By Nirmal Parikh from Digital Wavefront
Part one of two
We are witnesses to a digital age where more and more of the experiences we encounter like turning on lights, driving a car, checking mail, paying bills, planning a trip etc. begins with our smartphone. In fact, the smartphone could very well be considered the 79th organ in/of our body.
With the Internet of Things connecting to the world around you with a smartphone, wearable technology or embedded chips will just seem natural. Eventually, we will come to adopt these “augmented humanity” experiences.
Given that smartphones still only have a 27 percent reach, the experiences you will deliver will increasingly be on mobile devices or involve a mobile device. So, it’s critical to think about adding “meaning” to these experiences.
To define and understand what constitutes a meaningful customer experience, we must look at the different elements that make up a mobile ecosystem.
“I want a mobile app” is not a strategy. In fact, this approach is more destructive than not offering a mobile app or experience. You must engage in the right conversations to be able to provide true “meaning” to a mobile experience.
Understand your audience. Not just “who,” but also demographic, geographic and psychographic (AIO – Attitude, Interests and Opinions). For example, where (local, international, country-specific, geo-specific), size (how big is the opportunity?), locales (which languages do they speak?), age group (kids, young adult, teens, seniors), etc.
For content to be effective it needs (at the very least) format, context and relevancy. Without this even the most artful mobile experiences will fail. Content needs to be presented beautifully, making it easy for the user to consume it through a device of his choosing. It needs to be contextual, almost predictive, to the user’s actions. And lastly, it must be relevant and reflect personal preferences, historical behaviors, transaction history and past experiences.
Worldwide, we’re adding nine users every second to the mobile ecosystem, and that’s just phones. As of September 2014, there were half as many cellphone users in the world as there are people. And, in some countries (U.S., Brazil, Russia) the number of phones has already exceeded their respective population (wearesocial.sg).The point is, we’re increasingly accessible via our phones and using that as our primary device to interact with the world around us.
In the ‘90s it was the laptop that was the epitome of our business mobile experience. The first experience in consumer mobility was through the Walkman. The better part of the mobile experience in the first decade of the 21st century focused on laptops, smartphones and tablets. That’s undergoing a rapid transformation. With the introduction of wearable technology and embedded chips coupled with the ubiquity of devices and cellphone connections we feel connected everywhere from conference rooms to remote beaches of the world.
Nirmal Parikh brings over 16 years of experience creating, communicating and implementing digital marketing strategies. He’s worked with small companies like United Sport Apparel, Long Term Solutions, Western Dental, Business Ink as well as big brands like Hilton, Subaru, CitiMortgage, BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente. He takes great pride bridging the gap between marketing and technology by helping organizations deliver meaningful customer experiences.
Under his leadership, Digital Wavefront functions as a technology partner to organizations, small and large, helping them bring more innovation to their digital marketing strategies through website and mobile app development, data integration, email marketing and analytics. He has patents (pending) for a new approach to measuring email subscriber engagement with Oktopus.
Nirmal holds a Masters in Management of Innovation and Technology. He is also President-Elect of the Boston Chapter of the AMA, a digital marketing expert and a sought-after speaker.