Mobile blinders and how to maximize them

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file0001949378562Remember when you went to the grocery store (or any store) and perused the magazines, candy, etc. while waiting to check out?

You were a captive audience – stuck with a carriage full of goodies and nowhere to go until you were checked out. Chances are something ended up in your cart.

Magazines, soda distributors, gum distributors and of course candy makers pay big bucks to be located in the checkout aisles – impulse buys galore.

That’s changing. Gum sales are down over 10%, as are many magazines and candy. The reason?

Mobile Blinders.

Rather than stand captured looking around while in checkout lines, people are on their phones: reading, tweeting, Facebooking, texting and the like.  Heads down focused.  No looking around.  No reminiscing on how they love Juicy Fruit and wouldn’t some taste good right now as they toss a package in their cart.

As a result, traditional “checkout aisle” vendors are moving around the store. Soda vendors are setting up mini-coolers in places other than the checkout aisle – they’re not relocating, they’re adding additional spots to entice as many customers as possible.

Why do you care?

Knowing that more emails are first read on mobile devices and “time in line” equals time on phone, how can you get your brand on the same phone locations that your audience is on while “captive” in places like store checkout lines, waiting to pick up kids from various events, medical waiting rooms, etc.?

The most obvious choice is to post on social media more (assuming your audience is there and almost every audience is!) and to add diversity to your posts:

  • Images with quotes and your branding
  • Facebook Notes (these are great for people who have Facebook notifications on their phone – when you post, a notification will pop up on their Home screen)
  • LinkedIn Pulse (same phone notifications as above for those with LinkedIn notifications on)
  • “Short and sweet” posts/updates that give value (as defined by your audience). Think pithy quotes from your blog posts rather than links to full blog posts all the time.

Owned, Bought and Earned

There are 3 ways your clients, customers and patients come in contact with you virtually:

  1. Owned Media: Your website, your emails, your blog, your social media platforms – each of which they may/may not visit on a regular basis.
  2. Bought Media: Paid advertising – from pay per click to social media advertising and banner ads.  You’re paying for X: clicks, impressions, likes, etc. The challenge here is that audiences are developing “Banner Blindness” – they’re no longer seeing ads in the “typical” places (banners, sidebars, etc.). Their eyes jump right over them so it’s critical to put your ads in places they’re actively looking (like news feeds, their snail mailboxes, etc.).
  3. Earned: The most highly prized of all. Your audience shares, posts, comments on your owned or bought media. Nielsen Brand Effect Studies have proven that earned media produces 4x the impact on brand lift compared to paid media.

The savvy business owner implements a strategy for all three.

3 Ways of Virtual Contact

Next week we’ll discuss how to build more traction in each category, with a focus on the one with the highest engagement.

Until then, treat this as a buffet: Take and use what resonates and leave the rest.

Click here for Part 2 and how to earn customer interactions.