mobile thinking aha media
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:

    1. 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.
    2. Don’t just think about what your brand offers; think of the solutions your brand can provide.
    3. 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.”


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