You are what you measure

October 18, 2017

measureBack in the good old days, measuring your business outcomes and the impact of marketing on those outcomes was a challenge and at best, imprecise. Today, we have the opposite problem. Thanks to the web, Google Analytics, cookies, and other tools – we can measure everything. Unique visits, time on site, clicks, and so much more. But are those the things we should be measuring?

In marketing, there’s an important axiom – just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I think that definitely applies to how we define and measure success. I think that the web has made counting things so easy that we’ve forgotten what actually matters. It doesn’t serve anyone to measure just for measurement’s sake.

There are a ton of tactical things we can measure that correspond to a campaign or a specific marketing tactic. Naturally, we need to watch those too but they’re not going to tell us if a business is healthy or not. They’re only insightful to a point.

At MMG, we’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that you should have a few vital metrics (KPIs, goals – call them what you will) that are at the core of your business’ success and you need to monitor them faithfully – watching for trends, good or bad and reacting accordingly.

Every business may have one or two unique metrics but there are some that are pretty universal. This week, we’re going to look at the financial metrics that every organization should measure. We’ll dig into the marketing/sales and employee metrics next week.

Financial Metrics

  1. Lifetime value of a customer (How much does a customer spend over the entire span of working with them)
  2. Annual value of a customer (How much did the average customer spend this year)
  3. Profitability of a customer (For every customer you have, how much money did you make)
  4. Revenue mix (Amount of money from existing customers versus new customers)

Now let’s look at each of these and why they matter.

Lifetime value of a customer: This is a vital metric that tells you how much you can afford to spend to chase after new customers. It also tells you if your pricing strategies are properly aligned and what the loss of a customer is actually going to cost you.

Annual value of a customer: Ideally, this number would increase every year. You want to keep delivering more value so that each customer wants and needs to spend more with you. It should also increase year over year as your retention improves. For most businesses, the customer is much more profitable in years 2+ than they are when you’re onboarding them in year one. The exception to that rule is if you’re a high ticket, considered purchase like a house.

Profitability of a customer: This is one of the most insightful metrics possible. You will quickly identify what size and type of customers are where you make your money. You will also be surprised at the customers who don’t yield a profit or worse – you are paying for the privilege of working for them. It may also suggest that certain products or services that you sell yield better profits.

Revenue mix: New dollars are harder to earn than recurring dollars. But you also need an influx of new dollars to offset the natural attrition that every business experiences. This metric and the retention percentage that we’ll cover next week work hand in hand.

For most organizations, it’s enough to monitor these quarterly because more often than that doesn’t really show much movement. It’s like a built-in early warning system for trouble that will give you time to course correct before the damage is too deep or too expensive to fix.

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One thing

October 11, 2017

one thingIn the wake of what we’ve been talking about over the last couple weeks, I’ve received a lot of emails asking about this idea of how to define who your organization is, who you best serve and what you do for them. Ironically, this all boils down to doing less, to focusing on just one thing. It’s so counter-intuitive that most business owners and leaders reject the idea. I get it – you want to offer as much as possible to your potential customers and surely more potential customers means more revenue, right?

Actually, no. Our world today is about specialization. In most cases, people have a specific need. I need someone to tune up my BMW not just I want an auto mechanic. I need someone to come to the house to tune my piano not just I need a piano store. I need long-term disability insurance for my company of 43 employees not I need someone who sells every kind of insurance under the sun.

We get it when we are the consumer. We want someone who has a depth of knowledge so we can be confident that they will not only understand my need but they’ve met my specific need many times for customers who have gone before me. But when it comes to the selling side of our world, we somehow forget the value of this distinction and want to sell a little something to everyone.

Here’s why that’s a flawed premise:

Your most profitable sale is the repeat sale: You know the least profitable of all sales is the first one. The sales cycle is longer. The concessions are often greater and the risk of a client mismatch or dissatisfaction is greater. But when you delight someone and meet their need to such a degree that they buy again – there’s hardly any sales cycle, they are happy to pay your price because they’ve already seen the value and they know they’re going to be happy.

You don’t need that many: I think one of the reasons businesses take the generalist route is because they haven’t done the math. If you could secure new customers that were going to be repeat buyers and great referral sources – how many do you really need? The truth is, you can only handle so many new clients. So why not narrow your focus so you only secure the best possible new clients?  Why not focus on the one thing?

