Mobile Trends in Social CRM

It appears that mobile devices are a constant presence. It then makes sense that a successful Social CRM approach should prepare for this. Research from Microsoft Tag illustrates that Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile device, be it a tablet or a smartphone.

The shocking part of that statistic is that, according to the folks at Microsoft Tag, “it’s twice the amount of time they spend eating and one third of the time they spent sleeping each day.” In fact, they predict that by 2014, the global use of mobile devices will overtake desktop use. (Microsoft Tag is the group that developed the Tag app to produce QR codes and 2D bar codes.)

The mobile web experience is varied. Some content is hard to see and some has been created to be viewed specifically on a mobile device. To understand how businesses should look at the use of mobile devices, a distinction needs to be made about these two different kinds of mobile experiences:

  • The mobile web: This term refers to the Internet viewed from a mobile device. This includes things like surfing the web from a browser or reading a blog. The content may or may not be optimized for a smaller touchscreen device. Either way, the links and scrolling work just as they do on any web page.

  • Applications for mobile devices: These are custom software programs designed to assist the customer in viewing specific content. They help access data in a pleasing way or engage with brand content. These applications are specific to the device’s operating system. For example, iPhone runs the iOS operating system, and programs have to be written specifically for that system.

Because of this distinction, businesses have to decide how much effort they want to put into massaging their content for access on mobile devices. Some may elect to create custom apps. Others may decide that their mobile presence doesn’t require the extra expenditure because they push much of their content through social networks.

To get a clear understanding of your customer’s mobile needs, it’s helpful to view the results of a study done for Yahoo!’s 2011 white paper, Mobile Internet – Delivering on the Promise of Mobile Advertising. This study (the first in a series) breaks the categories of mobile use into seven identifiable modes and the amount of time each day spent in that mode.

The study linked mindset to each mode. Of course, the consumer could have more than one mindset while using their mobile. The one cited is the most pervasive, according to the study.

The information gives you some idea of how to approach a customer who’s engaged in a particular behavior (mode). For example, if you’re planning to advertise, you may want to avoid placing the ad near GPS data (GPS users are in Navigate mode and tend to be irritated) unless you can really help smartphone users get where they need to go!

Mode Time per Day Example Pervasive Mindset
Connect 38% SMS (text), IM, e-mail, social networking Sense of happiness
Search 18% Search engines Exploring
Entertain 15% Games, movies, radio Involved
Manage 10% Banking, scheduling, health records Sense of purpose
Inform 9% News, audio, video, blogs Exploring
Shop 7% Purchasing, price comparisons, discounts Concerned
Navigate 3% Maps, GPS Irritated
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