Customer engagement and mobile marketing are two buzz terms that have been the subject of many articles, stories, and studies of late. But what do these big terms mean for the average business? Having a better understanding of them will enable businesses to implement strategies and use available mobile tools to meet the requirement of demanding and technology savvy customers. Ultimately, the desired outcome is for the customer to go through a better shopping experience and improve ROI for the business.
We start with some definitions. What exactly is customer engagement? What is mobile marketing?
Richard Sedley, who works in the customer experience industry and specializes in customer engagement, tells us that he defines customer engagement as: “Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand“.
Mobile marketing, on the other hand, is simply marketing activities achieved through the use of a mobile device, such as a smartphone. More specifically, mobile marketing is “Using interactive wireless media to provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas, thereby generating value for all stakeholders.”
Mobile Marketing expenditures have exploded the past few years, but mobile marketing is still a relatively new method for marketers to reach out to their customers. There is large potential for engagement with customers, as nearly everyone now owns a cellular device of some sort.
Boiling It Down
Sedley’s definition of customer engagement, however, is somewhat limiting. It focuses on how to keep a customer. For example, it makes sense for Starbucks to send out a new ice latte recipe to a customer who recently purchased a Verismo coffee machine. If the customer enjoys the new recipe, then she will likely also enjoy the coffee machine along with other Starbucks products. She may even be inclined to share this result with friends and family.
But how do you engage with a potential customer, someone who is looking for a coffee machine with no particular brand in mind? The customer needs information or persuasion to make a purchase decision, because she has no connection to a brand yet.
So a broader and more practical definition of customer engagement is simply “to provide information that the customer will consume.” If the customer does not consume your information, you have not engaged her- engagement begins when information is consumed. This applies to the Starbucks example too – if the customer throws away the recipe, she has not been engaged.
Mobile marketing, then, can be simplified as “providing information via mobile device to be consumed by a customer.” Living in a world where we only have so much time for so many things, good mobile marketing must deliver this information quickly and be ready to be consumed on demand. Engaging with customers via mobile can also lead to brand loyalty, and therefore improved ROI.
Proven Methods for Best Engagement: Voice and Narrative
There’s nothing like telling a story to get potential customers to come around to your side. A recent blog by KISSmetrics reiterates that storytelling is a proven, powerful way to develop identity, build client base, and most importantly increase your sales.
Particularly, “Stories immediately focus on engagement, experiences, and emotion – central tenets that are catnip to customers. Storytelling conveys to customers, the media, and investors the information, hard facts, and dry data they need in an easily digestible way.”
Stewart Pearce, author of “Alchemy of Voice”, offers that “Our voices are a physical means by which we express thought and feeling in order to gain the responses we desire.” Using the right voice successfully conveys the messages you want and creates trust with your audience. By telling a story through voice, you can make a personal connection with customers and create a much more memorable experience.
Putting It All Together With Audible Tags
Getting and keeping customers’ attention is becoming increasingly difficult. Sedley explains that
“Media fragmentation, at least in the short term, has led to reduced customer loyalty because there is so much choice. It also makes initiating the relationship tricky since you have to deliver instant relevance, credibility and trust to show the experience is going to be worthwhile.”
Taking all these into consideration, an effective mobile marketing strategy to engage customers requires offering credible and/or emotional voice information on demand quickly so it can be consumed at the moment of need.
Audible Tags allow brands and products to share voice information delivered to mobile devices through web links, QR codes (or other scanning technologies) that are placed on shelves, products, flyers, catalogues, magazines and web pages.
With Audible Tags, customers can scan a product or ad in their hand with their smartphone, and quickly receive a short voice message providing product information or endorsement.
Audible Tags give businesses the opportunity to create narrative and engage customers right at the point of sale, instantly becoming more relevant. Voice messages will also increase credibility and trust, by providing additional information, special endorsement, and more.
In mobile marketing, more is not necessarily better. It’s important to keep voice messages short and relevant. Again, picking the correct tone and voice can stir all sorts of emotions, and can help you connect with your target market. Choose a voice that may offer more impact or influence to enhance the customer experience.
More information about the Audible Tags can be found here.