This article was originally written for, and appeared in, Fashion’s Collective (www.fashionscollective.com)
In the constant-connective world of transmedia-enabled consumer engagement, it is imperative for retail marketers to challenge traditional structures of siloed brand marketing channels. Antiquated concepts of disparate sales and marketing avenues no longer hold relevancy for modern consumers, who expect a more unified experience with the brands they admire, regardless of medium. The creation of consistent, unified brand experiences cross-medium has become de rigueur in any effective marketing strategy, with each channel acting not as one in a series of disconnected elements, but as a related transitive variable along the consumer engagement continuum.
Mobile events are inherently transitive in nature. The differentiated elements of the channel – constant connectivity, location awareness, personalization, and social connection – add affinity to consumer/brand interactions and empower the medium uniquely as a transitive, events-driven interface. This provides dependable communication capabilities that serve as a vehicle for binding a vast network of potential touch points. This array of possible touch points forms the foundation for the creation of a consumer interaction progression – a tight, dependable orchestration of relevance in branded communications that seeks intimacy in an increasingly interconnected expanse of brand advocates, irrespective of time or space.
The consumer engagement continuum can best be described within the conceptual construct of transmedia interaction. Today’s consumer is not simply a “customer” or a “shopper” – they are consumers not only of information, social media, etc., but also consumers of context. Brands are now faced with the unfamiliar challenge of not only marketing to people, but also marketing to context. Experiences along the continuum will vary based upon the medium consumers choose to engage the brand with and from. The “stories” or experiences delivered by the brand will vary, dependent upon the channel – whether television, the stationary web, interactive signage, or at the store level. It is imperative for marketers of the brand to create unified, steady experiences and, in turn, become adept “storytellers” across all of the varied mediums in a manner that accentuates each channel’s uniquely distinguished properties and strengths.
The role of mobility solutions in the engagement continuum is to provide persistent momentum through consistent exchanges across an ever-evolving ecosystem of digital screens, as well at the brick and mortar level. Effective mobile events blur the lines of siloed brand engagements, existing most efficiently in temporal, closed-loop occurrences as a cross-medium portal into the brand encounter. These transitive capabilities existent in the mobile medium enable true transmedia concentration, bridging channel communication gaps with precision aim at the moving target, the mobile consumer, by effectively navigating location, personalization, and limited time sequences of interaction.
Mobile consumers are not stationary targets, therefore engaging with them requires consideration be given to the variability of exchange. Where is the consumer right now? What is she interested in? How can I compel her to visit my store location? What can I reward her with to increase her loyalty to the brand? What can I do to make her feel included? How can I use the medium to make her encounter with the brand more efficient? What experience can I provide to her that she would feel compelled to share? When viewed through this lens, the possibilities for engaging consumers are limited only to the imagination and ingenuity of the brand.
It is important to conceive of mobile solutions from an events-driven perspective. Unlike other digital mediums, which are stationary and intensely focused on presentation and content, the mobile medium is location-aware, action-oriented, time-sensitive, and socially connected. Actions and events provide the necessary momentum for the engagement continuum to flourish. The transitive functions of the mobile channel provide the consistent messaging and engagement capabilities necessary to deliver a transmedia marketing model – a model that ensures a balanced, cross-medium experience with the brand across the continuum, constantly engrossing consumers with timeliness and relevance to provide deeper levels of interaction than previously thought possible. For the continuum to effectively exist, it must have energy to provide momentum. Transitive mobility in the continuum is the catalyst for the creation of this model of unified brand experiences, designed to deliver consistency of engagement regardless of where, when, and how consumers choose to interact with the brand.