Irony can be really helpful sometimes. Take for instance an email offer I just got promoting a webinar for key considerations, strategies and next steps for optimizing offers across every marketing channel. I run a company that specializes in cross-channel offer optimization, so this is a pitch-perfect message to me. How could I resist seeing how someone else approaches the hard work of leveraging data, offers, content and all human touch points to achieve frictionless commerce bliss? Eagerly, I clicked through the email and ended up on a landing page that – of course – wasn’t optimized for mobile. Ha.
I’ve written a lot about mending the gaps in the consumer journey, and the primary feedback we hear is “it’s like playing whack-a-mole,” and we agree. You can’t solve these problems in an essay, a book, a webinar or a few conversations. That being said, here are a few rules of thumb to help you whack some moles that pop up in your consumer engagement strategies.
- Keep it easy. Back to that email. As I scrolled back and forth across oversized images to read a bulleted list that was making a mess of margins, I, the most relevant of possible targets, had to escape this format and disregard the offer. They lost me! The irony was yet another reminder of how – in a mobile-crazed (distracted!) society that is now emerging, being relevant and timely isn’t always enough. It has to be easy, too.
- You consumer will be distracted. They say knowing is half the battle. Keeping it easy means you will also need to realize where your consumer is mentally (and that is, distracted). Consider the recent Nielsen survey that revealed close to half of smart phone and tablet owners use their mobile device while watching TV. Among tablet owners, 76 percent looked up general information while 68 percent surfed the web and 53 percent visited a social networking site. Call it multi-tasking, rapid fire mono-tasking or whatever you want, the bottom line is: brands increasingly have a significant set of challenges when it comes to being timely and relevant.
- All roads will lead through mobile eventually. Consider what I found to be the most astounding data nugget from that same Nielsen study: 20 percent of tablet owners purchased a product or service that was being advertised. Whether you’re feeding information via email, TV commercials, direct mail, telephone or billboards, chances are good that your relationship is going to be routed through mobile at some point. Be ready for that. Test that message before you send it.
- Consistency is key. The old adage about children craving predictability is true and perhaps something no one really out grows. If I want surprises, it better be delightful. While the way you say something can and should vary based on where it is received, consumers want the same company experience wherever they go. This means the same price listed in your commercial or on your direct mail piece also appears on your website – both desktop and mobile versions. If I see an offer on TV, log in on my tablet and can’t find the same offer on your website (whether it’s hard to find or not there at all), I’m off the train. My journey as your customer has ended. Extend this consistency across channels, and across departments. Your sales team should be delivering the same kind of experience as your marketing team. This is key to eliminating confusion – and frustration – among your customers.
While consumers are leaping from one channel to the next, sometimes simultaneously, it’s critical that marketers consider the right message at the right time with the utmost consistency across departments and channels. We don’t want our customers falling through the cracks because we didn’t build the right bridge for them.