Is Your Company Ready for the 'Mobile Mind Shift'?
BY Will Yakowicz
Forrester's latest study examines how companies ranging from health insurance to sports apparel are getting into the mobile game. Here's how you can too.
As more companies offer mobile applications and step up their customer interaction, consumers have shifted from an expectation to a demand of high-frequency and high-quality service. This transformation, as explained in Forrester's recent study, is called the "Mobile Mind Shift," and 22 percent of consumers have made it.
Not only will this segment continue to grow, say senior VP Josh Bernoff and research director Melissa Parrish, it represents an "elite group of perpetually connected customers" who spend the most time and money online. They'll “judge you on the mobile utility you offer, and dump you for a competitor if you fail to live up," note the authors.
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, is one of those leaders who's embracing the shift. As he told CNBC recently, LinkedIn just rolled out a new product called Sponsored Updates to generate ad revenue on mobile. It'll do so by promoting posts from advertisers in users' feeds, which to Weiner, will offer a higher level of engagement for advertisers while targeting just right the viewers.
LinkedIn had a successful second quarter, with revenue hitting $363.7 million. But Weiner said mobile has the potential to bring in even more, especially now that users are searching for jobs and updating their profiles via their smartphones. “As recruiters and job seekers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to solve their needs, we are going to be there,” he promised.
To help your small business follow in Weiner's footsteps, Forrester laid out four strategies to serve “shifted customers" using various companies as examples. Keep in mind, the strategy you take should depend on the quality and frequency of experiences you offer, so be sure to assess yours accordingly:
High quality, high frequency experiences: These businesses should expand their relationships. Focus on delivering highly positive frequent experiences like Apple and Starbucks, says Forrester, but go further. For example, Disney is planning to launch MyMagic Plus, which offers a site, an app, and a digital wristband that functions as a room key, credit card, and more.
High quality, low frequency: Forrester says these companies need more reasons to interact with their customers. The idea is to get them to think of you more often while expanding the list of problems you solve. Good examples are Nike’s fitness and athletic apps, despite the fact that people don’t buy shoes everyday.
Low quality, low frequency: These businesses should redefine their service and partnerships. As an example, health insurers tend to deliver infrequent and poor experiences, but Cigna subsidized a meditation app to help people cut stress for free.
Low quality, high frequency: If your quality stinks, you need a better experience, says Forrester. Bank of America and Comcast both disappoint customers on a regular basis. In contrast, the Verizon FiOS app lets subscribers watch 75 channels of live TV through home networks. Which company do you think they prefer?
WILL YAKOWICZ is a reporter at Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and politics at Patch.com, and his work has been published in Tablet Magazine and The Brooklyn Paper. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. @WillYakowicz