Winning In Your Customers' Mobile Moments

Globally, consumers will own more than six billion mobile phones by the end of 2014, and about two billion of them will be smartphones. With this penetration comes the mobile mind shift - the expectation to be able to access any information or service on the mobile device, in the moment of need.

What’s more, consumers reach for their mobile phones 100 to 200 times a day. In these mobile moments, they expect companies to understand their context and offer relevancy as well as both curated and streamlined experiences on mobile devices. They want to see if their children are home from school, buy coffee, access coupons, check in for a flight, check stock prices, use Skype to call Singapore, and play Candy Crush. Enterprises must learn how to, and then serve, customers in these mobile moments. Otherwise, they will lose – an entrepreneur like Uber’s Travis Kalanick will disrupt their business just like he did with taxis.

Mobile moments extend all of the way through the customer’s journey.

But while mobile has definitively become the most important digital platform for most companies to engage with their customers, too few enterprises have embraced this opportunity. Too many view the mobile phone as simply a smaller screen or another channel.

Only a few businesses, like Starbucks, have been able to curate and own mobile moments with their customers. More than 10 million customers engage with the coffee chain each week through its mobile payment app. Starbucks owns what we call Loyalty Mobile Moments. For them and others like Citibank, USAA, and United Airlines, they must strive to excel in those moments of truth.

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GoPro Lets Us Share Our Most Exciting Mobile Moments

Why do we use Facebook on our mobile phones? Because when we are out and about doing something fun, we want to tell our friends about it.

If I were posting from home, my posts would be:

“I am working.”

“I am watching TV.”

“The cat just sat on my laptop.”

“My cat just knocked over my water cup.”

Yawn. Boring. It is much more exciting to post updates to our friends about the latest sashimi we’ve eaten or the last run we skied on Val d’Isere. These are the mobile moments we want to share with our friends. This is part of the mobile mind shift, the expectation that we can get what we want, in our immediate context and moment of need.

GoPro takes the capture and sharing of mobile moments to new heights. We (yes my family owns one) not only use our GoPro at cool, exciting outdoor places like Yosemite and Tofino to capture HD images, but also use it when we are in motion – fast motion down hills on skis, snowboards, and bikes, or in the water.

But rather than waiting until the day’s adventure has ended, GoPro enables the consumer to share these moments in context with friends and family, thanks to wifi enabled cameras and the GoPro mobile app. It’s immediate proof and boasting rights for some of the most exciting mobile moments.

Here’s one of my favorite mobile moments GoPro has enabled:

What is it like to free fall from a space capsule?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9CsZMsIgRU

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You Know Your Customers Aren't Going To Download Your App, Right? Even If They Do, It Doesn't Mean They Want To Open It

Ok, well, some of them will. Those customers who are mobile-savvy enough (they are the shifted as part of what we call The Mobile Mind Shift) and engage with your brand frequently will. You own those mobile moments with your customers. They reach for their phones to engage with your brand. You will still need to work hard to keep them engaged, but it's a good start that they downloaded your app. It's even better if they allow you to send push notifications - that gives you the opportunity to create mobile moments with them. 

If they don't download your app, borrow moments. 

Let's face it. Lots of your customers won't download your app. They won't invest the time or energy. With these customers, you must borrow mobile moments - that is, you must engage with your customers on third party apps (really platforms). 

We see more and more brands embracing this strategy. What is your strategy to engage with your customers through borrowed moments?

Google Maps released a new app version this week. Uber is integrated into the Map app if you are already signed up for Uber (and in this implementation have the Uber app on your phone.) Uber already owns mobile moments with thousands if not more consumers. Exposure through Google Maps gives them more upside. First, it will help them to acquire customers through exposure. Second, it puts Uber in the mix of transportation options I have as I evaluate how to get from point A to point B within my Map app that also shows me traffic and parking availability. Highly contextual. 

If they do download your app, don't assume they will actually open it - kind of a hassle for quick tasks, right?

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F8: How To Use Facebook To Borrow Mobile Moments And Meet Your Customers Where They Are

Most retailers, and other selling services, look to drive traffic in-store, to their mobile app, or to their website. But why not engage your customers where they already are, on social networks and media platforms like Facebook and The New York Times. Mobile allows you to do this.

Facebook’s F8 announcements today put forward new tools to do just that.

This is the notion of “borrowing mobile moments” that we talk about in our new book, The Mobile Mind Shift. For brands that don’t already own their customer’s mobile moments or can’t manufacture mobile moments effectively, third parties like Facebook, with large audiences and minutes of use, can offer instantaneous engagement. It’s highly contextual and offers a great mechanic to engage with your customers – where they are and where they want to be.

Facebook has driven 350M app installs through their mobile platform. For those of you looking to generate revenue, 60% of the top grossing ads use Mobile App Ads. (Source: Facebook’s Ime Archibong)

One quick case study:

 “Facetune” – tweak and tune photos before you share

#283 to #2 in under 5 days in the US with $500 in marketing budget

#1 in 78 different countries (now in 94 countries they are the #1 slot)

You want to increase the engagement in your mobile app

One solution - and the most common - is to drive engagement in your app directly through push notifications.

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Next Generation Consumer Wearables: Think Small & Fast Content

Rumors have been circulating about a potential Apple iWatch. Very few executives we have surveyed about wearables have a strategy or are planning a strategy for their content and services for wearable devices. I am in love with my Pebble, but anxious for something more stylish that looks and feels more like my FuelBand, but with color, multiple apps, and a display that does just a wee bit more. 

