Mobile use is fundamentally changing people. It has become the center of our communication universe, controlling where we go and how we get there and how we manage our finances, home security, desktops, television experiences and relationships. It is the modern utility tool and far more versatile than the Swiss Army Knife. It is one of the key drivers raising the bar on consumer expectations. Its pocket portability and 24/7 lifeline provide personalization and convenience right when the consumer needs it.

Google calls the consumer habits stemming from the influence of smartphones micro-moments. They refer to these moments as intent-rich interactions that shape preferences and purchases decisions. These moments are the killing time activities you do while you wait for the train, sit at a stoplight or hang around waiting for friends, children or appointments. According to Google, the decision-making process and buying journey starts and stops a billion times per day during these micro-moments.

In her latest MarTech Advisor article, Our CEO and founder, Paula Tompkins, outlines what questions you need to ask so you can understand how to leverage these split-second interactions. Below we share the tips from her article, with permission from MarTech Advisors.

Step one: Create a cross-functional team

Having the right multidisciplinary stakeholders on the team is critical. Data siloes are not the problem. Today it is relatively easy to integrate data using SaaS products and web services. People siloes are the problem. The customer care groups know why customers contact you. Service knows the pain points. Sales knows what criteria is important to prospects. To be customer-centric, you need to create a knowledge center about your customers. Every department that touches the customer should have representation in the planning. If they do not, you will not be able to deliver the omnichannel experience customers expect today.

Step two: Develop a content strategy

I am NOT talking about content marketing. A content strategy allows you to manage the business assets (useful information) you have about what consumers consider relevant during the decision-making phase, the purchase point and post-purchase. Content is a rich category, and it is important to know what information you have that consumers want. When we form cross-functional teams, we frequently find that marketing does not always know what content is available. Content includes a broad spectrum of things, including big and small data, video, images, promotions, educational information, location details, inventory, and more. Most companies have far more assets than the marketers know about. A well thought out content strategy is the foundation of providing a personal experience.

A good content strategy will answer the following questions:
1. What content do your customers need at each phase of the customer lifecycle (awareness, consideration, first contact, purchase, use, loyalty, etc.)?
2. Why, where and how are people searching for your information?
3. Why is your content valuable to your customers? What are they gaining from it, and what is your business gaining?
4. What are the opportunities for repurposing and repackaging content into different forms of media (text, email, web, etc.)?
5. How can you combine content to delight the mobile customer?

Step three: Diagram the customer journey

Get everyone together and brainstorm. At this point, sticky notes on a wall or sketches on a whiteboard will do. Keep it simple. Use a facilitator to help the team create a process flow that includes any encounter where your prospects and customers engage with you. It helps if you break this exercise into three main areas — before the purchase, during the purchase and after the purchase.

Step into your customer’s shoes and ask yourself:

1. Why do people want your product or service? What is the problem they want to solve?
2. How do people find a product or business that solves the problem?
3. What criteria are important to people before making the purchase decision?
4. What criteria are important to people when making the purchase decision?
5. What support do your customers want after the purchase?
6. Consumer behavior changes the closer consumers get to the purchase point. These are the insights that you want to capture. They are the motivation for the consumer’s actions.

For instance, we know consumers begin the purchase process for window coverings by searching for generic terms like “window coverings,” “blinds” or “window treatments.” Once they identify what kind of product they want to purchase, they change their search terms as they start searching for a style, such as “wood-slat blinds” or “plantation shutters.” When customers are ready to buy, they use a very specific search query, such as “black-out drapes with grommets for sale in Dearborn, Michigan.”

Knowing how consumers change their search terms during the buying journey helps inform the content you need on your website.

Step four: View relevant customer journey interactions through the small screen

The previous steps are important because the context of your mobile marketing strategy is an element of your overall marketing strategy and plan. If you separate the two, you automatically reduce your ability to provide a seamless customer experience.

Once you map the key interactions, pretend you are a customer using a mobile phone. There are a wide variety of mobile options — email, websites, apps, text (SMS/MMS), push notifications, Bluetooth messaging, ads, geolocation, bots, augmented reality, beacons and more. As you continue the process, answer these questions:

1. What are your current mobile capabilities?
2. What are the key mobile touch points? What mobile options best fit each touch point?
3. Is your website (or landing page) configured so that mobile visitors can easily find what they need?
4. Are your forms, or any other conversion elements, easy to use on a mobile device?
5. How does mobile fit in with your other marketing efforts, such as targeted emails?
6. Do you really need customers to log in to use your website/app?

When you shortchange the process, you end up with failed apps, high bounce rates, dismal click-to-opens and a poor customer experience. Your mobile strategy should create value and build continuous engagement. If it does not, you may need to go back to step one.