The final SITEC-organised E-Commerce Class of 2017, titled EC303: Mobile Marketing, drew to a close with 110 participants turning up to hear what coach and guest speaker David Ho, founder and principal trainer of Navigator Business Academy, had to share about the topic.
The first thing addressed by Ho was that the buying process is actually lengthy, with multiple interactions occurring between the customer and content before action is taken. As such, Ho deemed it imperative that a business knows how to create content that reflects which stage of the buying process a person is at for them to be receptive of the content and context being served.
This segues nicely into his explanation of just how ubiquitous the mobile is in our daily lives, by pointing out that smartphones are now the centre of a multi-screen, multi-device universe. Ho likened smartphones and their increasingly powerful role as though they were the “remote controls for our lives”, with the smartphone being the first device turned to for almost every task in a day.
“For everything, from listening to music on Spotify, to ordering food from FoodPanda, to getting transportation from Grab or Uber, mobiles have become a massively disruptive force,” said Ho, noting that mobiles are changing where, how, and how much a consumer buys.
Context is key
In a mobile-driven world, context represents the combined “way of the mobile device”, with factors such as time of day, location, activity, and device making up the way content is delivered. Of note is that these four factors together address the 5 Ws of What, Where, When, Why, and Who completely.
Still, Ho noted that context plays a big role in determining how consumers interact with brands. With mobiles, he noted, consumers are online, anywhere and anytime, as long as there is a good mobile internet connection. This has led to societies becoming always online, thus always shopping, and always in the consideration for something.
“As such, the notion of what constitutes a consumer is shifting. The lines between the three distinct consumer profiles, offline, web, and mobile, are blurring. Somewhere in the intersection of those three profiles is the omni-channel consumer that we are all trying to reach,” said Ho.
An interesting tidbit that Ho shared was that people are viewing more video content on their phones as compared to televisions, and that 39% use mobile devices while watching TV to stay connected to social media while 42% browse content unrelated to whatever is on TV at the time. This is a far cry from when consumers passively consumed TV, and the key to today’s consumer (always on, and effectively always shopping or in consideration for something) is the smartphone in their hand or pocket.
“One result of the increasing presence of smartphones is that today’s customer journey, the path to purchase if you will, has evolved into something decidedly more complex and nonlinear. Consumers don’t focus on touch points and disciplines, but go through them,” said Ho.
Marketing in Modern Times
According to Ho, four attributes are necessary to be successful as a marketer today. These four, namely Speed, Flexibility, Fluidity, and Context, all round up to make a marketer Responsive. Being responsive involves keeping up with the audience across their buying journeys, and this was identified as a real challenge by Ho, who notes that those wondering about this challenge are in the same boat as “just about every brand, organisation, and institution out there”.
Consumers today move quickly, and are never in any one physical place for long, and this is the difficulty of the challenge to keep up with the audience. This translates over to their device use as well, where consumers are not even on one screen for long. Even if they are, their attention skips from site to site, app to app, from one experience to the next.
“It’s almost like you get to where you expect to find them, ready to present them with an offer or content you think they will like, only to find that they have already moved on, making that offer or content obsolete,” said Ho.
He then noted that, in the current world where everything is becoming digitised, the imperative marketers face is to be present, actionable, and relevant across an ever-expanding array of screens, platforms, and touchpoints, both digital and physical.
The Moments of Truth
Ho then moved on to speaking about the “Moments of Truth” in a consumer’s buying journey. These represent crucial moments when marketers have the opportunity to influence the audience at their point of decision.
The first point, the Zero Moment of Truth, is when a buyer has a need, and goes online searching for a product or service to meet that need. This covers researching a place to buy from, as well as whether or not to buy.
The First Moment of Truth is the buying experience of the consumer, where the buyer has an “A-ha!” moment when confronted with your brand offering.
The Second Moment of Truth covers the after-sales, where a customer that has purchased and used the product or service experiences it, and determines whether or not this experience has met or failed to meet the brand promise.
The Third Moment of Truth is where the consumer makes their voice heard by providing word-of-mouth, be it positive or negative, through reviews and social engagement. This is where the consumer becomes a brand ambassador of sorts.
The Third Moment of Truth is why marketers have to behave responsively, and why responsive is the watchword for today and beyond, according to Ho.
Ho identified the current landscape as one governed by new rules of social media and mobility. The key to responsiveness lies in taking the concepts of being fast, flexible, fluid, and contextual, and applying the four to everything done as a marketer.
As an example, Ho talked about Delta Airlines, which uses proximity and other contextual factors to serve personalised, time-sensitive information and alerts to flyers, feeding them the data they need at the moment they need it.
“This enables them to have a deeper, more exploratory experiences with the brand. Delta Airline also has a big presence on social media, using Twitter for customer service as well as to resolve passengers’ in-the-moment issues. As a brand, you must be quick on your feet,” said Ho.
The payoff in succeeding comes when, by being able to help people, a loyalty moment is formed, and that is a potential trigger for new customers who have yet to consider your brand. This, according to Ho, is how a portable, personalised, and relevant experience through mobile marketing matters to the mobile audience.
“The more responsive you are, the better your chance of keeping pace with the highly mobile and elusive consumers that you are trying to reach. That’s the mindset you need to adopt in mobile marketing to be successful in today’s world, and beyond,” concluded Ho.