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As a marketer, you must understand the needs of the consumer. This means presenting your offering in a way that is easy to digest and simple to obtain, while simultaneously reassuring them that you are credible, reliable, and have the capacity to deliver that which you promise.
So far, so simple, right?
For most – I’d like to think all – of you, this is not new information; marketing’s goal has always been to promote particular products or services in a bid to acquire custom. However, though this principle and most rudimentary of objectives remains, the ways of attaining a consumer’s business are continually shifting.
With technology playing an ever-larger role in how we live our lives – be it ordering a curry, booking a hotel, or sending an email – marketers are constantly being forced to adopt new practices and adapt to behaviour change so as to remain relevant. The business world is ruthless, and a failure to acclimatise can – and does – result in companies being overtaken and, eventually, supplanted entirely by their competitors.
To survive, we marketers must know not only what channels those we want to reach are utilising, but what content they enjoy, how often they wish to consume it, and what actions they tend to take afterward. The customer is, after all, always right.
Think like a customer
What does the customer want, and how can you provide it? Are there certain methods you should be utilising but have thus far avoided? Is it time to head in a new marketing direction?
Thinking like a customer is crucial. You need to know what they want, and how they want it to be delivered. In terms of marketing, your role is to provide them with a superior customer experience in an increasingly mobile-centric world. You must supply them with content they will find useful, and it needs to be distributed in the most appropriate way. For the majority of people, that means mobile.
To highlight this, computer software giants Adobe recently produced a report – Touching the Infinite – which takes a detailed look at the importance of mobile, and assesses how it has realigned the way marketers must work to successfully reach their audiences.
To sit in the palm of one’s hand
According to Adobe’s research, 92% of consumers consider their smartphone to be their primary device. The same study also found that 50% of all searches happen on a mobile device, and concluded that mobile represents almost two out of every three digital media minutes.
As a marketer, you must be where your customers are. If they favour mobile, then so must you. The days of desktop traffic are not over, but mobile can no longer be regarded as merely the new kid on the block: mobile is now the dominant force, and will continue to be regarded as such for the foreseeable future. Quite simply, if you aren’t geared up for mobile, you’re at serious risk of becoming yesterday’s news.
You need to ensure that what you are doing – regardless of your industry or offering – is focused on giving the consumer the best possible experience. It’s all well and good deciding that you’re going to develop an app, but if the finished article is difficult to navigate and doesn’t help the customer to make a decision, they will likely find a competitor that gives them exactly what they want.
“Your competition is no longer other companies in the same industry. Your competition is other companies delivering exceptional experiences on mobile, like Uber and Starbucks. They’re discovering ways to make life better for customers and, in doing so, changing why customers choose brands.”
Turning app and ease
In recent years, mobile devices have become akin to an additional organ for many. The average user checks their smartphone 85 times a day, while eMarketer predicts that during 2017, time spent on apps will make up nearly 20% of total media time. What’s more, among mobile internet users, it’s predicted that apps will account for a whopping 84.9% of total mobile time.
The best mobile apps are simple to use, easy to access, and make processes more convenient for the user. Just look at Uber, the company that has transformed the way we are transported from A to B. The Uber app, which allows consumers to arrange a lift, track the location of their driver, and pay for the service automatically, went from ingenious idea to everyday mobile essential seemingly overnight. They saw a gap in the market, and moved ruthlessly to fill it.
As a marketer, your role is to reveal to the consumer why you are the appropriate solution to their particular problem. Whatever that customer issue may be, you need to portray yourself as something they can’t do without. To do that you’ll need to produce the correct content and supply the right goods or services, but all of that will be in vain if you don’t first acknowledge the importance of reaching the consumer. Before you can impact their lives, they must first know that you exist, and they must be able to liaise with your business in a way that suits them.
“Today your customers can participate in a boundless variety of experiences here and throughout the galaxy via web, apps and the Internet of Things, plus augmented and virtual reality. Your job is to create experiences that have your customers clamouring to return to your world.”
An opportunity not to be missed
According to Adobe, in the next decade, 3 billion people will come online and experience the benefits the benefits of mobile. Courtesy of websites and apps, this multitude of potential customers will be able to access a world of almost unlimited potential.
With this in mind, you must ask yourself one question: can you afford to be behind the curve? Going mobile may seem daunting, and you may even consider that it’s not for you. However, the evidence is overwhelming; mobile is not only the future – mobile is now.
This article originally appeared in Southerly.