Social Marketing Fella

Mobile Customers – Are They the New Focus Group?

When it comes to the need to predict the response to your products or services that are yet to be released, focus groups are your best tool. Today nobody has the time to wait for months to see how a new feature is resonating with the audience and focal groups can provide you with customer feedback on regular bases. Besides the fact that they will show you how your brand resonates throughout the whole market, focus groups can also provide you with very useful insight into usability and overall experience. That way you’ll be able to see all the mistakes in time to improve them.  But, of course, there are also a few ‛traps’ you can fall into when trying to establish your focus group.  

First, your sample must not be too small. If you want to apply the findings of your inferential statistics to the entire customer base you can fall into generalization and completely misinterpret the results. Second, we all know that there is a big difference between what we say and what we do, especially if we’re put in a controlled environment in order to be observed. Just take a look at Sony’s experience with their yellow Walkman. And third, when people witness something in person their perception is affected and therefore changed. So, when they are being a part of the focus group research, they are experiencing something vivid and sensational which is enough to keep them interested, but not in the product or service, but in the event itself.

For all these reasons, it is safe to assume that the mobile customers are the most suiting focus groups. They provide a very wide range of samples, there is no need for the controlled environment or presentation events. The point is that they are not fabricated focus group, but the natural one. But that still doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax. You need to create apps that will engage the users in the right way in order to create the best possible user experience. You must provide them with a natural and smooth navigation through your apps, which means you need to understand what are they looking for.

Of course, human psychology can be a great help since it contains behavior patterns that haven’t change for a very long time. In order to really get to know your customers, you need to understand their decision-making tendencies and buying habits. In other words, you need to be familiar with their overall psychology. Although it might sound complicated, these are in fact very simple things that can help you target the right audience by understanding their true needs and desires.

We have made a list of advantages in using mobile customers as a focus group with a few tips how to improve the customer experience by using their psychology.

Natural-born customers

As we already mentioned, mobile customers are not a fabricated focus group but a large base of natural-born customers. That’s why you don’t have to be afraid that your feedback samples are too restricted. It’s enough to take a look at usage data and you will know which features they like in your app and how often do they use it. You have access to a lot of data about your consumers, from the device they use, across how long they have had your app, to the demographic data if connected with their login. This allows you to create specific and straight to the point questions for your customers that will expand their profile data with lots of precision. If you combine the answers with actions they take while using the app and their behavior, you’ll get the best customer profile possible.

When it comes to the behavior and psychology, the so-called Loyalists are your best customers for this kind of easy-going monitoring. They are the type of people who tend to relate to the apps based on their past experiences. They will form a personal bond with the product, so they are not so interested in stats and charts. The key is to make them feel wanted so you need to provide them with descriptions that include a lot of personal stories. They will never pay much attention to the analysis and the facts, they will rather follow their instincts when making buying decisions.

Developing emotions

Another behavioral type of customers is so-called The Friendly Ones, who react in a subtle and calm manner. But don’t let their name fool you – these people are very bad at making decisions because they make their choices only according to their feelings. And when it comes to feelings, the number one rule is that they are evolving gradually. So in their case, a single text or phone call won’t do the job, you will need to build their interest. They will buy the product only if you touch their hearts, but if you succeed to do that they will become your best promoters. One of the easiest ways to do this is to include sentiment prompts that are designed to track down and conquer their ‛bleeding hearts’. But that probably won’t be enough, so you need to work on the building process for their interest. First, you need to prepare the right questions and then try to hypothesize the answers, so you can make precise data points that will lead them through the feedback process. In this case, you need to create the target group for this specific users based on the information you already have. Now the right time to ask the questions. These people react emotionally so you need to collect feedback when their emotions are fresh, not two days after they used your feature.  And maybe the most important thing is to keep them posted on how did you use their feedback – that will certainly produce positive emotions and increase their loyalty. As you can see, the methodology is quite similar to those when running actual focus groups, but using mobile customers gives you the great advantage regarding speed and advanced targeting of actual customers.

Optimization

The main advantage of having mobile customers as focus group is the fact that they are certainly more engaged. Today people spent more time on their mobile than on desktop devices, because of the fast rhythm of life that requires dealing with your daily obligations along the way. We’ve already seen how this fact provides you with the faster and wider feedback, but now we need to point out the importance of optimization. This is where we need to mention the third behavioral group of your customers, notoriously called The Data Nazis. In their case name tells us everything – they are rigorous analytics and they know everything about the evolvement of data. You can’t get to them through their instincts or emotions because they have full practical knowledge about all the latest products. Most important, they are not attached to one particular device, because they know it all, which leaves you in front of the task to be present everywhere. But being present is not enough, your apps and features need to be optimized for every device equally. That’s why you need to include responsive web design in your marketing strategy because this design covers all bases – from orientation, across screen size, to the type of platform. When your users decide to switch from their mobile to their laptop, you will be ready – resolution, scripting abilities and image size won’t change. It is like having an automatic pilot that can recognize all the preferences of your customers.

We have seen the advantages of mobile users against old-fashioned focus groups, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to be present in other places also. It’s never good to put everything on just one device, same as it’s not good to put all your faith into the machine. Remember that your biggest weapon is the human nature itself, our psychology. Check out some examples of the apps that used that weapon to figure out what their customers want and how to provide them with that.

One comment on “Mobile Customers – Are They the New Focus Group?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Andre Bourque (SocialMarketingFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati.

He covers emerging trends and news in social, mobile, cloud, and related technologies.

Based in San Francisco, he can be contacted via his social channels and at: andrefbourque@gmail.com

Flickr

    Stay Connected!

    This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.