Generalists are commodities: If you sell everything to everyone, you become the dollar store of your industry. You have to be less expensive because you are a generalist and generalists have to compete with everyone out there. So it becomes a price issue. Is that really where you want to be?

It diminishes the experience for your team: Being pretty good at a lot of things does not feel the same as being incredible at a few things. Everyone wants to take pride in their work. Everyone wants to be perceived as being best in class. Everyone wants to be appreciated for adding incredible value. With today’s shrinking workforce – you want to offer your team the luxury of being a rock star, not a garage band so that you can attract and retain the best talent out there.

Part of your work in defining your company’s values, mission and vision should be focused on the question “where can we truly over deliver that will add tremendous value to our clients?” Odds are the answer will not be everywhere. What is our one thing? Define the playing field where you have the shot at winning almost every game and refuse to play anywhere else. That sort of discipline is difficult but the short and long-term rewards are worth the effort.

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be indispensable to a few who will help you attract more just like them.

 

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What’s your mission?

October 4, 2017

MissionLast week we explored how critical it is for a business to have a clear idea of who they are and what they’re all about –  mission, vision and values. My worry is that few owners have ever taken the time to actually articulate what their business is all about or made the effort to weave it into the fabric of the company.

Hopefully you invested some time last week to really define your core values and are ready to dig into the mission and vision portion of defining your organization’s core.

Many people confuse mission and vision. Here’s how we define them.

Mission — what you do best every day

Vision – what the future is like because you do what you do best every day

No matter what you sell, from legal services to multi-million dollar medical devices – someone else sells what you sell. Yours might be a little better, a little faster or it might last a little longer but it’s got lots of decent competition. Our best clients don’t love us for what we sell but how or why we do it. That’s where our mission and vision come in.

Why would you invest the energy? First, we have to acknowledge that there are no bad customers. But there are definitely bad customers for us. Every dollar is not earned equally. We’ve all suffered from a wrong fit client. Because we’re not in alignment with them – it’s harder to make them happy. We end up investing a ton of time and energy trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. That hardly ever works. We expend an incredible amount of time, money and energy trying to meet their needs when the truth is – we weren’t the best fit for them.

That’s the beautiful thing about really understanding why your business exists and what matters most to you. That clarity will attract right fit customers to you and it will also repel the wrong ones.

Another big benefit of that clarity is that when you define your why, as Simon Sinek encouraged us to do in his book, Start With Why, it also helps you find employees who share those beliefs and will stand along side you as you delight your right fit customers.

So how do you figure out what your mission and vision are? The key to doing this well is not settling for a superficial answer. Remember that your mission statement is what you do best every day. This statement should be from your customer’s point of view.

Why do you work so hard? How are you changing your sliver of the world?

If you’re having trouble articulating what you do best, try this. You know that feeling you get every once in awhile when everything falls into place and deep in your soul you think — THIS is why I do what I do? Figure out what triggers that feeling and odds are it’s a pretty good clue to your organization’s mission.

Unlike the mission, the vision is from your company’s point of view. Why are you putting in the effort? What are you trying to accomplish? What will be true for your organization if you deliver on your mission every day?

The trick to doing this well is pushing past the expected. If most of your competitors could claim your mission or vision – you haven’t dug deep enough. It needs to be uniquely yours, so keep pushing until you get to that level.

When you do this well, it’s evergreen. Just like our personal values and purpose rarely change – the same should be true of your company’s mission, vision and values.

Invest the time to do this well and then reap the benefits of knowing exactly who you are and who you are not.

 

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Mission, vision and values

September 27, 2017

mission, vision, valuesIt’s vital to every business that they have a clear idea of who they are and what they’re all about. Few owners have taken the time to distill it down or made the effort to weave it into the fabric of the company. What do the mission, vision and values for your business look like?

Many people confuse mission and vision. Here’s how we define them.

Mission — what you do best every day

Vision – what the future is like because you do what you do best every day

And the values that your company are built on is what influences your mission and vision. Each of these is critical. If you believe you’ve already sorted these out for your organization– revisit them to make sure they’re still on target and meet the following criteria:

  • Are your mission and vision statements a single sentence?
  • Are your values short enough that everyone on your team could memorize and recite them?
  • Are all three components written in common, easy to understand language?
  • Are they unique to you? Could any other business claim the exact same set?
  • Are they all from the client’s/an outside perspective? Remember this is how you want others to see you.

This kind of work looks simple enough, but the truth is, it’s incredibly difficult to dig deep enough to get to answers that fit all of the criteria.

