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Forrester's Julie Ask sees shift from mobile-first to mobile moments

Please click here to access the archived webinar

A top Forrester Research analyst who spoke yesterday during a Mobile Marketer webinar said that marketers need to shift from the basic mobile-first strategy to one that proactively services consumers based on their specific context and the particular moment.

During the ?Forrester's four-step plan to create more engaging mobile experiences? webinar, the analyst spoke about how to better engage consumers on mobile in a tailored moment-specific way. An executive from Message Systems rounded off the webinar by giving specific ROI and case studies for how mobile can improve a business.

?In mobile moments you begin to think about the needs of consumers on the go,? said Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, Cambridge, MA. ?You proactively serve consumers based on their context. We believe this will transform your entire business.

?The more you can anticipate what those needs are, the more proactive you can service those customers, serving up dynamic content,? she said. ?You want to be able to facilitate the task-oriented nature of consumers, looking at the customer journey and identifying the mobile moments.?

The webinar was sponsored by Message Systems.

Mobile moments
According to Forrester, this is now the age of the customer. In the early twentieth century, it was the age of manufacturing, then in the '60s it shifted to the age of distribution, and in the '90s it was the age of information.

Now success stems from satisfying the customer. Marketers need to meet the demands of the empowered buyer in the moment to have a comparative advantage.

This age of the customer requires getting to know the customer and figuring how to best serve him or her. It is about building relationships with consumers and providing them enhanced service from analytics and metrics.

First off, marketers need to understand that consumers expect different experiences on mobile.

?A lot of the content we have on our Web sites is very much in long form,? Ms. Ask said. ?If you think about how you consume information on the phone, it tends to be in small amounts, 140 characters or less.

?We also expect real-time information,? she said. ?The thirst and demand for information in context has grown phenomenally over the years.?

Beyond the fact that mobile is inherently different than Web, there are also differences based on context, including location, time and behavior.

For example, if a consumer opens the Delta application two weeks before a flight, he may want to change the flight. Two days before, he may want to change his seat, and two hours before, he probably wants to access his ticket.

Marketers should react to these different mobile moments by serving dynamic content that is relevant to the time and location of the consumer.

?As a consumer when I open my phone, I become very task-oriented ? I want to get something done quickly,? Ms. Ask said. ?As a company, you need to be able to win in these moments.?

According to Forrester, 23 percent of consumers expect a smartphone experience to change based on location.

The other thing that is important to recognize is that mobile is more of an influencer when it comes to commerce. Consumers may be inspired on mobile but make the actual purchase on Web.

The opportunity for mobile to influence sales may be much more valuable and impactful than literal revenue on the medium.

Some of Ms. Ask?s examples of brands who are getting the mobile moment right include Starbucks, Proctor & Gamble, ING Direct and United.

The payoff
Steve Dille, senior vice president of marketing at Message Systems, Columbia, MD, took Ms. Ask?s mobile moments philosophy one step further by showing how much businesses can save by following the strategy.

A simple example was with fraud detection for banks and credit card companies. According to Mr. Dille, banks lose $11,333,328 for every one million fraud alerts it sends out.

This cost stems solely from the money the company spends dealing with subsequent phone calls trying to get cards to work again.

A lot of this lost money can be saved if banks enable a two-way conversation via mobile that lets consumers verify suspicious payments. A bank can send an SMS that says, ?We have detected a suspicious payment at Tower Mini Mart, reply to this message with the word ?YES? to approve the transaction and unblock your card.?

This would save the consumer from having to call the bank to unblock the card, and it would save the bank money from not having to pay for its call center.

Another use case is for services such as car rentals, where the company loses out if consumers do not show up to pick up a reserved car. According to Mr. Dille, Avis loses more than $6 million from no shows.

This could be saved by sending a message to a consumer asking them to respond if they do not plan on picking up the car. Avis could even install a penalty fee for consumers who do not respond and still do not pick up the car.

?Anybody who has inventory that is going to expire based upon time can reengineer processes like this to get better control,? Mr. Dille said. ?Using mobile you make it easy for them to cancel by saying ?No I?m not showing up.??

Please click here to access the archived webinar

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York