New Destinations: Mobile and Social Effects on the Consumer Journey

Everywhere you look, cell phones are in hand. The nation is dependent on mobile technology and that includes the rise in social apps like Facebook and Twitter. Both mobile and social have had an effect on the customer journey. Prospects don't follow predetermined courses to make purchases any more. Linear conversion funnels are being replaced by a web of entry points at varying stages of the buying lifecycle.

Brands that want to reach consumers will need to personalize their strategies, creating meaningful mobile and social ads that create the following benefits.

Improved or Increased-Reach Brand Exposure

Consumers are searching for information via search engines on their phone. As they look for answers to questions to solutions to problems, they could be introduced to your product or service.

As they're browsing your website, they could start reading product reviews and decided to ask for feedback from friends on social media.

Both mobile and social provide increased reach for many brands, but marketers have to understand how their digital audience acts to ensure information is available at the right place and time.

Increased Opportunities for Targeting

No more throwing ads to the wall and hoping one sticks. Paid mobile and social ads can target a specific audience, allowing brands to reach new shoppers who are in the market for their products or services at just the right moment.

Facebook, for instance, allows brands to target ads based on location, age, gender, language, relationship status, education, income levels, life events, interests, behaviors, and your connections – just to name a few.

With so many options, brands can narrow down exactly who they want to see an ad. As a result, brands are creating more segmented ads rather than one blanket ad that tries to please every customer in the base.

Mobile and social ads also allow brands to retarget consumers who have already browsed their websites and indicated through their actions they're likely to convert. A perfectly placed and timed ad can hone in on these window shoppers and turn them into buyers.

Increased Trust, Relevance, and Thought Leadership

Brands are able to create content and ads that are specific to mobile and social consumers, which helps build relationships.

Brands can create high-quality content that's relevant to customers and maintain a blog that provides access to helpful tools, guides and how-to articles. That content can, in turn, be shared on social and read on mobile.

A brand that shares a whitepaper that explores the latest industry data or an in-depth guide that helps customers use a service are great examples of content that builds trust, relevance and thought leadership.

Social signaling, including likes, shares, comments, and other similar interactions, builds trust too by letting others see a brand's influence.

The impact of mobile and social on the consumer journey is still evolving, which is why brands have to stay in touch with customers to consistently provide what they want.

Read Part 2: Follow the Leader: Targeting Different Lead Types

Read Part 3: 5 Effective Lead-Nurturing Tactics

Read Part 4: Keep Customers Coming Back With Loyalty Programs and Post-Sales Marketing