Mastering the Art of Influence in the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle
We’ve written a few posts now about mobile – mobile engagement, mobile payment, mobile financial services, etc. It’s just one of those topics that keep coming up because it is changing our lives so fundamentally. As mobile commerce evolves, I think it’s appropriate that card and payment program managers start to look more closely at mobile’s impact on the shopper life cycle. Understanding how people shop and make decisions is necessary in order to influence their behaviors in ways that build your business. It also provides a useful framework for thinking about how to market your own card product or financial service. This is the point of this week’s blog post.
You see, one of the basic tenets of marketing is that a customer takes a set journey toward a sales transaction. This was traditionally called a “sales funnel” and assumed that you start off with a large audience that is successively filtered down into smaller groups of buyers – ones that will consider your product, ones that will actually buy it, ones that will buy it again, etc. The idea is that a customer’s commitment to a purchase intensifies at each step, and traditional marketing strategies have been based on this construct.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets necessitates that we rethink the traditional funnel. Consumers are always connected. They are always “on”. They no longer “go shopping” as the traditional funnel assumes – they are always shopping. What does this have to do with your card program or payment service? Plenty!!! All parties connected to or adjacent to this new mobile shopping life cycle, including payment and card programs, have the opportunity to influence consumer behavior and purchase decisions at various key moments.
As with anything new – many have rushed to define the mobile shopping life cycle in their own terms. I like the approach detailed by Chuck Martin, author of “Mobile Influence: The New Power of the Consumer”, where the mobile shopping life cycle is defined in six simple-to-understand stages. It defines where customers exist relative to purchases, with each step offering moments when they can be reached and influenced because they are utilizing mobile.
We will detail these six steps in next week’s post and then follow that up with a post tying all of this back to you as a program manager or issuer of a prepaid, debit, wallet, or other payment product.