Mobile Consumers Create Multichannel Value

Multichannel customers have traditionally been more profitable for consumer product, service, and media companies. Consumers who shop both online and in-store spend more.

Multichannel media consumers have higher levels of engagement than those present in only one channel. The more one watches TV, listens to the radio, spends time online, etc., the more advertising they consume.

Mobile adds a new dimension, a new medium, and a new tool to allow brands to engage with their consumers. Mobile is an even more contextual medium than TV or online. Mobile phones are personal. Mobile phones tie into an environment. Certainly, location is one aspect, but “where” is more than location. “Where” can mean the living room at home, in the car, or in a store.

Forrester recently completed a case study on Yahoo! Fantasy Football. Fantasy football presents a unique opportunity, given that the majority of NFL games are played on Sunday. Not everyone can plunk down on the couch in front of the TV on Sunday to track their players. Moreover, most people don’t have the ability to follow multiple games at one time – at least in the level of detail required to follow all of their players on all of their teams. Historically (pre-Internet), fantasy football players had to wait until Monday or even Tuesday to get player stats and begin to compile their scores. The Internet offered players the ability to do this in real time. Mobile offers players the opportunity to follow their teams, players, and scores in real time anywhere. Mobile offers immediacy. Mobile frees participants to go out in the yard to play with the kids or run errands without losing track of their games, scores, and players.

Yahoo!’s Fantasy Football mobile services offer both a complementary and standalone tool to players that drives higher overall engagement. An analysis of their traffic shows that:

  • Sundays are key for both online and mobile usage.
  • Sundays are, however, crucial for mobile usage (thanks to the immediacy of score updates!).
  • Dual PC and mobile usage also occurs – although less often.

Yahoo! generates more revenue with its multichannel approach by:

  • Driving much deeper engagement – multichannel players average more page views per day than online-only players.
  • Bringing new, non-PC users to the service – Yahoo!’s mobile service has brought new players/audiences to the service.
  • Driving ad revenues – mobile both drives higher levels of overall engagement and brings new players to the service.

Media companies as well as consumer brands must recognize that adding mobile to the multichannel mix does not mean creating a mini channel. Those building mobile strategies should recognize that:

  • Mobile is not just about shrinking the desktop experience.
  • The user environment is an element of the mobile experience.
  • Mobile users are not simply a subset of online users – some are new.

Comments

It's not one-size-fits-all

What you pointed out about mobile not just being about shrinking the desktop experience is an essential aspect of this marketing phenomenon. Businesses can't just plop an existing Web site onto consumers' phones. They should put some thought and design into how it will look and practically function in mobile form. There is no one-size-fits-all in smart marketing and image building.