Some Good New Year’s Resolutions
It has been one and a half week ago when I promised myself to read more books in 2015. Not just books I need to read for work or school related purposes, but also books that actually catch my attention while walking along a bookshop.
And oh yes, let it be the case that the book – Mobile Influence: The Mobile Power of The Consumer – immediately caught my attention while walking down the library aisles. Even after screening the first few pages, I was still eager to continue reading…
Target Effectively To Reach The Mobile Buyer
The book, written by Chuck Martin, describes the six specific moments in the timeline of the sale that marketers must target effectively in order to reach the mobile buyer. Because of the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets, there has been a revolution of the traditional purchase cycle, transforming how everyone everywhere buys everything. Businesses are scrambling to adapt and find new ways to tap into the market, eager to reach consumers through means beyond online advertising and traditional ads in newspapers and magazines and on television. But what they don’t realise is that the issue isn’t just how to reach consumers, but about reaching them where they are and where they are going.
Six Influence Points to Entice The Consumer
This book covers the mobile shopping experience from the start to the end. The most interesting topic the author writes about is the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle (page 39 – 199). In only six chapters, Martin clearly identifies the structure and the tools necessary for marketers to build a new sales framework that properly addresses the future of the mobile market.
The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle consists of six influence points, where marketers have the potential to steer the mobile consumer towards their products and services.
#1 The Pre-Buy
The timing of an actual purchase no longer takes place at only one time or one location but rather all the time and at all locations. Before heading to the mall, mobile shoppers are using their devices to research items, look for sales and compare pricing among other things. At the pre-buy phase of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, consumers are open to suggestions and considerations, both directly from brands, but also from peers. Therefore, marketers should place mobile ads with coupons on news apps, which have daily visitors. This will make customers thinking about the advertised product.
#2 In Transit
This phase occurs when the consumer is on the move or on the way to a store. With new location-based functions, marketers can scan smartphone location and speed, after which it can send highly targeted and relevant messages to consumers who have opted in to receive valuable offers. A major disadvantage of this is that consumers might not want to be distracted by offers they don’t want, therefore marketers will have to create value for consumers by creating incentives to leave their location “turned on” in any given app. An example: Foursquare links you to promotions of businesses surrounding you at that particular moment.
#3 On Location
In the third phase, Martin describes the changes of the buying-selling dynamics. Now retailers can identify and market directly to mobile shoppers while in their physical stores, since location technology is built into smartphones. It provides businesses the opportunity to reach and influence the mobile consumer as they walk down the aisles.
#4 The Selection Process
Once the mobile shopper gets to the location where items can be bought, there is another mobile influence opportunity related to the products to the considered for purchase. As mobile customers scan products along the aisle, they are able to check and compare prices, and even purchase them on the spot. During this phase of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, marketers have one of the last opportunities to exert mobile influence before the actual purchase phase. With real-time pricing, marketers are able to interact with customers and to offer on-the-spot price reductions with the use of various new technologies.
#5 Point of Purchase
Even at the point of purchase, consumers are still easily distracted by discounts and special offers. The marketing opportunity here, is to influence and change the minds of mobile shoppers during the checkout process. As more and more businesses adopt self-checkout options and mobile capabilities embedded into point-of-sales systems, offers can be presented to consumers during the checkout process. There is no need for debit cards or credit cards anymore, as all goes via the digital way.
The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle actually never finishes, as it is a vicious cycle of marketing. However, the post-purchase phase can be seen as the last step of one purchase life cycle. The consumer is likely to share photos, videos and information of their recent purchase via their mobile device on social media. During this phase, marketers need to become part of the conversation and interact with all related contacts. Also, marketers should offer opportunities for feedback.
Mobile activity in each of these six phases will continue to expand as the usage of smartphone and tablet still increases. Martin concludes by saying that marketers should recognise the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle and that success depends on activity at multiple influence points.
Trust me! It’s A Must Read!
By drawing the picture of how infiltrated our world is into the mobile market, Chuck Martin gives a considerable amount of information about how companies should act upon the mobile market. He goes into great detail showing us the future of the mobile industry and how it will affect consumers’ daily life. His Mobile Shopping Life Cycle clearly describes how mobile marketing is changing and how businesses should react upon that.
I would highly recommend you to read this book. It is very insightful and the language used by the author is very easy to understand, as well as his examples and real-world cases. The topics that are discussed by Chuck Martin are important to understand for marketers in today’s world, as many businesses don’t use the information this book provides, yet.
I am happy to announce that my new year’s resolution to read more books was not a bad idea, as I actually learned something from this book! Mobile Influence has changed the way I view (online) shopping. I am convinced that every marketer, from Rolex to Adidas, from KLM to McDonalds and all (smaller) companies in between should buy and read this book to understand the mobile consumer and how it affects businesses.
About The Author
Chuck Martin has been a digital pioneer for more than a decade. He is the CEO of The Mobile Future Institute, which focuses on business strategies and tactics for the mobile market. Martin is a highly appreciated speaker on many international conferences. He also wrote other books, including The Digital Estate (New York Times businesses bestseller), The Third Screen and The Smartphone Handbook.
Title: Mobile Influence – The New Power of The Consumer
Author: Chuck Martin
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, NY, USA
Year of publication: 2013