Mobile: Bigger Shake Up Than The Internet

Smart phone and laptop - business concept

“Mobile will fundamentally change each and every one of your businesses, perhaps even more so than past technology revolutions that we’ve seen. Whether that’s the PC, client server or even the internet.”

Speaking at the Forrester Summit for Marketing and Strategy Professionals, Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, made the point that mobile cannot be ignored.

“Mobile has the opportunity to be even more game-changing,” she said.

Ask introduced the term ‘mobile moments’ referring to the times when customers use their phones and potentially interact with a brand.

“It’s that point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants, in context,” Ask explained, using an airline app as an example.

Depending on the time, the context changes: you could be two weeks out from the flight and the app gives you the option to change your flight, or maybe two days beforehand it suggests choosing a seat. Or even two hours before a flight it recommends you check in, which you can do so right then and there, or tell you where the lounge is.

The key is delivering the right information at the right time. In other words, anticipating what people’s needs are at that ‘moment in time’ and delivering only that information and nothing more.

There are three main areas Ask sees as really valuable for marketers.

First up are loyalty moments where someone already has a relationship with a brand. Using the Starbucks app as an example, Ask explained how customers can use the app for a whole bunch of things around the coffee chain, whether it’s finding the closest store, checking for reward options or scanning the app at the till to pay.

The second class of mobile moments marketers can take advantage of are manufactured moments. These are when someone encounters a problem and the brand can jump on in and solve it for them. Ask used a personal experience of when she spilt pen ink on herself and she subsequently discovered cleaning brand Clorex’s app was able to tell her how to get the stain out.

Finally, there are borrowed moments, according to Ask. These are moments where your customer may be on another channel but a brand integrates itself onto that network to be seen, such as social media platforms.

In the book she co-authored The Mobile Mind Shift, Ask said borrowed moments are generally easier to pull off than manufactured or loyalty moments, and it’s a lot more in line with the way marketers already think.

She said it was crucial brands knew what their options were for engaging ways with customers throughout the day.

One fundamental difference with mobile is that brands now have to engage with people wherever they are. Ask said you can no longer ask customers to come and play in your playground.

“You have to choose the right moments,” she said. “And you have to be damn good in those moments you choose.”

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