My friend Tim Hayden gave a terrific presentation at MarketingProfs’ sold out B2B Forum this last week, focusing on the importance of mobile marketing and customer retention for the B2B marketer.
Tim has a passion for studying communications behavior and how new media and mobility are reshaping all of business. He’s been involved with a number of successful startups and has also consulted with some of the world’s largest brands. He’s like me: all geek. Part social anthropologist, part strategic marketing executive, full time beer lover (oh wait)—and when it comes to all things mobile, he’s my go-to guy.
One of the most important messages Hayden delivered for marketers is that you need to adopt a mobile mindset to everything you do. I participated recently in a discussion with Google’s Ted Buell, and his message was identical. Mobile isn’t something you do down the line–mobile should be the first consideration, for everything you do as a marketer or business owner.
Some topics Tim covered and his remarks (interspersed with some of my own thoughts on this topic) follow:
The Mobile User Experience
It’s critical for B2B marketers to understand that the mobile user experience matters exponentially more than the desktop UX, and they should keep that in mind as they develop campaigns and initiatives. Also, when sharing content in the social space, it’s critical that you use mobile friendly links, or risk losing half your audience (errr, potential leads). Also? Don’t promise, then not deliver. Link directly to the information a social post implies or you’ll lose your mobile customers—perhaps forever. The days of people being patient enough to pinch and manipulate a screen so that they can see your message are drawing to a close—if they’re not already gone. Your customers and prospects, even in the B2B space, expect you to serve them a mobile friendly experience. If you’ve not yet focused on doing that, put it on your to-do list for 2014.
Facebook Local Search: What It Is, Why It Matters
Facebook Local Search used to be called Facebook Pages. These location pages are places your friends have talked about, checked into, seen and shared and are an important part of Facebook’s strategy to keep you on their site, inside Facebook, as long as humanly possible.
This is important because it’s Facebook’s move to compete with the likes of Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google. And the reality is, even if you’ve not set up a Facebook Local Search page for your business, it likely already exists. Surprised? This is made possible by Facebook’s relationship with Pitney-Bowes, the king of knowing pretty much every address on the planet. If your business or location or business has an address has been used on a Pitney-Bowes mailing machine, Facebook has that and they’re already using it, whether you know it or not. Go ahead, go check and see if a Facebook Local Search page exists for your business—you might be surprised. But come back, there’s more you’ll want to know.
For brands, this is important and they need to work to understand the importance of moving away from one national brand page to local pages based on individual locations. If you have a reason to tell a regional story (think restaurants, for example), you have an opportunity to have a local content strategy that’s market specific. If you’re a B2B brand with a likewise reason to tell a regional story, this is also something important for you to consider moving forward. People using Facebook Local Search will be delivered search results based on their location—don’t you want the information they are delivered, in their local markets, to be specific to those markets? I’m thinking so.
How Mobile Impacts Twitter
People are standing at bus stations, sitting in taxis or in restaurants or in their cubicles at work, and chances are good they’re accessing Twitter from their mobile devices. What you do on Twitter as a brand is important and should be aligned to audience behavior.
As you plan your social activity with a channel like Twitter, know that the formula of “I’m going to update Twitter 5 times a day and retweet 4 things and repost our latest blog post twice in the morning and three times in the afternoon” isn’t a strategy. In fact, it’s flat out idiotic. And by the way, this isn’t news—it’s always been idiotic, in spite of the fact that it’s so widely adopted and called a “strategy.”
Treat Twitter like the radio industry treats “drive time” and develop a strategy for social based on the behavior of your audience. And if you listen and watch, they’ll tell you where they are, what they’re doing and what they want, like and need. If you want results, use that data to develop your strategies.
How Mobile Impacts Customer Service
Mobile devices change everything about customer service. Your customers and prospects are looking for immediate action and a human touch on their interactions and mobile gives you the capability of providing just that. Consider some customer service elements mobile can provide:
On the Spot. Customer service can be provided based on location-based listening and action. I remember a story shared at a conference recently of a tactic a local Chevrolet dealership used related to this. They employed local listening and when someone tweeted they had car trouble, they sent a loaner car over within a short period of time. Think they got any new brand advocates or, equally as important, customers as a result of that?
Real Time. You should align what you’re doing offline with what you’re doing online and vice versa, and create engagement protocols for your customer service team accordingly. All too often these teams are disparate and disconnected,
Face-to-Face. Today, smart customer service teams can use Skype or FaceTime for resolving customer issues, not only solving problems quickly, but also putting a personal face on your company and your customer service team. I’m pretty sure a customer with a problem won’t soon forget the company who cared enough about solving a problem quickly and effectively that they offered to FaceTime—I know I wouldn’t.
Most importantly, when we talk about the mobile space, we get all excited about apps and mobile websites and all these things and we forget that this is a phone. Let your customers use their devices to call you when they need you, and make it easy for them. Every single page your website or your app should have a click to call phone number. Every. Single. One.
There was more to Tim’s presentation, but I’m going to stop here and let you think about the things above and how you can take focus on mobile in your B2B business in the coming months, not only to serve your customers and prospects by giving them what they want and need, but also to keep those customers happy and coming back for more. And stay tuned for part two of Tim’s presentation, because you’ll want that, too.
Other Posts You Should Read:
Search Engine Watch: Facebook Graph Search: Local Search Ranking Factors
StreetFight: Five Leading Indicators of Local Search
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