The Always-On Customers

This is the age of road warriors and ‘always-on’ devices, marketplaces and customers. That implies you are always on some devices, whether it is a tab or a mobile. Successful marketing today is all about the ability to reach your customers where they are. And they are all over the place. What this means is that your brand needs to be in the mobile. If not you have a fairly good chance of missing them. That is not going to be viewed favourably within your company and you are likely to lose some budgets in the next quarter, or even your job!

There is no second question about it: mobile devices are indeed changing the marketing landscape. With over 7 billion mobile subscribers currently, this is only going to grow. By 2019 it is expected that the sale of handheld tablets and iPads would overthrow PC sales. It is no more futuristic to plan marketing through mobile devices. You are seeing a surge of such marketing right now.

As mobility rises, customers are increasingly accustomed to having important information available as soon as possible on their mobile devices.

For many folks this is a scary situation and daunting task. But mavericks take this as a great opportunity. The massive adoption of mobility offers an opportunity for constant connectivity with customers who are on the move. It is also a fabulous opportunity to offer customers new services or resources that are valuable to them. With location-enable devices customers can be served even better.

There are many benefits for those companies who have successfully made the move to mobile. These include efficient use of employee time, improved customer service and an expanded range of products and services. From an interactive iPad app that can be used for a live demo to giving a network to business associates in conversation together, the new mobile solutions have enormous power for marketing. Taking your brand to the mobile devices need not be an overwhelming task. Here are four ways to easily take your brand mobile:

1. Mobile Apps:- Mobile apps integrate a business’ message with an engaging user experience – a great way to establish a swift connection with a target audience and enhance your sales process. Mobile apps can turn a business’s static marketing materials in to interactive content that can be customised for each customer depending on their interests.

The advantage to customers is that these apps make doing business with your company simple, accessible and very relevant to them.

Moreover, one can create app with many related benefits on an exclusive basis for the targeted customers.

2. Keynote for iPad:- When a company’s salespeople are on the go, providing them with a tool to easily share marketing materials or presentations simplifies their job and enhances the customer experience. Keynote for iPad is a great way to present content-rich, highly interactive presentations wherever the customer may be. Even MS Office for iPad will allow this even if less efficiently.

3. Make use of HTML5:- This fifth revision of the HTML standard allows companies to share interactive site components on mobile devices.

Because many features of HTML5 have been built with the consideration of being able to run on low-powered devices, it is perfect for smartphones and tablets. HTML5 allows customers to interact with your brand easily wherever they are and can include components like interactive infographics and product tours. Even videos are easy with this.

4. ePubs:- ePubs are another great way to turn static business documents, especially those with numerous pages, into engaging tools.

For example annual reports, white papers and product guides can include multimedia elements such as video and audio to visually demonstrate information for customers or shareholders.

Proximity based mobile apps are the latest craze amongst youngsters for hooking up in a mall or restaurant. Marketers may want to play a key role there too.

These technological advances will soon be replaced with more powerful ones, and probably advance the “almost one-on-one” opportunities that make marketers salivate for. Mobile changes the customer experience into something enjoyable and engaging in a way that has never been possible before. Determine what mobile elements will positively impact your customers most, and make that the first step in taking your brand mobile. Each mobile element you incorporate after that will only work to enhance the experience with your brand. Some companies can even monetise the app if done properly.

(The writer spearheads execution and innovation for clients @CustomerLab)

M Muneer