What if you could create something so ingenious, and so smart, that you convinced your customers to carry you around in their pockets—top of mind, and top of device?  Here’s how one company found a way…See if you can replicate their success in your space.

Filled a prescription lately? It’s a lot easier than it used to be, but still annoying.

Many times, you have to bring in the slip of paper, drop it off, get information verified, wait, wait some more and then finally leave with something you need.

What if there were a brand that made it much easier? Wouldn’t you be a converted customer for life?

Walgreens took that tactic when they learned that customers who accessed them on multiple channels were worth 3 times more in revenue. That’s a considerable amount of revenue for any company—so you can imagine how they jumped to leverage it.*

Could you do the same in your industry?

Embrace Youtility

First, when customers filled a prescription, the pharmacist would ask them if they wanted to receive a text when it was ready. Once Walgreens had customers’ SMS information, they could also text customers when it was ready to be refilled.

When Walgreens sent texts with the refill reminders, they also gave customers the opportunity to download the Walgreens app. The app has a barcode scanner, which scans the soon-to-be empty bottle. Forty percent of Walgreens consumers chose to download this app, resulting in multiple opportunities for the drugstore giant to communicate with consumers on a daily basis.

What Walgreens embraced was Youtility, a concept promoted by Jay Baer in his best-selling book of the same name. Youtility is about being useful to your customers so they continue to return to you to solve their problems.

Mobile Thinking

When it comes to mobile, too many marketers think narrowly about the customer experience. They want to port the entire desktop experience over to mobile, or they think of mobile as just another straight-up communication tool.

Mobile is so much more than that—it is a constant in all our lives. How do you harness this amazing power to stay in touch with your target audiences?  Your brand has the opportunity to ride around in your customer’s pocket and become a go-to problem solver. This power is immense, but you need to learn how to harness it. Here’s how:

  • Think about layering information you have with information readily available from other sources to take advantage of the power of mobile and produce something with true youtility.
  • Don’t just think about what your brand offers; think of the solutions your brand can provide.
  • Talk to your customers about how they might use some of the information you create. How can you channel that into an experience with multiple touch points that can genuinely make lives easier?

Thinking about how to use mobile effectively is challenging. But as always, start with your customers and their pain points. While they are on the go, how can you be their go-to problem solver?

*Hat tip to Jared Spool and Luke Wroblewski for sharing this anecdote on a recent UIE Brain Sparks-Podcast, “Mobile as a Medium.”

4 Mobile Strategies for Your Business

Of the 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones, nearly half of them are using the devices exclusively as a primary search tool, according to a survey by Mobile Path to Purchase. The study also found that 60 percent of mobile users are completing purchases related to their mobile search.

Wouldn’t it be great if they were building loyalty with your brand? Mobile marketing can help you convert casual visitors to new customers.

It’s no secret that businesses have been slow to embrace mobile. A recent IDC survey of 400 IT decision makers found that 84 percent lacked a clear enterprise-led mobile strategy.

Kickstart Your Mobile Strategy

Security and compliance concerns can often trump fledgling mobile efforts, but with stiff competition for new customers, those willing to take the plunge are likely to be rewarded.

Here are four strategies to help get you started:

  1. Optimize the mobile-friendliness of your website. Thanks to responsive design, you don’t need a separate mobile website. However, you should customize your content for different screen users. Mobile users are more likely than desktop users to be looking for phone numbers and directions. Make these features easy to find.
  2. Remain top of mind with SMS marketing (text messages). Unlike email, customers only opt-in to receive SMS updates from companies they want to connect with. Even better, SMS is far more effective than email. A recent study shows that 98 percent percent of texts are read compared to just 22 percent of emails. The click through rate of texts is 19 percent compared to just 4 percent of emails.
  3. Use Quick Response (QR) Codes. QR codes are a great way to bridge print marketing with digital. Use them on direct mail pieces and print advertising to help users quickly access your website. QR codes are simple to make and you can link them to any web page or phone number.
  4. Reach tablet users with video content. Mobile users are much more likely to click and view videos than desktop users. Use video to share product updates or introduce a subject matter expert. These videos can play an important part in “breaking the ice” with potential customers who don’t know your brand.

Want to learn more? Check out 3 Ways Mobile Changed Web Writing.

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