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How to find a brand's place in the mobile relationship

How to find a brand's place in the mobile relationship Lori Luechtefeld

Billions of consumers have an intimate relationship with their mobile devices. It's no surprise that marketers want in on the action. But will consumers let them in? Is it possible for brands to enhance this relationship and improve the mobile experience for users by providing value?

At the Mobile Bootcamp at the iMedia Commerce Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, Jeff Hasen argued that the best brands can -- and do -- improve people's relationships with their mobile devices on a daily basis. In his book "The Art of Mobile Persuasion," Hasen drew on the strategies and insights of these brands to explore what courageous mobile marketers are doing about the ever-increasing expectations of mobile users.

"Mobile users are like teenagers," Hasen said. "We want to be understood. But we'll fight to maintain our privacy." That's a tough dichotomy for brands to navigate. In doing so, Hasen said, it helps to think about the best -- and worst -- practices for building any personal relationship.

Let's start with the worst. Hasen noted that the below relationship turn-offs are the very same characteristics displayed by ineffective mobile marketers:

  • Selfish
  • Illogical
  • Timid
  • Impulsive
  • Inattentive

On the flipside, the characteristics of leading brands align closely with those of people in healthy personal relationships. Hasen detailed five of the top traits:

  • Pragmatic: Tie mobile efforts to business objectives.
  • Open-minded: Pay attention to and embrace new technologies, services, and behaviors.
  • Collaborative: Come together with peers to explore what's working, what's not, and what else you can learn from each other.
  • Good listener: Consumers are willing to proactively give information to brands if doing so will improve their experiences. Gather this information and tie it into your customer relationships.
  • Risk takers: Set aside some resources to try new things. They won't all work. But the lessons from failures are valuable too.

Co-presenter Ryan Craver, SVP of emerging brands at Lamour Group and CEO of Trimfit, underscored Hasen's points with lessons from the retail side. He noted that change enablers are those that align their business capabilities with people's expectations as it relates to connectivity, scalability, distribution, and on-demand options. Today's leading platforms -- Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb, WhatsApp, Uber, GrubHub/Seamless -- are those that create frictionless experiences.

Hasen concluded with some actionable steps that brands can take as they strive to build these healthy relationships with -- and frictionless experiences for -- consumers:

  • Knock gently and err on the side of less when it comes to mobile intrusions.
  • Make like easier for consumers on their mobile devices.
  • Treat your mobile relationships as being precious.
  • Work daily to make those relationships better.

Lori Luechtefeld is principal of strategic content firm Wookit Media and an associate at WIT Strategy. In both roles, she works with a network of media and marketing professionals to devise and fulfill on content strategies that connect...

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