Ever had a craving for a chocolate bar? Silly question, I know. Who doesn’t have cravings for chocolate bars? Bear with me for a second, though. When that craving hits, and you’re standing in front of a vending machine or the counter at a gas station, trying to figure out which chocolate bar you want, do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice? Twix? Kit Kat? Snickers? Dare I say, all three? How’s a hungry chocolate lover supposed to decide? Sometimes, our increasingly mobile world feels similar to the chocolate bar craving scenario.
Pull out your phone when you’re at the kitchen table, on a bus or even at work, and you’ve got any number of distractions at your disposal.
Play one of the 30 games you’ve downloaded? Check email? Cruise your Facebook and Twitter feeds? Watch a cat video on YouTube? Take a picture and post to Instagram? Call a friend? (Wait, do people still do that?…just kidding!)
Having this many options seems like an exaggeration, but we all know the reality is there are way more distractions on your phone than only the ones mentioned.
And we haven’t even mentioned tablets, laptops, video games or TV yet…
For marketers and marketing teams – who need to work with technology but equally need to avoid getting distracted by it – the struggle is real. Imagine handling chocolate all day and trying not to eat it. A marketer’s job is pretty much the same thing. Minus the chocolate and the eating, of course.
It’s vital for busy marketers and marketing teams to efficiently stay up-to-date with an industry that’s in-flux every single day. With our rapidly evolving world in mind (and now also chocolate), here are three tips to help marketers embrace mobile technology without getting distracted.
1. Use different technologies and devices.
Like it or not, part of the modern marketer’s job is that of a technologist. The fact is marketers can’t do their job correctly if they don’t understand, or can’t use various technologies. Marketing is digital, and I’ve argued before that the term “digital marketing” is redundant.
The hardest part about marketing these days is that technologies are always changing. It’s a tough enough job keeping up with what’s already available to us, not to mention considering whatever is on the horizon next.
And to make it even more confusing, customers use different phones, tablets, and browsers, which means you can’t stay within the comfortable confines of the operating system you like best.
The more technologies, devices, and platforms you’re familiar with, the better you’ll understand your customers. And as any great marketer would tell you, knowing your customers and their likes, dislikes and tendencies is key to long-term success.
2. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
When using technology for work related research – as I outlined above – a good rule of thumb for remaining productive is to think like you are the customer. Put yourself right in the customer’s shoes and mirror their actions and experiences in using technology to engage with your brand’s digital properties.
The moment you find yourself laughing at an outrageous GIF, chasing whatever is trending on Twitter or anything other than what your customers would do, try to get back on track.
Remember, potential customers are usually doing one of the following:
- Looking for information on a topic your brand is knowledgeable about
- Looking for information on your products and services
- Trying to get in touch with you for support
- Purchasing your product or service
The most important fact about all of these actions is a customer can accomplish them on a phone, tablet, or computer. Your job as a marketer is to test any scenario you can think of, and then double check it on every platform.
Not only must the customer experience on each singular device run smoothly, but customers should have the ability to transition between devices without interruption.
It’s a lot, but it’s crucial that your brand keeps up with the ebb and flow of technology’s influence on the business world. The next time you get distracted by technology while acting as a would-be customer, just remind yourself how critical a seamless experience is to your brand’s bottom line.
3. Plan to adapt.
The ability to adjust to the evolving conditions of our technology driven world is one of the most important skills a marketer can have. Every day, technology changes the world, which then impacts how customers interact with the digital environment. By the time these changes are parsed by marketers, not only is the work they’ve just finished been compromised, but the next evolution is already underway.
There are only two ways to keep up: build room for adaptation into your projects or predict the changes. I prefer leaving room to pivot and adapt to new information, simply because when you make a prediction and act on it, you’re in a lot of trouble if you’re wrong.
Sometimes though, you just have to pull out your crystal ball and go out on a limb!
If you’re aware of how fast technology is driving the world forward, you’ll have a leg up on your competition. Even if you’re wrong, or you struggle to adapt on the fly, the fact that you’ve got an eye on the digital horizon is a great start.
What are some of the ways you embrace mobile technology without getting distracted? Do you make a point of using different devices and platforms, or do you rely on data to relate to customers? Leave a note if you have any other tips for marketers or marketing teams!