Marketing for the Always-Connected Consumers

Marketing used to take forever. Weeks for focus groups, months crafting a campaign, photo shoots and contact sheets, building ads without a computer. Not any more. Today, a long time is the expanse of time between latte and lunch. Today, shifts to marketing messaging can be measured in hours. Luckily, you’re equipped to handle that. Luckier still, so are your customers.

Smartphones and tablets are changing nearly every aspect of our lives. We’ve never been more connected…or hard to reach. Never more focused, yet distracted. And it’s never in the history of the world been easier to share our thoughts, feelings and opinions. For smart marketers, it’s also never been easier to collect them.

Harness the power of your consumer’s mobile device

Your prospects and customers (yes, even a growing percentage of your older ones) are interacting in more and more ways with their mobiles. They share bad experiences as well as good ones. They snap photos of their recent purchase. They share their whereabouts and their plans. They interact with their tablets and smartphones intuitively—because their mobiles are a natural and ever-present part of their lives.

Make that natural, electronic extension of their lives a natural part of interacting with your brand. All you have to do is give them a good reason to. Whether you offer a product or service, produce events or educate classrooms full of people, start thinking of your customers’ mobile devices as real-time conduits through which you can collect incredibly valuable feedback.

5 ways to tap into your customers’ minds to build your brand

These methods aren’t exclusive to the examples that accompany them. Be creative. Put yourself at the end of your customer’s smartphone-wielding arm. See your brand as they do, and make it easy for them to use their device to interact with your brand, and enlighten your marketing in the process.

    1. Use a mobile survey to ask for feedback AS customers interact with your brand. Remember, it’s second nature for your customers to pull out their phone to scan a code or enter a short URL to answer a few questions—especially if you give them an incentive. Want to know what a customer thinks of your new formulation? Ask them on the package insert they see when they open it. Want to know what compelled them to buy yours and not your competitor’s brand? Ask! Want to know how long they’ve been purchasing your product? Ask! But ask in the moment! When they have product in hand and likely are recalling for themselves why they prefer your brand. Find out why! Want new product ideas? Asking these folks as they consume your brand used to take weeks and thousands of dollars. With a mobile survey, you’ll know instantly!

museum survey

Belgian bank KBC sponsers museum exhibition and lets visitors participate in fun contest through stand mounted iPads.
    1. Mount a tablet in store and reward consumers to take your mobile survey. A modern-looking stand securely housing a tablet computer has a very small footprint and is easy to integrate into your product’s area in retail. Create a branded tablet-based survey, and compel people in the act of shopping, to give you their insights. Find out what’s important to them. Ask about your display. Ask about your competitors’ offerings. Ask about intent to buy. Are you doing a sampling promotion? Don’t just give away product, ask recipients to give you a few quick responses in return. Promise everyone who does a coupon or free product or other incentive. Your only costs are the rental fee for the tablet and your actual costs for the incentive: a small, small price to pay to collect real-time consumer feedback from customers actually interacting with your brand in a retail setting.
    1. Plan instant feedback into your next event. Promoting and producing events involves lots of moving parts. Tons of planning, stressful execution. With so much going on, it can be easy to overlook a comprehensive feedback mechanism. Yet you DO want to know what went right, don’t you? Don’t end the event wondering about the food, the temperature, the staff and facilities. Don’t end the event wondering about anything! Ask everything you want to know to insure a perfect next event. Equip all of your staff members with smartphones or tablets to offer quick survey access to attendees. Or position pedestal-mounted tablets in different parts of the venue, and give people a reason to stop and swipe their way through six or seven telling questions. Most will be impressed that you went to such “lengths” to ask for their input. And with the event fresh in their minds, they’ll provide more accurate assessments about the temperature of the food, the cleanliness of the wait staff, the ease of parking and the quality of the presentations or entertainment. Ask via email a few days or a week later, and the quality of the feedback will fall short.
    1. Add a tireless survey-taking member to your trade show booth. No one visiting your booth at a trade show or conference should leave without leaving you some choice information. What brought them to your booth? Did they find what they were hoping to find? Was your signage clear? Did the promotion intrigue them? What impressed them least about your booth staff? Do they see your product or service filling their needs? Why? What’s your timeframe? Obviously you shouldn’t ask all of these questions. But you should ask the ones you need answers to. A mobile survey is the perfect resource for this valuable undertaking. It can collect any insights you ask people, as well as their contact information. It can also incorporate a quiz question to add gamification elements that are proven effective at lowering barriers to submitting personal information. And, it won’t ever be away on break or calling home to say hi to the kids when the surge comes.
  1. Get an education for yourself from the next class you train. Don’t train a group of people without assessing their collective understanding of the subject. Maybe they know a lot more than you think, and you’ll be wasting everyone’s time teaching at too low a level. Maybe the opposite holds true, and you leave out important information that makes the rest of the session hard to follow. Getting real-time answers to questions can actually help you customize your training on the fly, adding value to your material, and increasing the value of the human resource you’re charged with training. Your attendees can take a pre- or post-lecture quiz and actually see their scores, too. Since all of them likely have a smartphone or tablet with them, put them to good use! Ask them to pull them out, enter a URL or scan a QR code on the course material and start answering your questions. You’ve never taught a course like this before, and they’ve never attended one. Word will get around!

Creating a mobile survey or quiz is fast and requires no design or technical skill Anyone can leverage the power of mobile surveys and quizzes—and build them with point-and-click ease online. Branding these new mobile tools automatically is as easy as uploading their logos. They write the questions and answer choices, and can even add photos, video and audio files to make the questions more interactive. When they’re finished the short creation process, the online platform generates a unique URL and QR code that their audience will use to access the survey or quiz—without needing to download an app.

Quickly build a mobile survey or quiz to build a better brand

All of the examples above relied on an easy-to-build mobile survey or quiz created to work on any Internet-connected device. You build it on a point-and-click platform that allows you to completely brand your survey, as well as upload video, audio or photos with each question. And no one you ask to enlighten you ever has to download an app to take your survey. Each survey you create generates its own unique URL shortcode and QR code. So you’re even giving people a choice of how to access the survey.

Think of the different ways prospects and customers interact with your brand. And remember that the vast majority of them have in their possession powerful computers with cameras, video recorders, microphones and a way to communicate anything they wish to share. Never have marketers had so much power to collect so many insights from so many consumers. If consumers are always going to be connected, make sure your brand in one of the things they’re always connect to.

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