A few early tips. Think:

1) Atomized content (think small, minimal)

2) Dynamic content delivery based on a combination of real time, historical and operational data. (See report

3) Notifications - the majority of interactions with your customers (for many of you) will be glanceable alerts. (And, yeah, you are going to have to stop measuring the performance of your mobile apps based on opens and time spent.) I don't necessarily need to make a purchase on this device, but I need to know if the sale is on. I need to know if the gate for my flight has changed. I can go into the app to change my reservation. Apps will soon be too heavy and finding/opening apps will involve too much friction to receive simple bits of information. 

Here is an artist's mock up of a potential Apple iWatch device as well as a photo of the Samsung Gear Fit. 

Nike Allegedly Lays Off FuelBand Hardware Engineers: Are Pedometers A Commodity?

Nike reportedly laid off their hardware engineers from the FuelBand team. (See CNET) Financial analysts are speculating that it is to focus on software. Besides, hardware is difficult and the margins tend to be low. We've seen it with product recalls and free replacements from competitors Jawbone and Fitbit. It is difficult to ship excellent hardware products consistently. 

My point of view:

1) I have about 5 wearable devices and 4 mobile apps on my phone to track my steps, active calorie burn, route, etc. I wear bulky devices with built in heart rate monitors. I wear a Nike FuelBand and other single purpose devices. I compare the data I collect from the different devices. Last week on a day I burned more than 1,200 active calories and 1,200 inactive calories, two devices were within 2 calories of each other. One was simple - no display. One was bulkier with a full range of sensors. Nike has been more focused on active calorie burn than total burn - which as a runner - is what I want. Mobile apps can do this, too. 

2) Mobile apps scale faster with almost no barriers to acquisition. The same CNET article reported that Nike has added 10 million users to its Nike+ platform since August 2013 growing from 18 million to 28 million users. 

3) Nike's resources will be better spent figuring out how to ingest more data sources and improving their (software =  mobile app) engagement with consumers. The engagement mechanics within the mobile app are the key to shifting consumer behavior. (See Forrester mHealth report)

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How Mobile Shifted Are Your Customers?

We talk about the notion of the Mobile Mind Shift in our upcoming book

We define the mobile mind shift as: the expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need. We'll be releasing a tool to measure how shifted your customers are. We focus a lot of our attention on mobile apps - those services that have been designed to meet consumer needs on the go. According to Flurry, about 13% of consumers reach for apps on their phones more than 60 times per day. And it's growing fast!

Flurry just released some numbers to show how often consumers reach for their phones:

Facebook Announces Nearby Friends Feature

Facebook today announced a new optional feature– the ability to see which friends, or friends within a created group, are nearby. The social network is smartly looking to better serve its members who have made the mobile mind shift, expecting to get what they want in their immediate context and moment of need. In this case – knowing when a friend is nearby.

Prviacy will be a concern with this feature, but users are protected by opt-in’s and by only mentioning how close someone is, not their specific location. Connecting directly in person requires a number of steps including messaging and permission. A few thoughts:

1) This isn’t original, but Facebook has a better shot at success than the original services. 

About 10 years ago, Sam Altman started a company called Loopt that he sold about two years ago to Green Dot for $43.4M. It started out as friends connecting, but eventually needed to make money. Mobile advertising wasn’t a big market 10 years ago – in fact, it is still somewhat small today. But Facebook has two key advantages now: first, they have more than one billion users so they don’t have to recruit (and many of my friends will already have the app on their phone). Second, they don’t have pressure to make money near term. Facebook will win if even 5% or 10% of their members adopt. 

2) It’s a smart mobile app development strategy.

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A Smartphone From Amazon: Ingredients For Success

Amazon plans to launch a smartphone this fall, according to The Wall Street Journal (reported based on undisclosed sources in the SF and Seattle area who have seen the device).

A few common questions:

1) Will they succeed?

Well, it depends on Amazon’s definition of success.

Is it about media? Amazon is still somewhat new to developing, building, distributing, and supporting hardware. If this device adds to its portfolio of PC, Kindle, and Fire TV to be yet another screen for Prime subscribers, that may be enough. The notion of subsidized hardware to support an extended media play is interesting. My colleague James McQuivey leads our research there.

Is it about commerce? mCommerce is a big deal in mobile, but not a big deal within the broader context of consumer spending. Offline commerce dwarfs eCommerce and eCommerce dwarfs mCommerce. The big opportunity in mobile is the influence of sales locally. But Amazon also plays in this space.

Is it about payments? I’d say unlikely in the near term, but I like the idea of using my Amazon account (linked to my credit card) for quick and easy online payments. However, it’s hard to imagine the same level of convenience translated into the physical world – with the greatest possibility in  mCommerce. My colleague Denee Carrington is our expert here.

2) Should you build on their platform?

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Augmented Reality Graduates From Gimmicks To Utility

Augmented reality has represented the potential for the magical enhancement of our physical world through digital content. (See report) Too many of the use cases today - especially in marketing - have been gimmicks leaving a user to scratch his head and think, "I don't get it." Some have offered entertainment. Some have delivered games and rewards (e.g., Zappar). A few have offered true utility in a consumer's mobile moment - Amazon, Yelp, or the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (see case study) by simplifying the discovery and consumption of simple, 2D information. 

Finally, we are beginning to see more examples of how augmented reality can offer true utility to consumers in those mobile moments when they are struggling to complete a task. In this example, Mitek uses AR to help correct or guide a consumer's use of the camera to send or input information to a bank or service. This offers one example of why companies need to continue to revisit emerging technologies. They can very quickly move from gimmicky to reality. Mobile shifts consumer expectations very quickly.