How many times have you sent a tweet while watching your favorite television show? Or responded to a text while browsing an online store from your laptop? Or checked Facebook on your iPad right before playing a game of Angry Birds on your iPhone?
The fact is, today’s consumers aren’t monogamous with their tech devices. Whether using them concurrently or consecutively, your target audience is providing you with multiple ways to reach them. Think of it as the digital version of the print marketing world. When trying to reach potential customers, would you only send out direct mail? Of course not. You promote your company with outdoor boards, newspaper ads, posters, direct mail pieces and more. The online world is no different. To make an impact, your company needs to develop a presence on a quickly-growing platform, the mobile device.
According to a Google study, smartphones have the highest number of user interactions per day and serve as the most common point for activities across multiple screens.
With searching features being available on every device and nearly every website you visit, people are moving from computers to tablets, tablets to smart phones and back with simplicity. For example, you are reading an article on your laptop when you realize that you’re hungry. You search for the nearest Subtime restaurant on your laptop and find the address. While you could pull out a pen and paper and write down the directions, chances are you will pick up your smartphone, type in the address in your GPS app, and have it do the work for you. You’ve just interacted with Subtime across multiple platforms, and now are driving to the store to give them your business.
But let’s take that even further. It’s important for Subtime to know what device helped drive users to their store. Why? Because what device we use is driven by our context: what we’re doing, where we are, what we want to do and how much time we have. If Subtime can capitalize on that, they can determine which device we use when we’re doing whatever it is we do the most. Meaning Subtime can cash-in on that by putting more weight on their brand presence on that specific device. So what if Subtime measured consumer interaction with mobile devices in order to enhance their mobile experience? What if they gave you a coupon for your next purchase just for visiting their website from your smartphone? Then they could measure the amount of mobile-to-store purchases made, simply by tracking the use of that mobile-only coupon.
Actually, this is already being done. ProTraining, a company that provides training certification courses online, published a case study discussing their method for measuring and increasing their mobile interactions with customers. This was important to them because most of their target audience is made up of people whose professions keep them on the go—doctors, nurses, paramedics, etc. They needed a way to interact with them from a mobile device, then seamlessly move them to a more stationary device like a computer, because most wouldn’t want to watch a three-hour training video on a cell phone. While many of their customers might have been using a smartphone to view the ProTraining website, the tracking was lost when they would wait until later to sign up online. ProTraining had virtually no way of knowing which of their customers they garnered from mobile-based technology.
To change this, they encouraged users to sign up for their services on a mobile device by offering a $5 discount for signing up on that platform only. Since the discount code was only given to mobile users, whether they used that code by signing up online, or used it straight from their phone, ProTraining can say with some certainty that the initial contact was made via a mobile device. Because of this, ProTraining determined that 12% of their overall sales were initiated from a mobile device, and thanks to the special offer, mobile sales increased by 35%.
“Optimizing your marketing campaigns across multiple channels is not enough. Today, brands need to understand how their visitors engage across multiple devices and conversion touch points, and customize on and off-line marketing strategies accordingly.” —Jeremy Post, head of acquisition marketing, ModCloth
So how can you understand the full value of mobile for your business? Google has (not surprisingly) the answer. They’ve developed a mobile ROI calculator that will measure the amount of drive smartphones bring to your business. This calculator measures these exchanges by calculating the value of 5 different interactions:
- App downloads – Measuring the amount of app downloads and the number of transactions that happen within your apps
- Cross-device purchases – Consumers who research your product or service on their mobile device, then move to another screen to complete the transaction
- Mobile site purchases – Purchases made directly on your mobile site, also known as m-commerce
- Mobile-driven in-store sales – Searching for store locations, getting directions are common ways mobile translates to in-store business
- Phone calls – Customers who purchase by phone
Once you have determined the amount of business you are generating by phone, you can capitalize on this by targeting customers in ways you hadn’t yet thought of. Mobile ads, SMS text promotion, building a better and more interactive mobile site, mobile-only discounts, location-based services—all of these and more can help drive business from a consumer’s smart phone. A few years ago the only way to have your customer carry your brand with them in their pocket was to give them a business card. With new technology, targeting these customers no matter where they are—at home, at the dentist, in the car-pool line, at work—has never been so simple. Once you learn to maximize your business’ mobile profitability, you’ll boost brand presence, customer interaction and most importantly, your bottom line.