collaboration – socializing – community of friends – then you will be reaching well beyond the four corners of a table. As for merchandising, if you can bring people together and integrate it into your strategy, your app will have a stickiness. I have seen magic happen in small companies. If you add to your management staff someone who knows how to do this – reach out to these communities – then he or she can change your company and put you on the map. I’m not talking high-paid or high-level, either. But this addition to your staff can be a real game changer.”
“We have to think outside the box. How are consumers interacting with your brand? In the US, Toyota has a game, and the US Army has a game. If these two stalwarts can develop games, think about what the consumer products companies can do! The key thing: branding. Scavenger hunt, share stuff, think about what it is. It’s just a way to engage them. Keep your consumer engaged!”
Can business make itself loved on mobile?
Better consumer understanding drives deeper engagement. Companies that understand how consumers want to interact lead the way in terms of building the love.
“The leaders in mobile tech aren’t surprising. Think Starbucks, Tesco. Walgreens has an app to scan your prescription, and it will alert you when it’s ready. Domino’s Pizza has figured out college students order pizza after 11 p.m., so that’s when stores need to make sure they staff up. Nike also has a good app about running.”
“1-800-Flowers was one of the first e-commerce sites. The great thing is its name alone tells the consumer exactly what it is, exactly what they need to know about the offering. The connection is instant. And 1-800-Flowers keeps tweaking, innovating and changing their offering and in a new way and better way to engage their customer. Now everyone is trying to catch up with them.”
“Analytics are really meaningful to determine what consumers are doing on their mobiles. We will get an infinitely higher understanding if we can analyze all the communications channels – apps, text, voice, web. I don’t see any benefit in doing this separately. If you can get the one piece of data your company needs and at the just the right time, it’s priceless.”
What’s the next big thing for small (phone) screen advertising?
Ad dynamics are changing. Companies are thinking laterally and demanding greater accountability.
“Coca-Cola was struggling to get Coke Zero out there in a major way that wasn’t just your typical TV ad. The movie Avatar was coming out, so they hooked up with them and built a game. Coke Zero did well where the app was available.”
“Digital space in general demands accountability. How did this app or ad perform? TV and print still is where the ads are – the industry hasn’t yet made the shift to mobile. TV is still seen as a sexy way to advertise. But someday someone will make the shift that your ad can be just as sexy on the small screen, and once again TV will be blown away.”
“People just aren’t watching TV like they used to.”
The views of third parties set out on this webpage are not necessarily the views of the global EY organization or its member firms. Moreover, they should be seen in the context of the time they were made.