Across industries, the cell phone or mobile market is now the most coveted avenue for marketers to distribute and advertise their wares to consumers.
As with anything trendy, high conversion often leads to equally high aversion especially when a product or process peaks or changes.
How can brands minimize attrition while growing their mobile user customer base? Here are ten ways to “cell” a brand:
- “Mass customize” products, i.e., create a general way for customers to personalize products. This includes allowing customers to opt into products or features of their choice similar to the way Facebook users “like” fan pages.
- Offer friends and family discounts similar to what wireless providers use to increase usage.
- Bundle relevant product offerings or provide ala carte access at a flat rate. Google Voice offers a $10 flat rate prepayment plan for all international calls (calls within the US are free).
- Solicit membership or subscribers in exchange for discounts, inside sales offers, practical information or exclusive access.
- Create incentives to shop by mobile phone such as free shipping and handling. Amazon.com offers free shipping for purchases over $50 and Border’s offers free shipping if an order is delivered to any of their retail stores (think low cost leader).
- Synchronize the buying experience: Who wouldn’t appreciate not having to remember yet another username and password? Purchasing options should be linked through users’ cell phone account (see #1).
- Keep things simple: convoluted purchasing processes like Microsoft’s Office Live web domain renewal is so not Staples “easy”. As laws governing cell phone use while on the go are enacted, it is imperative for the buying experience to be quick and seamless.
- Have a stellar customer service department. There is nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on the latest and greatest only to be routed to a “script reader”, i.e. customer service, help or support personnel who read everything including salutations and closings, verbatim. The fastest way to irritate a cell phone user is to waste their time and plan minutes.
- Establish a meaningful, relevant, genuine way to give. Companies that invest in their employees, their communities and their customers are more likely to maintain loyalty and a long-term return on investment that stakeholders can appreciate. All proceeds from actor, Paul Newman’s packaged goods line, Newman’s Own go to charity. That’s a long stretch from donating a “percent of sales” to charity. It’s also compelling enough for users to select “send” on their cell phone keypad.
- Keep ads to a minimum. Too many ads in a place that offers limited space (screen size and memory) are sure to elicit three things: ad fatigue, anger (if recipients feel spammed) and the TiVo experience (aka, ad blocker). Keep ads relevant and engaging. Better yet, consider only sending ads that come as a “welcomed surprise” (have your people contact mine on how to do that).
Although using mobile devices to buy and sell continues to grow exponentially, brands will still want to provide end-user support via websites or even retail outlets.
Author: Isha Edwards is an idea catalyst for individuals and organizations across 12 industries including music, media, fashion, film, academia, professional services, nonprofit, technology, and small business administration. Through EPiC Measures, Isha provides brand-driven marketing consulting and business development services. Her skills and experience in business management, business education, and marketing enables her to implement a practical, comprehensive approach to establishing, operating, and growing a business.
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