Thursday, January 30, 2014

At the tail end of last year, AOL’s Consumer Research Studies department published a paper titled “The 7 Shades of Mobile.” The research sought to better understand how – and why – mobile devices are used, and what consumers’ primary motivations and habits are.

The results make for fascinating reading. Respondents were asked to identify three ‘touch points’ or ‘mobile moments’ which made up the lion’s share of their mobile usage. To help you optimize your marketing strategy, let’s take a whistle-stop tour around the 7 Shades of Mobile…

Accomplish. This element describes any activity that give users a sense of accomplishment. Understanding this motivation is of critical importance in the majority of industries, where the aim is to offer a service that the customer is unable to provide for themselves. If you can pull this off in such a way your customers get a sense of accomplishment, you’re on the way to true brand loyalty. If, for example, you run a restaurant, you can let customers build their own meal using an interactive graphic. Adapt this approach to whatever industry you work in.

Socialize. People like to express themselves, and smartphones have become the ultimate tool for self-expression. Ask users to share content, comment on a new product or take part in a quiz. In doing so, you will become part of their circle of friends.

Prepare. People frequently use their phones to prepare for upcoming events. Help them do so by sharing statistics and studies, or telling them about the latest news relating to your industry.

Me Time. This describes time spent on online entertainment. Games, contests, pictures, blogs – anything that has more to do with the user than your business. Free content is probably the most compelling way to achieve this – users find it very hard to resist.

Discover. Smartphones are ideal for learning something new. They are always close at hand, and are usually the first thing people reach for whilst on the bus, waiting in a restaurant, or during any other kind of downtime. If your businesses can find a way into this downtime, you’ll instantly have engaged with a potential customer. It’s not about the hard sell – it’s about educating people so they develop a beneficial relationship with you.

Shop. It will come as no surprise that shopping is one of the biggest uses of mobile devices. Try to make sure your service or product can be accessed online. Then promote it with coupons and discounts. Remember: freebies really do work.

Express Myself. Often, smartphone users turn to their mobile device for no bigger reason than to share their enthusiasm – or disappointment - about a sporting victory, or a piece of political news. Transform this urge to share into a contact list by offering people a voting form that allows them to participate directly in product development. They are far likelier to choose your brand if they were in some way invested in the creative process.