Monday, April 16, 2012

5 reasons why mobile is the best platform to know your customers.

What are your customers thinking?

Marketing as a means of just selling is long past gone. Today’s marketer wants to understand his customer first before selling anything. Today’s marketer wants to provide the right solution for the right customer. There is a constant handshake happening between a marketer and his customers. Data plays a big part in this handshake.

Market Research plays a great role in marketing. In simple terms, traditional market research has been about collecting and analyzing data to help companies understand their customers and to make right decisions. In big corporations market research is conducted as a separate activity. Companies do market research all the time. You as a consumer is constantly given offers to fill down surveys to help companies fine tune their businesses.

The Web acted (acting) as a great platform for companies to efficiently combine marketing and market research. Many successful companies used this platform intelligently to know about their customers and grow their business. One clear example is Amazon. Here is a good article which talks about Jeff Bezos’ “data-driven customer focus”.

Now it is the age of mobile. Mobile is further going to bring down the divide between marketing and market research. Or to put it another way – mobile is opening up opportunities for companies to combine their marketing and market research efforts, know their customers and grow their businesses. Here are 5 reasons why mobile is the best platform to know your customers:

1. “Its my device” – Almost 50% of US adult population carries a smart phone. And unlike PCs, smartphones are not shared (except for when you allow your kids to play Temple Run !!!). So, you get direct access to the customer you want to reach.

2. “I carry it everywhere i go” – We may even forget carrying our wallet when we go out, but we feel at loss when we are without our mobile devices. Read “Everywhere” as “location”. Location allows marketers not only reach the customers they want, but the customers they want at the right places. If a marketing campaign needs to reach users just around Boston area. It is very much possible at a fraction of the cost.

3. “I do most of my stuff using my phone” – From replying to emails to killing sneaky pigs to comparing prices (and of course answering phone calls), we do almost all transactions on our mobile device. Many analyst firms have quoted big numbers on mCommerce growth. And with lot of (mobile) activity comes lot of data.

4. “I am less distracted” – This is counter intuitive. There has been a barrage of articles that talk about how information overload and proliferation of devices make us distracted. I view this differently when it comes to mobile. According to Flurry, average session time on a mobile application is 4.2 mins (as compared to web session time of just under 1 minute). As a mobile user, when i am inside an app, i want to give full attention to that app. Even if i have to click on some links as part of the application, i expect to go back to the application when i am done with the link. For those few minutes, i as a user, is tied to the device.

5. Small is beautiful – Though the form factor of mobile devices looks limiting, they are also, in a way, act in favor of a marketer. Due to the limited space, messages from many brands can not be cluttered on one screen. A screen at any given slice of time is dedicated to one brand. Though this looks simple, it is very powerful in increase the brand awareness of a brand.


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