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Going mobile: Seven deadly sins any business must avoid

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We are in a mobile age, where mobile phones dominate what we do and how we behave. Staying immobile is not an option anymore for any business. Mobile-friendly websites and product information, and a sensible strategy to engage customers whilst they are glued to their handset, is not a nice might-have – it is a must-have.

The vast majority of your customers already shop, research, browse, compare and make daily purchasing decisions on their phones. Look around you today. Your local high street, the train home, the bar, the restaurant, the event – your customers either used a phone to get there or a phone when they were there.

But whilst mobile phones dominate the real world, so many businesses refuse to get real when it comes to engaging with customers on their phones. Many pay lip service – perhaps putting up a mobile ‘friendly’ website and leaving it at that. But without providing an effective way to enable customers to communicate and engage with you in real time, then you are really missing out on new business.

Less than one in ten UK businesses have any sort of mobile engagement strategy. This is a dire situation for a supposedly tech-savvy and connected economy. Otherwise, smart businesses are missing out on millions of smart phone users.

Worse still, of the ten per cent that do try and go mobile, Wooshping has seen some prime examples of how not to do it – and where mobile engagement can quickly lead to customer divorce rather than a long-term happy marriage.

The tragedy is that mobile engagement doesn’t cost the earth these days – and if it’s done sensibly is in the price bracket of any business – big or small. In other words, there are no excuses to just hang up on new customers.

Just don’t succumb to the seven deadly sins of mobile engagement!

Sin number one: Forget the call to action

Design a great advert, poster, advert, sticker, leaflet, postcard, logo, brand, packaging, message, display….you name it. And Doh! – forget the call to action.

Wrong! The message can be so simple. Tap it, scan it, go here, do this – to get instant results, offers and information. If not customers will turn off instantly. Never assume customers will know what to do – help them do it.

Sin number two: Make it irrelevant

Direct customers to irrelevant offers or information. A video that has nothing directly to do with the products or services you are offering right now, out-of-date offers or prices, a link to the wrong app or download, a link to a home page rather than more specific information.

Wrong! The rule of thumb should be – direct them to something useful – that they can use right now, yes,straight away.

Sin number three: Be half hearted

Launch a mobile campaign because you think you have to. But do it half-heartedly so you lose the hearts and minds of your customers. Poor creatives, poor usability, poor offers or incentives to do something in the moment. And the ultimate sin seen on a few too many mobile campaigns – a coming soon holding page! Hardly real time.

Wrong (and doubly wrong)! If you don’t think it through, customers are not going to think to come back. Make it difficult and complicated to use and it will be difficult and complicated to win business.

Sin number four: Be boring

Make your mobile campaigns more snooze than schmooze.

Wrong! Make your mobile campaign stand out from the crowd. In a world of instant interaction and information you have a fraction of a second to grab somebody’s interest and imagination and inspire them to make a purchase, or find out more about your business, or entice them to that next event. Always think about what would make you buy rather than fly to a competitor.

Sin number five: Ignore location, location, location

Don’t worry about where your customers are, what they are doing, what you offer, wherever they are. Just plough on with a generic campaign.

Wrong! The clue is in the name. If customers are mobile you want to give them an experience on the move. If they are watching a band – let them download the latest music or lyrics from that band. If they are in a bar let them pre-order drinks or access offers. A coffee, download an audio book. The list of real time engagement possibilities is endless – and can change wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Sin number six: Exclude most of your customers

Only give access to certain types of mobile phone user, for example assuming ignoring Android to try and take a big bite out of Apple iPhone users.

Wrong! Mobile campaigns can easily be optimised for different phones and can even recognise which apps or links are relevant for each phone. Optimisation can give you the optimal performance when engaging with your customers.

Sin number seven: Over-complicate things

Produce a fancy new campaign, videos and images that take a super powered broadband connection hours (or even minutes) to download. Produce a mobile website or offers so fiendishly complicated even Sherlock Homes would struggle to work it out.

Wrong! Keep things simple, quick and easy to download. Customers want quick, easy and convenient solutions and incentives to enhance their real world experience. If they get them, they will keep coming back – simple.

Rupert Englander is chief executive and founder of Wooshping

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