Our interviews with digital, marketing and mobile executives in the media and entertainment, insurance, industrial manufacturing and other industries, we heard of enterprising initiatives that have already commanded significant consumer adoption and endorsement.
In analyzing what we heard in those interviews, we categorized what they were doing in their consumer mobile initiatives in two ways:
- The importance of the product to consumers – The benefits the product provides in financial, health, safety, convenience and other areas, as well as the urgency with which a consumer needs to obtain those benefits.
- The extent to which the consumer is “in motion” when she needs to consume that product – all the steps from researching and making the purchase to using the product, getting it repaired when it “breaks” and renewing it.
Our hypothesis is this: Companies that are getting greater traction with their mobile consumer initiatives are those with consumers who a) get higher financial, health, convenience and other benefits from using the product, and have a greater urgency to buy and use it, and b) are more likely to be “in motion” when they research, buy and use the product. By motion, we mean “out and about” – not close to home or office, and thus with a greater need for a mobile device (See Exhibit IX-2).
Exhibit IX-2: Which industries have the greatest opportunities
in pursuing the digital mobile consumer?
The rapid consumer uptake of mobile apps and websites from the global tire company and Humana can be seen this way: Their products are of very high importance and urgency to consumers, and those consumers are often “in motion” when they need to purchase and use the products.” Health insurers such as Humana and Aetna are getting consumers with mobile devices to rapidly adopt mobile apps that can locate a medical specialist and hospital, clinic or pharmacy in a medical emergency. When consumers are in unfamiliar locales (on vacation, on business, etc.), these mobile apps become particularly attractive to consumers, especially those with life-threatening medical conditions.
It may appear that other industries – such as car insurance, banking, industrial manufacturing and food and beverage – sell products that are less critical to the financial, health and emotional well-being of consumers. It may also seem that those consumers don’t have the same degree of need to research, purchase, use and maintain those products when they are “in motion.” But upon further investigation, that would be misleading. Consider the auto insurance industry. Companies like State Farm and Progressive Insurance have found consumers to be embracing their mobile apps for dealing with car accidents (insurance becomes a critical product at that moment for a consumer, and he is typically “in motion” when he needs to file the accident report).
The more value that a company can provide to a digital mobile consumer, the more likely it will get that consumer to do business with it through a mobile device. So what can companies do to increase the value they can provide the digital mobile consumer? One way to think about this is through the lens of the consumer’s entire consumption experience with a product. Every consumer can be seen as going through five steps in the purchase and use of any product (see Exhibit IX-3).
Exhibit IX-3: Additional Examples Of Companies That Have Used
Mobile Technology To Improve The Consumer Experience
- Research: Looking for options, comparing them on price, features, functions, etc.; determining the best fit product (greater likelihood to be on the road when trying to determine needs and companies and channels that can fill those needs)
- Buy: Making the purchase; doing the financial transaction
- Use: Making productive use of the product/service after the sale
- Maintain: Fixing the product/service when it’s not working
- Renew: Making it easy to reorder the product
From our interviews and secondary research, we have found examples of ways to improve the life of a digital mobile consumer in all five steps, and across industries.
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