Monday, June 27, 2011

Hey Old Guys -- Your Customers Expect Mobile Marketing

push pull two men at opposite sides of doorSurvey Analytics' Executive VP (and self-proclaimed old guy) has a fantastic article on Research Access that talks about mobile devices and how they are used by people over 40 and under 40.   At a recent client meeting, he asked the old guy how many apps they had and the young guys.  As it turns out the young folks had lots -- like 50 or so and the old guys not nearly as many.  The old guys were using their smart phones more like phones and less like computers.

Do you want to be in business 20 years from now?

I'm not trying to be flip with this question.  It's a valid question.  If you intend to be in business twenty years from now, then you have to be keeping pace with how the twenty-year-olds are making buying decisions.  Right now, the average 11 year old has at phone with a texting keyboard at the very least.  As they get older and become active on Facebook, they don't even get an email - they just use their Facebook app.  This isn't a trend -- this is reality.

These kids will be your customers in a few years, and if you don't have a way to interact with them via mobile device, you will not exist for them.  This isn't conjecture -- it's demographics.  Unless of course, we experience an EM Pulse that wipes computers off the grid and then we'll be back to sidewalk signs.  But until then, you will need to find ways of interacting with your customers using a mobile device.

How to use mobile apps and tools to engage your customers

If you have the kind of business that hasn't attracted your customers to social media sites for business - you are not immune to the need for participating in mobile marketing.  Just for fun, I've decided to breakdown the traditional marketing process and show you how you can use mobile marketing strategies and tools to grab those customers.

Market Research

Survey Analytics has a fantastic system that no one has been able to beat for mobile market research.  It starts with their powerful MicroPanel module (this isn't mobile or required, but believe me - it will put your marketing on turbo).  Use MicroPanel to create a customer panel or community of customers and/or prospects.  Giving your customers the opportunity to participate in an advisory panel not only makes research easy - but engages your customers in a way that makes them more loyal and more profitable.

Now you are ready to introduce your customers to the SurveySwipe mobile app.  SurveySwipe is the ONLY market research mobile app that runs on EVERY mobile device platform.  SurveySwipe runs on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Microsoft!  You know what this means -- no one is left out.  That's a good thing.

Your customers will love SurveySwipe because they will earn points and rewards.  Anything from apps to Amazon points.  If you like -- YOU can earn money by giving your customers the opportunity to participate in other surveys for which they are a good fit.

When you run mobile surveys with customers that are part of a panel -- you can ask them one question or three questions at a time.  You can ask more if you like -- but why would you -- all of their answers are saved as part of their profile.  This means that the data is ALIVE!

Living data means that you can get into the database, ask it questions and it gives you the answers.  You save money and time because you may not have to run a survey - run a query instead.  As your customer panel answers more and more questions, you may run fewer surveys to get answers.

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

Do I even need to get into how powerful a tool mobile surveys can be in profiling, grouping and targeting customers?  Using the Survey Analytics platform to analyze your mobile data can uncover opportunities within segments that you may not have considered.  Whenever someone downloads the app to take your survey, they become part of your panel.  Not only that, but because they are participating from a mobile device, you KNOW that they are who they say they are -- your panel has integrity and you know that you can trust the responses.

Taking quick surveys on mobile devices almost creates a conversation that encourages respondents to share psychographic information more readily.  The SurveySwipe app also allows respondents to upload pictures of products that they are using so that it's almost like running a virtual focus group (ok - maybe a slight exaggeration on that one) but the idea of having relatively real time picture uploads of what your respondents are doing and the brands they are interacting with tells you something

Offering Development - Building the Marketing Mix

The four P's have never been so powerful as when you are using mobile devices to develop your product, price, promotion and distribution using mobile apps.  Mobile apps and surveys can integrate with Facebook and that means that your customers can pass the survey on to their friends, who pass it on to their friends -- yes viral surveys.  This not only builds your panel, but it gives you more data about the things that your customers want to see in your product or service.

This won't make conjoint or TURF analysis go away, but it will allow you more on-demand kinds of interactions with your customers.  The more you engage them and make your customers feel like they make a difference  the more they will value your company. difference difference can give you results in an hour or less -- it's not statistically valid right away -- but it gives you research, data and a solid foundation upon which to build real research to help you make better decisions.

If you haven't considered using mobile apps as part of your market research plan, then you really need to take a deeper look.  Head over to the SurveySwipe page and see what this app can do for you.

Does this sound like a hard sales pitch -- don't take it that way -- I've been a Survey Analytics customer for over 6 years and have use this app for myself.  I'm blown away by the function, the customer experience and the response rate.  And this is why this article sounds the way it does.
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