If you’ve never developed a mission, vision or defined your company’s values, it’s long overdue. Let’s start with your values.

Go someplace that inspires you to clear your head and really do some deeper thinking. For some, this will be a quiet place like sitting by a lake or in an art gallery. For others, it will be putting on some headphones in a coffee shop and immersing yourself in the energy. Hopefully you know what kind of an environment triggers your best thinking.

Most people find it’s easiest to tackle the values first. Make a list of all of the values that you want your company to have. At this stage, don’t edit or censor. Just brainstorm the list and capture every thought.

Now, pick the 5-6 that are most important to you. These are the values you are not willing to compromise on, for love or money. These should not be aspirational. These need to be foundational to your business – you should already be using them as a guide, whether you’ve articulated them before or not.

The finalists should get a yes answer to the following questions (borrowed from Jim Collins in Good to Great):

  • If you were to start a new business, would you build it around this core value regardless of the industry?
  • Would you want your company to continue to stand for this core value 100 years into the future?
  • Would you want your business to hold this core value, even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage?
  • Do you believe that those who do not share this core value—those who breach it consistently – do not belong in your organization?
  • Would you change jobs before giving up this core value?
  • If you awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, would you continue to apply this core value to your productive activities?

Rank them in terms of importance. Why does this matter? Because sometimes values are in conflict with one another and you need to know which ones trump the others.

Now, that you have the values defined, are you happy with the words you’ve chosen to communicate each one? This is your opportunity to wordsmith them. After you’ve done that – you’re done with step one. Next week we’ll dig into your mission.

 

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Every dollar is not a good dollar

September 13, 2017

DollarIf every dollar looks the same, how do you know which dollars are “good” dollars for your business? The reality is – every dollar is not created equal and doesn’t serve your business in the same way. In fact, some dollars actually cost you money.

Let’s say prospect #1 wants to buy something you don’t do very often and so you’re not as efficient at it as you are in other areas. On top of that, they’re in an industry that you don’t know very well. Earning that dollar is going to be slow and painful with a longer, larger ramp up time.

Even if you see that they have a big pile of dollars waiting to be spent – you might very well never get a chance to earn those extra dollars because you’re probably not going to delight them right out of the gate.

On the flip side, prospect #2 is in an industry that you know like the back of your hand. You know their jargon and quirks. On top of that, they want to buy the product or service that you sell day in and day out. You know exactly how to deliver on their need and you know they’re going to be elated at the results.

Each prospect has the same dollar. But the path you’re going to take to earn each dollar is very different, in terms of your enjoyment, their satisfaction and your potential profitability.

Logic tells us that we should:

  • Specialize in terms of whom we serve and what we offer, based on what we’re best at. We can’t know whom to serve until we know who we are.
  • We should have a clear picture of who our sweet spot clients are, based on who we are and only go after those prospects
  • We should discriminate – rewarding our sweet spot prospects for coming a little closer and making if more difficult for the not so right fit prospects to find/hire us
  • We should identify what we do best and not try to be everything to everybody. Saying no is a good thing. Having strategic partners is even better.

Logic may tell us all of that and yet – for many business leaders, sales team leaders and business owners – we can’t get past the fact that there’s a dollar on the table. We want the dollar.

Here’s the truth of the matter. I’m betting that right now you have a customer or two that you are literally paying for the privilege of doing work for them. That’s right — they are so unprofitable, because they’re the wrong fit, that you are losing money every day that you keep them as a client.

Their fees or purchases help with cash flow. It’s money in the door every month. That reality can often mask the truth underneath. You are losing money on that work. Many business owners are surprised when they crunch the numbers and realize one of their largest clients is actually one of their most unprofitable clients.

Before you go out and start pursuing new clients – I want you to evaluate the ones you already have. Crunch the numbers to see if you’re actually making money and rank your clients in terms of profitability. I bet there’s a surprise or two waiting for you.

Once you know which dollars are good dollars for your organization, it will help you target who your next customers should and should not be. Then pursue the right ones with a vengeance, knowing that each one you catch will make your business stronger and in a better position to say no to the bad dollars.

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Gratitude magnified

September 6, 2017

gratitude magnifiedLast week we explored the idea of how smart businesses recognize that gratitude isn’t just a worthy emotion – it’s smart marketing. Everyone wants to be appreciated and today, when businesses must compete for both customers and employees, it’s an important retention tool. We covered how to create a spirit of gratitude inside your organization last week. But how do you expand that out to your vendors and customers as well? Gratitude magnified.

