The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry is experiencing a major shift in the marketplace due to technology. As consumers continue to uphold mobile as an irreplaceable aspect of their daily lives, FMCG must adapt technologically with the times. 235 billion apps were downloaded in the year of 2015! In fact, consumers spend almost 90% of their time in apps rather than mobile sites and television.
Never in history did brands have such an amazing opportunity to drive engaging dialogues with users. And for FMCG brands, this is the ultimate chance to finally be able to create a direct communication channel with customers. As a two fold, one of the biggest issues FMCG brands have been facing for decades is communicating with consumers directly. In the past, the only way to reach consumers is via retailers and reaching the “top shelves.”
However, the bigger the opportunity, the bigger the challenge. How will brands reach their mobile consumers? And by which means can they build brand awareness, brand advocacy and ultimately influence consumers’ buying decisions?
The simple answer is by being “engaging.”
But first, let’s define what exactly “engaging” is.
The keywords “involve someone in a conversation” by “drawing in” “captivating” or “engrossing” someone’s attention or interest pretty much hits the nail on the head. The problem is that most of the consumer-facing brands are so far unable to truly create one-on-one dialogues, meaningful engagements and offer exceptional mobile customer experiences.
Now we’ve reached a point where B2C brands need to deliver an exceptional mobile experience. Rather than pushing out noise through traditional means of advertising or impersonal SMS messages and push messages, brands should focus on smarter ways to engage.
Thus, with the right tools and a superb mobile marketing strategy, FMCG brands have the opportunity to directly communicate and set up engagements with the end-consumer through the FMCG app empowered by an intelligent mobile app engagement platform. Gone are the days when FMCG brands used to fight other brands to domineer on the top retail shelves. But now FMCG brand can win back customers via the app. However, many large FMCG brands still don’t know how to start regarding user engagement. Let’s start off the list with engagement mistakes #1.
1. Not conversing with contextual relevancy
Like any good relationship, it takes dedication to maintain it from both parties. It isn’t one-way street. Getting to know your consumers on a hyper-contextual and personal level is key. How? Focus on listening to your consumers across all customer touch-points. Then engage back in the right context. Perhaps your app has some goals like selling your product, pushing product information, sending news, offering coupons.
That sounds all fine and well. However, how are you listening to them? Do you monitor on how they engage back with you? Did they provide you valuable feedback? Do you give them a chance to voice their opinion on something? Do you know if they enjoyed the mobile experience? What type of data are you actually gathering from the engagements? Can you gather actionable data like in-app data, location data, weather data, social data, and so forth? And do you actually use this data to further understand and provide better value to your consumers?
A powerful mobile app engagement platform deployed into an app and integrated into your backoffice systems is the first step. You’ll want to drive a powerful omnichannel journey that draws data from multiple touchpoints. A journey that allows you to not only engage with your customers in one on one dialogues, but offers a wealth of m-CRM (mobile CRM data). Therefore, you will further create better context and precise, automated engagement decisions. Without contextual data, you stand the risk of annoying your users with ill-planned engagements and irrelevant offers. Keep in mind, that each engagement has its right time and place.
2. Not mastering the science of location-awareness touchpoints
Where there’s a time and a place for each engagement, there’s one thing you must repeat ad nausea like a real-estate agent, “Location, location, location!” Adopting location technology gives FMCG brands opportunities to create delightful ‘mobile moments’. These potential moments can boost engagement by leveraging off a customer’s location.
However, a huge mistake FMCG brands make is to use location triggers as a way to send push messages alone. Many brands think under the disguise they’re actually doing something “engaging”. This approach fails and results in non-contextual, impersonal, and typically annoying customer interactions. This is not well received by customers as it feels intrusive, or even creepy and does not deliver a good experience. Beacons are an important ingredient, but they should be used with other integrated data sources. Most importantly, they should be used in the right context of a sequential customer journey.
Location awareness should be used, but not abused. On the other hand, most brands don’t know how to maximize the power of location awareness technology. For example, beacons can be an amazing tool to drive omnichannel mobile experiences as well as boosting mobile engagement. For example, let’s say your brand sells pasta. If a first time customer who happens to be a student is nearby a shelf with your branded pasta boxes. Wouldn’t it be interesting to send them a video recipe which uses your pasta (and pasta sauce) to get them inspired?
If they do decide to engage and watch the full video, give them a small discount end of the video. If they do end up buying the pasta, engage them when they reach their home (through battery friendly GEO technology) and ask if they’d like to cook up the pasta recipe at home. Encourage them to share a picture of the finished pasta meal on social media (Instagram maybe? and tag your brand). Next, award them with a follow-up discount on their next purchase in store. Now you’ve engaged the consumer through multiple channels: in-store, mobile and social media.
3. Not offering mobile experiences with relevant ‘assets’
Boosting engagement by designing well-thought out, personalized mobile journeys starts off with actions. Enable your consumers to accomplish these actions – and ultimately convert, depending on your goal. For example, buying, increasing brand awareness, playing among a community, promoting your brand through advocacy and so forth, can fuel great mobile experiences. Throughout your designed mobile journey, are you giving consumers different means to engage with you? In the mobile world, allowing consumers to engage with your FMCG app through different ‘assets’ is the key to unlocking engagement opportunities.
But what exactly are assets? Well, assets are, but not limited to, high quality, creatively rich, interactive engagement tools like coupons, vouchers, surveys, polls, messages, 3D product models, videos, loyalty points, games, etc. – all native designed to be displayed in a pixel perfect way on the screen of the mobile app device – thus, delivering a very rich experience to the customer. Assets can be sent to users even if their device is closed.
Through a dynamic mobile engagement platform, a marketer can set up automated and contextually relevant assets in order to improve the mobile experience. For example, your brand sells men’s razors and your goal is to get young guys excited about the “Zilver” razor. Would it be more meaningful to engage John through a push message which says,
“Hey, try our new Zilver razor and get a discount”?
Or show him a 3D spinning model of the new Zilver razor which he’s been eyeing for the last 10 minutes in the aisle (beacon detected). Then give him a run down on the cool functionalities of the razor. Or perhaps offer him a little game to play to get a reward such as a discount if he shares the game through social?
Hopefully, you’d NOT chose the push message option. Push messages are NOT ALWAYS the most appropriate or engaging asset. If John does end up buying the razor, as he exits the store, you could send him a push message thanking him for the purchase. Or perhaps offer a beautifully branded customer satisfaction poll. Here’s an even more powerful mobile journey to inspire you- all stages are possible to create and automate through the MobileBridge platform.
Recap on boosting engagement for FMCG apps
Overall, executing a great omnichannel mobile engagement strategy will result in very effective customer engagement. The good surprise it’s quite easy to do. Here’s a quick overview on the list.
1. Roll out your strategy with a well-thought out engagements plan. Make sure it enables 1 to 1 contextual dialogues that leverages your data in an omnichannel approach. Make sure to present your FMCG app with clear value and track every single engagement through actionable data.
2. Don’t forget to include location touchpoints (like beacons). Therefore, you can unlock potentially great mobile moments based on where your customer was, is and where he or she is going.
3. Lastly, offer your customers exceptional mobile experiences through contextually relevant assets. Use each asset as a means to engage with users, gather actionable data. Therefore, assets enable you to make more precise engagement decisions in the future and ultimately convert your consumers. “Fixing” your existing FMCG app can be done with very little effort and within a very short amount of time. The key of course is choosing the right mobile app engagement platform.
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