Skating to where the puck will be

Mobile strategy that meets the customer


When Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was asked to share the secret of his success he replied, “I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where it’s going to be.”

With greater numbers of UK consumers armed with smartphones and tablets, today’s customers are a lot like that hockey puck – moving at high speeds from one destination to the other, never static for long enough to take a good look at them.

A better experience all round

It also means that they have renewed expectations from the brands they interact with – demanding valuable, easy to use, contextually relevant services and experiences. For example, with the introduction of its mobile app, Qantas Airways airline improved its passengers’ overall flight experience, from pre-flight to baggage claim – resulting in calmer, happier travellers and increased brand loyalty.

To strengthen its mobile commerce beauty sales, Harrods took the traditional retailer app a step further by providing a virtual in-store makeup trial.

Meanwhile, B&Q went way beyond the usual ‘item search’ and ‘offers’ with its latest app. As well as featuring a video library of how-to guides to increase pre and post visit engagement with the brand, its handy barcode scanner allows customers to scan an item in-store for more product information, or even the option to buy online.

But how good is your company at second-guessing where the puck will be?

The pace of change in the mobile world continues unabated and today’s new developments will continue to shape and evolve consumer habits. For example, New iBeacon technology is making it possible for companies to pinpoint exactly where customers are to within an inch, allowing them to send relevant offers, experiences and services through to their mobiles.

Consultancy Juniper predicts there will be 1.5 billion mobile wallets in action by 2018, with mobile devices taking on a new role as the primary payment option for mobile consumers.

And Google Glass, Nike+ Fuelband and Samsung’s Pebble smart watches have already stolen a march on what is expected to be a revolution in services, experience and commerce delivered through wearable devices.

Smart approaches to mobile strategy:

• Get the basics right, mobile first.

Increasingly people will be viewing your site on the road, or on the couch, from mobile phones and tablets. So it is imperative that your site is being viewable and easy to navigate on these devices.

• Strategy before tactics.

It can be tempting to jump into developing app ideas in isolation, but remember that most branded apps get very few downloads. Branded apps that work well are integrated into the larger communications mix and leverage mobile features to provide enhanced brand experiences, services or commerce capability.

• Skate to where the puck will be.

The examples of emerging mobile technologies above will have a strong and lasting impact on how consumers connect with brands, and this brings opportunities to those companies who leverage these early. Gaining an early understanding of which technologies can serve your customers and your brand should guide investments. Equally important is understanding which technologies aren’t right for your brand – no matter how trendy they may be.

• …but make smart pilot selections.

Many new mobile technologies can be piloted at relatively low costs. Once a strategic decision has been made, encourage multiple pilots to see what works best, rather than putting all your hopes in a single technology or platform.




Also published on Medium.

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