The sad fact is this. You don’t have to do much to get noticed. Your vendors and customers are so used to not being appreciated, you’ll completely catch them off guard by showing a little appreciation. Much like with your internal team, this isn’t about how expensive it is, it’s about how genuine it is.

Let’s start with your vendors. Here are a few ways to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

Put the spotlight on them. All too often, our vendors remain in the shadows – quietly helping us serve our clients. But a memorable way to say thank you is to shine the spotlight on them. Of course, they should be asking you for a written testimonial but like most businesses, they’re too busy and it never rises to the top of the To-Do list. Proactively write a letter that specifically states why you value working with them and how they help you and your business.

Put it on letterhead and send them a hard copy for their own use. But don’t stop there. Take snippets of your glowing praise and post it on their Facebook page or tweet about their efforts.

Another way to get them some well-deserved attention is to actively connect them to other potential customers or referral sources. No doubt you know and work with other people they should meet. You can introduce them informally, make LinkedIn connections or better yet – why not throw a referral party and invite all of your vendors to come and meet each other. Odds are – they’re going to make some great connections and remember just who made it happen. That’s gratitude magnified.

For your customers, a more personal touch might be in order. Sure – you can do the holiday card or gift or even hold a client appreciation event. But I believe the more personal you make it, the more meaningful it is.

I’ve written about it before, but there’s something magical about a handwritten note. Think of it as your love letter to your customer. Let them know why you value their loyalty and trust. Share with them how they make your job easier, more fun or more exciting. Don’t type it – no matter how awful your handwriting is. It doesn’t have to be super long but it should be very specific. A generic thank you feels like you sent everyone the same note.

A variation on this would be to help your client experience something important to them at a whole new level. Maybe they’ve always wanted to learn how to bake or they love live theatre or professional hockey. Use your connections to get them behind the scenes at a local bakery for a one-on-one lesson or see if you can score them backstage access after a play or game. The key to this strategy is to go beyond just buying them something. It’s the extra effort that really says thank you. That’s gratitude magnified.

Just a final warning – all of your efforts get drastically watered down if you attach any sort of ask or payback to your act of gratitude. This isn’t the time to ask for more business or a referral. Just be grateful and then be quiet.

I think you’ll be surprised at what you hear in return.

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Show a little gratitude

August 30, 2017

GratitudeI believe that gratitude is a brilliant marketing strategy. I’m astonished at how many businesses give their customers the distinct impression that they’re a little put out by having to sell them something.

You’ve felt it – the grocery clerk who is too busy chatting to actually make eye contact. The phone rep that can’t wait to get off the phone. The sales pro that doesn’t return your calls, even though you’ve told him you’re ready to buy.

It’s annoying and hardly breeds customer loyalty. But gratitude isn’t just for customers. I believe the smart business owner creates a continuous chain of gratitude and not only is it genuine, but it yields incredible benefits.

Here’s how the chain gets constructed. First – you demonstrate your gratitude to your employees. You then give them the tools to extend that same gratitude to your vendors and clients. Then, you invite your vendors and clients to recognize your employees for serving them well.

See how it goes full circle? When you cultivate and encourage the cycle, it just picks up steam and gets stronger and stronger. It’s like a snowball that keeps growing and accelerating as it speeds down the hill. Pretty soon, it’s been woven into your culture and becomes part of your reputation. That’s a pretty powerful brand attribute.

So how do you make it happen? You develop tools for each group of people in the cycle. Let’s start with the employees.

The good news is that this isn’t about more money. It’s about recognition and appreciation. Everyone wants to be noticed for doing a good job. You start by defining what “a good job” looks like. Be very clear in your own mind what character traits you want on your team. Interview for those soft skills and attitudes.

After you hire the right kind of people – train them well. Don’t just train them to be good at their job, train them to be grateful for the clients who bring the opportunities to your company. Help them understand how each client contributes to the bottom line.

Now – start catching them doing things right. This cannot be left to chance or it won’t get done. Create a peer recognition program, where employees can thank each other for going above and beyond. Read the nominations at an all staff meeting or share them on your intranet. Find a way to publicize the kudos they received. Personally stop by their office (or call them if they’re not local) and thank them for making a difference.

