Putting an app between you and your customers could be doing more harm than good

Putting an app in between hangry potential customers and your business' burger is a surefire way to ensure they go down the road and order from your competitors. In the brave new world of mobile marketing, customer experience is key, explains Joel Norton, CEO of Kalido.

Many brands are increasing their spend on mobile marketing, but without putting much thought into how it should be integrated into the overall customer experience.

According to Salesforce’s Fourth Annual State of Marketing Report, 74% of brands have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy.

Clearly this is being driven by the dramatic shift in consumer behaviour for mobile, as well as providing brands with a new way to capture customer data. But that doesn’t mean you should force customers to use your mobile app in an attempt to change their behaviour for your own benefit.

For example, there’s a boutique burger chain in Sydney that introduced a new burger to the menu that can only be ordered if you download their mobile app.

Imagine the frustrating customer experience, waiting in line to order, only to be told you can’t order unless you download the app and register your details. Multiply that frustration tenfold if you happen to be hangry, which there’s a fair chance you might be.

Instead of capturing valuable customer details, and starting the process of building some form of customer loyalty, the process creates frustration, a terrible customer experience, and potentially a lost customer as they go down the road to order from your competitor.

What’s the benefit?

There needs to be a benefit in downloading the app and registering. For example, join their loyalty program and receive special offers. Or maybe it’s a discount off their first purchase.

It’s ultimately about a value exchange. Consumers are increasingly savvy that brands want to capture data about them, and that it’s valuable, so there is increasing expectation there should be something in exchange.

According to IBM’s 2017 Customer Experience Index Study, 68% of brands do not personalise the mobile app experience. Yet part of the expected value exchange by consumers is that brands will use the data to personalise their experience and make it relevant to them – whether that’s within the app itself, or in-store, for example, delivering real-time, unexpected rewards or benefits.

Customer profile and behavioural data should be collected and leveraged to define the customer experience, and analytics can be used to refine it over time. Brands need to think about how the data might also be used to re-define how the organisation operates, how they go to market, what products and services they offer, or what promotions to run and when.

Incorporating mobile into your marketing or customer strategy is absolutely the right thing to do, but it should not be done in isolation. And you certainly should not be forcing your customers to download an app, as it could simply be doing more harm than good.

Joel Norton is CEO of Kalido


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.