Pursue Omni-Channel, But Think Mobile First
By Jeanne Roué-Taylor
Omni-channel is a popular term and for good reason. The sources for customer, product, inventory, and many other kinds of data data are exploding, leaving marketers playing catch up with the expectations of their tech-savvy customers. Spreading your efforts and resources across all channels, however, isn’t the wisest approach to the data explosion channel. All channels are not created equal nor will they bring the same value. Mobile is the new king of interaction and the marketer’s best friend.
Think Mobile First
For the first time, smartphones outnumber toothbrushes in the world. That may be funny commentary on personal hygiene, but think about this: Sales of mobile phones also outpace births of children. These numbers provide a wake-up call for where our customers’ priorities really lie. While they may expect a brand to engage wherever and whenever, investing evenly in mobile, customer service tools, points of sale, web, and social media is a mistake. Mobile stands out above all else as the channel to invest in disproportionately, even before all others.
Keep in mind that this explosive growth means the mobile channel for interaction also shows no sign of slowing down. Customers carry, use, and rely upon their smartphones to the extent that any marketer not just connecting, but also engaging, via mobile will be quickly left behind.
No Longer a Convenience
It wasn’t long ago that mobile was a handy alternative to web, but those days are over. Mobile is now the screen of choice for a fast growing number of adults and certainly the primary source of interaction for anyone under 30. If you’re not taking mobile seriously, you’re not taking the customer’s needs seriously.
How can you put mobile first? Ask yourself these three questions:
“Is my content mobile-friendly?”
“Have I integrated mobile with my other marketing channels and data?”
“Am I using location in all the ways that I could?”
Putting mobile first also means taking a step back to consider the wide variety of circumstances for customer interaction that mobile presents. In 2014, mobile first is synonymous with putting customers first, and that deserves outsized focus and resources.