What’s the business rationale for this effort? A study of over 1,700 employees conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) indicated that more than half of all employees intended to search for new jobs because they felt underappreciated and undervalued. Further research on gratitude and appreciation documents that when employees feel valued, they have high job satisfaction, will work longer hours, build supportive relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and are happy to help the company achieve its goals.

On top of all that – they aren’t looking for other jobs. I don’t know about your industry but in my world it’s getting tougher and tougher to find qualified employees. So we want to keep the good ones that we have.

Beyond the employee peer recognition, there are other things you can do. On your employees’ anniversary with your company, why not acknowledge their contributions and how it’s impacted the company? Or send a note home, telling his/her family how they contribute to your organization.

Celebrate your employees and their wins. Be thoughtful, be personal and be sincere. But most of all – be genuinely grateful.

Next week, we’ll wrap up the cycle of gratitude by talking about how you can cultivate that among your vendors and customers.

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Move the barriers with mobile technology

August 23, 2017

mobile technologyFor the last couple weeks, we’ve been exploring the seismic shift in marketing that is being brought about by mobile technology and the new consumer attitude of “I want what I want when I want it.”

Fortunately the same technology can help us connect with and serve our audiences in a way that is meaningful to them. We need to remember that this is not about mobile technology. It’s about an evolution in our behavior as the world around us changes the rules of the game. And we need to evolve along with it.

I promised that this week we’d look at some examples of how brands are using mobile technology to solve problems that are creating buying or opportunity obstacles for their customers. Let’s take a look at a few:

Example #1: Mobile apps and alerts. One of the biggest challenges that doctors, pharma companies and pharmacists have is getting people to actually take their medicines on time and as often as they should. Not only does this impact the patient’s health outcomes, but from a business perspective, when people don’t take their meds properly, the providers lose out financially.

The solution? The Care 4 Today app was created by Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical company, Janssen. The patient or caregiver loads all of their prescriptions into the app and when the patient is supposed to take something – they get an alert on their phone.

Example #2: Augmented reality. We’ve all been there. You’re standing in a store looking at something you want to buy but you aren’t quite sure how it’s going to fit with what you already have. This is particularly challenging for big-ticket items like furniture or large appliances.

Ikea came up with a great fix. With their catalog app, you can preview their furniture in 3D, and you can also use your smartphones to see exactly how the digital items will look in your home. After selecting a piece of furniture, you put the catalog itself on the ground, where it behaves like an anchor for the 3-D image of the chair or table. If you need to rotate the chairs so they face the window, you just rotate the catalog.

Example #3: Wearables/mobile apps and video. The scarcest of commodities for most people is time. People are constantly on the go, traveling, working too hard and too long and still wanting to stay healthy. Those are some pretty big barriers.

This is a solution that most of us are already familiar with because we’re surrounded by it daily. Look to your left and to your right. Odds are at least one of them is wearing a fitness wearable like a FitBit or Jawbone Up. Or they might be wearing an Apple Watch. These devices pair up with a mobile app to track sleep patterns, step counts and other health metrics.

One of the smartest aspects of many of these devices is that it creates a community of wearers who can encourage, challenge and coach each other.

As marketers, all the examples I’ve shared with you over the last few weeks should be a sharp reminder that our audiences are now learning that they can expect real time access, obstacle-free experiences and time-saving customized conveniences. A daunting mix of expectations for sure.

But they should also serve to remind us that the opportunity to actually connect and be of genuine value to our prospects and customers has never been more robust. It’s pretty exciting to realize we’re just at the infancy of this new era and we’ll be the ones who get to concept what’s possible and to carve out the new norms.

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Connect to your audience when and where they need you

August 14, 2017

ConnectLast week we talked about these facts in terms of mobile technology in our world today:

  • 95% of all text messages are read and read within 90 seconds of receipt
  • 65% of all email is opened on a mobile device versus a desktop or laptop
  • Mobile is now the first screen worldwide – eclipsing screen time on both PCs and TVs
  • There are more mobile devices on the planet than there are people

Our new marketing reality is that consumers are now of the “I want what I want when I want it” attitude and we need to be able to connect with them at that level. Mobile was a major factor in creating this new marketplace and it will be a major factor for us as we work to stay relevant and viable to the audiences that matter to us.

Smart marketers will recognize that this is not about technology. It’s about an evolution in our behavior as the world around us changes the rules of the game.

I promised you some examples of how businesses are using mobile to make connections and want to deliver on that this week. Let’s look at a few:

Delivering time sensitive and/or location specific content to your target market

The truth is, people want to hear from brands when they need something. No one is sitting around, hoping to hear from you just because. So why not let them connect, telling you what and when they want to hear from you?

