Should marketers care about the mobile moment of truth?


A huge amount of time and effort is invested by many marketers into building mobile apps, oftentimes with the mistaken belief it will eliminate the need for a multi-channel line of communication with customers. Whilst it is important to invest in mobile, in isolation, it won’t work as an effective marketing strategy.

Procter & Gamble talks about two moments of truth when it comes to selling consumer products in stores. The first is the moment a shopper looks at the brand name and decides whether to put the item in their shopping basket. The second is when the customer uses the product for the first time and decides whether or not it has met their expectations. Those were the pre-mobile, pre-Internet moments of truth.

More recently, in the digital world, Google coined the “zero moment of truth”, when a user decides to search for something online. At that moment, everything depends on what happens after someone finishes typing in those words.

In the mobile world, the moment of truth comes when the user decides whether they will ever use an app again. But here’s what so many marketers are missing: the vast majority of apps only get opened and used once.

That reality explodes the myth behind the mobile-first strategy. Success should be when a mobile app earns the right to become a part of someone’s mobile habits. Whether that’s a lead app in a category (games you play, maps you use) or when it has earned a coveted spot on the home screen of a mobile device. In reality, only a few have earned that spot, for example Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and that is why multi-channel marketing remains so important.

Marketers shouldn’t disregard channels as old or irrelevant because of the arrival of newer options. You still need to determine other ways to engage customers on other digital channels to make sure they come back.

A great example of this is the healthy lifestyle tracking app, MyFitnessPal, which is now part of Under Armour. It has tens of millions of users but the company also benefits by making complementary use of email as well as a blog to keep consumers engaged with its content. MyFitnessPal sends out relevant content in email form that gives users a new reason to return to the app as their primary environment. Those reminders to someone trying to lead a healthy lifestyle guarantees constant engagement with the app.

Marketers are great at experimenting with new ideas, however it’s important to remember that sometimes the tried and tested methods should also be kept in mind to engage customers and make sure they come back.

About Author

Conor Shaw

Managing director of Marketo, EMEA

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