(originally published in Mobile Business Insights)
Immediacy. Utility. Precision. Personalization. Consistency. Those are just a few things that customers desire from mobile applications.
As digital marketers, we are witnessing a radical shift in consumer experience expectations due to mobile micro-moments. When it comes to customer engagement, the expectation is that we deliver valued interactions before, during and after the fact — while making an impossibly complex, technologically enabled moment look and feel effortless.
The days of “being in the moment” with consumers have yielded to the necessity of being with them in the micro-moment. True micro-moments are where needs are met, decisions are made and loyalties are earned in the split-second in which the customer turns to our services.
How do we address this fundamental shift from digital, product-centric marketing models to mobile, experience-centric goals? What are the ideal mobile micro-moments archetypes from which we can find inspiration?
Look to the figure of the concierge for inspiration. The art of a concierge lies in their ability to think small while performing large tasks, an instinctive capability to anticipate and account for small needs, and to ensure that simple requests are handled with speed, discretion and good taste. The concierge is human-centered and focused exclusively on delivering the best solution.
Effectively marketing during mobile micro-moments requires a commitment to similar principles. Executing those principles — and doing so in a way that appears effortless — requires an understanding of the new realities that are influencing this quantum shift in consumer desires.
Here are five things to keep in mind:
1. Marketing has become transitory
The micro-moment consumer experience is necessarily transitory — it happens as the user is on the go. That means the user must be able to instantly access services that address micro-moment needs, such as the most efficient route to a store location, quickly and with precision. The success or failure of any micro-moment marketing strategy will be defined in the execution of transitions from medium to medium, dialogue to dialogue and context to context.
2. Utility is the new currency
Utility is the new instrument of value between brand and consumer. Like a concierge, marketers must work to remove complications and deliver efficiencies to provide consumers more of what they value most.
3. Understand user intent, not just context
The technological capabilities of smart devices and smart objects are uniquely equipped to provide marketers with rudimentary contextual knowledge of the micro-moment experience, but these merely provide superficial clues. Don’t read an intent to purchase into external context. For example, if a user is standing in the electronics section of a big box retailer, that does not necessarily signify that they intend to purchase a new television. Sending a promotional offer risks adding negative utility to the user’s experience with the brand.
To connect the dots between context and true intent requires a holistic understanding of the shopper. That includes an analysis of online behaviors and visibility into shopper profile, coupled with the contextual implications of current location. Those components together provide deeper interdependent clues that marketers can use to effectively engage with users precisely, with good taste and in the micro-moment.
4. Evolve from accessibility to anticipation
To flourish in this new transitional micro-moment environment, marketers must be prepared to provide information to customers when required, but also initiate contextually relevant, personalized user engagement.
Success in this new age of mobile micro-moments requires an evolution from mere accessibility to anticipation. Accessibility requires an understanding of connectivity and content. Anticipation requires a pre-emptive and predictive understanding of customer desires and context.
Anticipating transitions and communicating with users, with consideration of context and knowledge of your consumer, is how you will win the battle for your consumers’ hearts and minds.
5. It’s not about product, it’s about experiences
Consumers’ desire for objects or discounts as intrinsic rewards has given way to a new desire for experiences. Mobile devices have come to exist as means to a greater end: the role they play in helping users achieve a desired experience.
Marketers would do well to remember that experience is not a product of technology, it is a product of emotion. Technologies and products can be commoditized, but experiences cannot, especially in the micro-moment.