Example #1: QR codes done right. One of my favorite examples of this is how Robitussin does this. In pharmacies right by the huge wall of cough medicines, you can scan a QR code and you’re taken to a mobile website to diagnose exactly which version of their cough medicine is right for you and your family.

Just answer a few questions about your symptoms and voila, they will tell you exactly which of the bazillion versions is the best fit.

QR codes are like the redheaded stepchild of marketing technology because our industry has used them so foolishly without thinking about the audience experience. But Robitussin got it right. It’s actually helpful and using the technology for the right reasons.

Example #2: Geofencing. This is a feature in a software program that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries. Think of it as a virtual barrier.

A great example of this is the Wal-Mart app. When you’re within a certain radius of a Wal-Mart, your phone will push special coupons, price decreases etc. your way. Not as big as Wal-Mart? Imagine being a locally owned chocolate shop with rabid fans. As they near your location, you could push out the flavor you’re sampling that day or your buy a pound of fudge, get a pound free special.

Example #3: Beacons. Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware that is small enough to attach to a wall or countertop that use Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts to a smartphone or tablet. They are beginning to transform how retailers, event organizers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people within a contained space (think exhibit hall, airport, retail location).

Virgin Airlines uses beacon technology at Heathrow airport to connect to their premium fliers with special offers for things like commission-free currency exchanges and directions to a private security screening area.

Apple Stores use them as well – sending notices about in-store events and helping customers expedite their shopping experience.

Next week we’ll explore how brands are using mobile to solve problems that are buying obstacles for their customers.

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The mobile revolution is not about technology

August 9, 2017

mobileThe truth is, we live in a permanent technological revolution. Remember when you didn’t have a cell phone because no one did. Granted some of you may be too young to remember that – but the majority of readers are not. That’s a pretty short window. We’ve gone from not knowing what a mobile phone was to 91% of adults have a mobile device within arm’s reach 24/7 in less than 25 years.

And if anything, things are just moving faster than ever, which means we’d better buckle in because we’re on a never-ending roller coaster.

Consider these additional facts:

  • 95% of all text messages are read and read within 90 seconds of receipt
  • 65% of all email is opened on a mobile device versus a desktop or laptop
  • Mobile is now the first screen worldwide – eclipsing screen time on both PCs and TVs
  • There are more mobile devices on the planet than there are people

Mobile has become THE place for media consumption. It’s where people connect on social media, it’s where they watch videos, read, search for where they should eat dinner and, based on their apps – renew their prescriptions, pay for coffee with a quick scan or board a plane. And that’s child’s play compared to what is coming next.

But the important thing for us to recognize from a marketing point of view has nothing to do with the devices. The real mobile revolution is about our behaviors and choices, not the device of the day.

This technology has changed how consumers behave. They are less patient, more demanding, have higher expectations and a lower tolerance for any sort of delay, disappointment or lack of options.

Forget millennials or baby boomers. We’ve become the IWWIWWIWI culture.

The “I want what I want when I want it” attitude is evident in how we consume today. Wait for a TV show to actually be on TV? Forget it. I’ll watch what I want, when I want and I will binge watch as many episodes as I want on whichever device I want. Wait a week for you to get something in stock? I don’t think so. I’ll just order it on Amazon and I’ll have it tomorrow.

A global survey asked respondents to assign a value to their smart phone and the average consumer came up with an implied value of $6,000. Which makes perfect sense, given how we’ve come to rely on the super computers we carry in our pockets every day.

Those are the consumers we’re trying to reach and sell to every day. How should we be taking advantage of this mobile revolution to win the loyalty and buying dollars of these consumers?

As marketers we can and should be using mobile to:

  • Deliver time sensitive content to audiences
  • Reach out to audiences with location specific information and offers
  • Solve problems for key audiences at the exact moment/location they need it
  • Create community around a passion or cause or shared need/experience
  • Develop a deeper, more meaningful experience or connection
  • Accomplish tasks in a faster, easier and better way

One of the realities of this new world is that what used to be unattainable for the average small to mid-sized business is now well within your reach, both in terms of access to the technology and affordability.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at some of the ways mobile is being used today to connect with consumers, build brands, and drive sales. We’ll look at B2B and B2C examples that are leveraging everything from SMS texts, QR Codes, augmented reality, mobile apps, location/GPS technologies and much more.

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