8 Ways to Own Your Customers’ "Mobile Moments"

The battle for consumers today is a battle to own their "mobile moments," said Julie Ask of Forrester at Softtek’s Digital Innovation conference earlier this year. What are mobile moments? They are those moments when a consumer picks up a device, opens up an app and tries to solve a challenge or need. It is in that moment of truth where you serve that customer.

In fact there are about 150-200 mobile moments per person per day, and Ask recommends you own as many of those mobile moments as you can.

Manufacturing Mobile Moments

But most companies will be frustrated by how few of those mobile moments they can own, especially if they offer some kind of commerce service or sell something. There are very few mobile moments dedicated to commerce.

The solution? Forrester recommends manufacturing mobile moments - create new opportunities to engage with consumers. Give them some kind of utility. Entertain them. Give them education. It’s not just about selling something or talking about your brand, it’s about value.

Increase Access to Mobile Moments with the App Plus StrategyForrester-MobileMoments.jpg

Looking closely at consumer behavior, Ask says most of us spend most of our time in just five apps. Each one of our five apps are different from each other’s.

And apps are like silos: to get from one app to another, to access different utilities and functionalities, we hop around. We must exit one app and open another app.

For example, if we want to go out on Friday night we might go to a ratings and reviews app like Yelp or Untappd. Then, we might go to the OpenTable app to make dinner reservations. And because we know we might drink a little too much and we don’t want the hassle of finding downtown parking, we might go to our Lyft or Uber apps. Then finally we might go to WhatsApp to coordinate with friends, and then film a little 10-second geotagged video using our Snapchat app to show our friends how cool we are.

We’re starting to get app fatigue!

But there is a solution, and Ask says Forrester thinks that could be what they call the App+ strategy, which boils down to this: Since you own too few of your customers' mobile moments, you need to maximize your potential to win, serve, and retain customers in their mobile moments. This means migrating from serving customers in your siloed branded apps with your own data, to serving customers wherever they are with shared data.

The app+ strategy can be divided into eight categories:

1. App+ Omnichannel

Think about using mobile to transform your entire customer experience, not just their digital experience. The United Airlines app is one the few apps that provides a virtual boarding pass, making the “boarding time” mobile moment that much easier..

2. App+ Automation

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an app that anticipates what information you need based on your and your family members' behavior? A firm called Life 360 automatically learns when your spouse typically gets home from work and sends you a message with the info, replacing that “honey, I’m on my way home” phone call with a convenient mobile moment.

3. App+ Messaging

Researcher Mary Meeker said that 60 to 75 percent of our 150-200 mobile moments are what are referred to as glanceable moments. Having an app for each one of these moments is actually overkill, when a quick message will do. For example you might have a dog that uses a pedometer, like Ask’s dog, which syncs data from the pedometer and sends a text message so you can know if your pooch is getting enough exercise.

4. App+ Fragments

Recognizing app fatigue, we’re starting to fragment app functionality to use that functionality within other apps, such as ordering Dominos Pizza on Twitter or within Whatsapp with a chatbot.

5. App+ Ecosystem

Did you know there’s an apps arms race going on? The apps arms race is dominated by a few behemoths: Google, Facebook and Apple. They’re competing for consumers’ mobile moments and their data. Find a way to partner with them, because if you can’t find them, it’s better to join them!

6. App+ Data

Data is context. Context feeds the analytics engine which provides insight. Develop insights so you can better serve and anticipate what your customers need. Data or context will be a source of competitive advantage, so think about what is your strategy to harvest data and turn it into insight.

7. App+ Services

As consumers we have so much data about ourselves, and we can share that data. Financial app Mint allows us to share our financial data by integrating with our financial institutions, giving us useful information about our expenses and financial situation.

8. App+ Products

When a consumer buys a product today they expect a certain outcome. Oral B toothbrush has a high tech toothbrush that connects with their app and allows consumers to track and better care for their teeth.

The battle for consumers, in a mobile-centric world, is to become a part of as many of their mobile moments as possible. The traditional solution has been to create an app for that. But Julie Ask of Forrester says “…don’t just stop there. Think about what you’re going to do. Think about your App+ strategy, so you can provide value during your consumers’ mobile moments.

Interview w/ Forrester Research - Surviving the impending mandate for Continuous Delivery