Mobile Tips for Customer Engagement

    With all of the frenzy surrounding mobile and social networking, you may wonder what the next exciting trend will be.

    It’s my job to follow these trends, so I recently attended three different trade shows that focused on mobile and social marketing. I started with Blog World in Los Angeles and then attended Ad Tech (the #1 event for interactive marketing) and CETW (Customer  Engagement Technology World) in New York City. One common theme at these shows and on manufacturers’ minds is: How do I engage my customers via mobile? With 23% of web surfing now on mobile devices, you want to make sure that engagement is also made for them.

    We are increasingly seeing manufacturers creating fun interaction with their consumers through social media. What gets me excited is watching how they use QR codes to direct consumers to a one-on-one interaction with their brands. If the experience is fun and easy, the consumer will share the experience with friends through their social networking sites. It’s free marketing for you and clearly the future!

    Barlean’s created a trivia game for Natural Products Expo East that involved questions about flax seed oil. At the end of the quiz, participants could opt in to win a prize.


    You can try the test for yourself on your mobile device by scanning this QR code:

    Why is this example so effective at consumer engagement?

    • It uses a detection script provided by DEN that figures out which kind of device (desktop, tablet or mobile) the consumer is using that optimizes the layout of the page for best viewing. Not only does this prevent consumers from getting frustrated by difficult navigation, but it also expands your potential audience.
    • The only mandatory field to fill out is the user’s e-mail address. With a simple button, they can opt in to the company’s newsletter. Let’s face it, filling out forms on a mobile device is still a very clumsy endeavor for most. The less typing a user has to do to take the test, the better.
    • Barlean’s trivia quiz is very short and can be completed in no more than three minutes. Dwell time on mobile devices is far shorter than on a desktop, so make sure that you use that time to your advantage.
    • Once the customer has taken Barlean’s trivia, they are given some very useful information. Consumers love to learn about new products that might help them.
    • The part of these quizzes that is most beneficial to the manufacturer is that it is extremely easy for test-takers to share their results on their Facebook page. They also have all of the major social networking links on the result page. If they like the test, they will tell their friends, which increases word-of-mouth knowledge of your brand.

    In the near future, it will be commonplace to see consumers interacting with your products on mobile devices. In fact, this is already starting to happen, with examples such as Best Buy’s on-shelf QR codes. In one of the breakouts at AdTech, one of the panel members said it best: “Our goal is to provide just a little more information at the shelf to generate a sale”. This practice is rapidly gaining popularity as more and more consumers have access to smartphones.

    We live in some exciting times. Remember, it’s not too late to be early when it comes to mobile!


    Geoffrey Robinson is founder of Digital Earth Network, a leader in the emerging world of mobile and digital marketing content and associated applications. Geoffrey was the former founder of Eye Force Productions, a web based advertising company, and has an extensive professional background, particularly in the Natural Foods industry, in sales, marketing, business operations, consulting, Point of Sale technology and other related verticals.


    Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, Dec. 2, 2011