It finally happened. Last year social and mobile tied the knot in a private ceremony and now they’re having kids. With smartphone adoption in the U.S. surging to new heights and social networking surpassing pornography as the #1 online activity, business as usual is obsolete. Interactive strategies must now solve for social experiences on a mobile device and mobile content consumed socially. Anything less is simply insufficient.
At Intuit, we’ve taken this task to heart. Our CEO Brad Smith is bullish about reimagining our products and services to fully realize the fruits of a social, mobile and global world. For my team, this means our social and mobile marketing strategies live within the same group and we plan activities simultaneously with collaboration from our web and product partners. It’s not an easy journey but it is a necessary one. I believe there are 4 reasons to begin building out a true SoMo (social/mobile) approach to business.
1. A social-only strategy is a job half-done
Brand have an obligation to stay social in a mobile world. As consumer usage shifts from online/desktop toward mobile, everything has changed. And nothing has changed. In Intuit’s accounting professional division, 70% of our accounting and tax professionals are on a smartphone, and about 30% of those professionals are using a tablet. We’ve evolved our approach to serve customers in their channel of choice. Users can access software, training, social information and content as easily from a mobile device as they can from their desktop. Concurrently, if you see product information on LinkedIn, a blog or a forum, we’ll also provide that info via email or a representative’s phone call.
Our goal is to “leave no desktop behind.” We’re still going to support our desktop software users who are more comfortable and confident in that environment. Meanwhile, we continue to build up capability for the future. It’s no longer enough to have one page, one language or one mobile device. The most powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool is a great product experience. A focus on delighting costumers begins and ends with great product, with marketing being the gracious host.
2. Consumer connections are the offspring of social and mobile getting hitched
Social and mobile proliferation creates limitless opportunity for us to connect with real people. Customers are engaging on their mobile device or via a social channel long before they visit Intuit.com, call a sales representative or interact with a retail worker. For Intuit’s accounting professionals division, we now have a virtual seat at that table when customers are having the conversations about our brand. Then we can observe, influence and respond in real-time. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with users in ways that weren’t possible two years ago. For instance, a tax professional can now do their client’s taxes while they’re on their iPad, sitting on the beach. A CPA can get trained and certified in QuickBooks Online on their iPhone while they’re waiting in an airport. After completion, they can even share progress across social channels and tell their clients that they are certified with one click of a button to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. All made possible by the marriage of SoMo.
3. Technology will only continue to shrink the world, raise the bar and stretch our boundaries
Brands must now be trilingual, with complete mastery of social, mobile and global best practices because customers expect it. Once you shift to a social, mobile-first mindset, you’re automatically global because conversations take place anywhere across the world. No longer is there a barrier. We recently launched global-ready training that can be viewed on any mobile device across the board, whether it’s Windows, iOS or Android. We’re exploring global-ready experiences on YouTube page that auto-detect location and adjust language and content settings. Being device and geography agnostic requires organizational commitments. For global corporations, it’s inadequate to have one web experience, one language or one mobile device. Relevancy requires having a portfolio mindset.
4. Brands cannot live by Facebook tabs alone
When I started in social media three-plus years ago, every campaign was centered on a gorgeous Facebook tab with a promotional call to action. It was a creative extension of your traditional marketing campaign. These days, you need robust photos, video, text and content on the timeline that really create authentic engagement. It’s no longer enough to build out a core tab function. Facebook is doing a lot of work to really integrate more of those functions into the mobile dialogue, but for the most part, users are in their newsfeed – wanting to hear from their friends and family. Not only does it provide a barrier for brands, but also it requires we earn our way into the conversation. Simply put, it’s sink or swim time.
As always, perfection is elusive so the focus should be on progressing your efforts year over year. Would love to hear your thoughts on how social and mobile intersect to impact how you go-to-market, or not.