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Microsoft exec: Mobile not tapping into emotional headspace

During the “The Head and The Heart: Consumers Journey with Mobile,” the executive spoke about how mobile has changed the shopper in a variety of different ways. With this change, marketing needs to give users a strong value proposition.

“We’re still offering from a fairly, rational perspective when we deliver content on mobile,” said  Natasha Hritzuk, senior director of global insights at Microsoft Advertising, Redmond, WA.

“The key message that is being flagged up from all these various studies is that consumers have a really unique relationship with mobile that is completely different relationship than they have with their other devices,” she said.

Mobile shopping
Microsoft recently released data that looked at how consumers are interacting with mobile while in a grocery store.

The study found that consumers have different expectations by region. For example, consumers in Brazil have higher expectations than United States users when it comes to their mobile experience.

With the wide gap in mobile devices available, marketers should be focusing less on the number of platforms available and more on how consumers use their mobile devices.

Microsoft’s study found that consumers primarily use their laptops for information, guidance, help and advice.  Tablets are used by consumers for quick on-the-go tasks, such as taking notes.

Mobile phones have the strong relationship with consumers because it is often the device that is closest to a consumer. Mobile devices also surveyed as the devices that consumers are less likely to want to give up.

Mobile heart
When it comes to marketing, most digital marketers are still approaching mobile from a utility-driven perspective versus more value-driven programs that are based on emotion.

Additionally, shoppers are eagerly looking for deals and offers via their handset, but consumers want them to be more based on their preferences.

For example, moms are often rushed while grocery shopping but are also trying to make the right decisions for their family.

Including features such as chef demonstrations, calorie content or testimonials can all be great ways for marketers to make content more personalized in a grocery store.

Additionally, mobile offers marketers a way to tie different marketing channels together. Many marketers use applications for building loyalty and email for distributing offers and deals, for instance.

However, the consumer wants a one-stop platform that combines all these channels.

“Is there some way that we can bundle all of these more rational, planning capabilities into a mobile phone?” Ms.  Hritzuk said.

Shopping experience
Ms.  Hritzuk divided the shopping experience into five stages – the pre-trigger phase, the trigger section, pre-shopping, in-store and usage phases.

Currently marketers are really only tapping into the pre-shopping and in-store phases, per the executive.

However, understanding the thinking about when a marketer chooses to comparison shop and look for other brands is a vital part of understanding the shopping journey.

Take skincare and snack products for example. Consumers are especially interested in looking for product recommendations and expert advice on these products, showing the opportunities available to marketers.

Additionally, the usage phase, which takes place after a consumer buys a product, is critical to understanding a consumer’s overall experience with a brand.

With consumer expectations for mobile on the rise, users assume that messages that come via mobile are from a trusted, reliable source.

“The bottom line is that we know that smartphone penetration globally is on the rise, and it’s becoming a core device in our life,” Ms.  Hritzuk said.

“The mobile phone is more about the personal, bespoke experiences. It’s about the emotional connection,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York