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The New Branding: Mobile Strategies That Engage Customers

Think Like Zuck, author, social innovator

Ekaterina Walter is a Social Innovator and author of "Think Like Zuck."

According to Trilibis Mobile, a leading mobile web solutions company, since January 2009, global web traffic originated from mobile phones has doubled every year — accounting for 8.5 percent of global access in January 2012. In the US alone, 69 percent of mobile users access the Internet on their phones daily, with 46 percent of smartphone owners going online several times a day. With so many customers utilizing mobile services, it's vital that brands find a new way to engage.

Woody Mosqueda from Trilibis Mobile explains the new trend in "mobile first" technology. "Brands and companies are paying attention and are considering options for successfully implementing a 'Mobile First' strategy. This means companies are thinking about how users first see and experience their brands from a mobile device (be it smartphone or tablet), as opposed to television or PC.

"Adopting a 'mobile first' mindset is key to survival in today's increasingly mobile marketplace. Designing for 'mobile first' opens new opportunities for growth, encourages companies to focus on essentials and leads to a better overall user experience of their web-based product or service."

And, a better customer experience can directly result in an increase in revenue, as nationwide restaurant franchise Moe's Southwest Grill discovered. The South-western chain recently launched a mobile and online ordering solution in partnership with app company Splick-it. Customers can place their order using the app and prepay in an average of 60 seconds. Once on location, it's as easy as walking through the door, bypassing the line, and getting fresh food to go.

"This is a great way to keep Moe's up-to-date in the fast-paced, social media world we live in today. Splick-it provides a tremendous opportunity for us to stay technologically current and give our customers a more efficient and user-friendly way to pre-order and pre-pay for their meal," said Paul Damico, President of Moe's Southwest Grill.

The app is proving extremely successful, and has increased check sales by 50 percent.

“Not only does the mobile ordering app account for higher check sales than in store, but those users turn into loyal, repeat customers,” adds Paul Macaluso, VP of marketing for Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Amplify Credit Union, based in Austin, TX (also known as the city's Tech Credit Union), just launched Mobile Check Deposit, an app that allows users to deposit a check into their account simply by photographing the check and submitting it through a member's phone. While not necessarily new to the industry, check-depositing mobile apps are uncommon among for-profit financial institutions and nearly non-existent among credit unions.

Because Amplify's own in-house team built the app, check information no longer has to go through an outside vendor, streamlining the checks and balances a teller would normally perform. A process that usually takes days now happens in seconds because it was created and is operated in-house.

The response from credit union members has exceeded expectations. Members love the app because they now have access to funds faster. Adoption rate and members' check deposits via the app exceeded Amplify's goals. The app alone deposited close to $40,000 in its first nine days of existence — ahead of schedule to process more than $100,000 in mobile check deposits in the first month alone.

“In the first month of its launch, Mobile Check Deposit produced three times more than what we were expecting in deposits. That really showed us how popular the app was with our members,” says Paul Trylko, President and CEO of Amplify Credit Union. “Our goal is to provide the best financial services to our members. They wanted a fast, easy way to make check deposits with their smart phones that gives them instant access to funds. And because we built it in house, Mobile Check Deposit gives them all that.”

Whether you're saving money or spending it, a "mobile first" strategy will see your company ahead of the rest. Wixon Jewelers, a premier Minneapolis jewelry store, recently began adopting new digital ventures alongside their traditional print campaigns. As part of this, they launched a mobile app that helps customers to choose the perfect engagement ring.

"It has never been easier for customers to find their dream engagement ring with the help of these apps," says Jayme Pretzloff, online marketing director at Wixon Jewelers. "They don't have to take low quality pictures with a mobile phone to send to friends; each ring features a high definition 3D image that can be rotated at a desired speed to view the ring from every angle. Customers can even view the ring on a human hand and change the metal from yellow to white gold to cater to any desired style. If customers can’t decide on one ring, they can choose a few and send to their friends and families to have them vote on their favorite ring."

Jayme explains that the app has proved extremely beneficial to the company. "It brings exposure to our store by clientele that otherwise wouldn't have known of us. Users can share their rings with friends and family, which enables the widespread virility of the medium. Today's bridal shoppers want everyone to be involved in the process of choosing a ring because it's such a personal and exciting decision. We allow them to do it with the touch of a button. It spreads very rapidly!"

From banks and restaurants to engagement rings, mobile technology is changing the way customers engage with brands. As more and more businesses invest in "mobile first" technology, one has to ask oneself, 'how can I bring my business into the mobile revolution?'

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BusinessNewsDaily.

Business News Daily Editor

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