July 29, 2013 | JJ Cramer

The Mobile Persona of Device Engagement


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Working around the house trying to shorten the honey-do list on the weekend is always a challenge.  But it’s much easier to accomplish when you have the right tool for the job (like a tamper for packing down 3.5 tons of gravel for my driveway – boy was I glad to cross that one off!).

The same is true of the digital customer journey.  We unknowingly choose the right tool (phone, tablet, laptop) for our digital needs.

For example, if each device (tablet, phone, laptop) were right in front of you, which would you choose to accomplish the following need:

  • Check Today’s Weather
  • Pay Your Bills Online
  • Read a Magazine
  • Locate a Store
  • Explore a Vacation Destination
  • Send a Document to Someone
  • Scan a Check for Immediate Deposit (ok that one is obvious!)
  • Take a Quick Photo
  • Watch Some YouTube

The Mobile Persona While there might be some ambiguity with some of the tasks above, there are some no-brainers as well.  Checking weather, scanning a check, and taking a quick photo are all tasks accomplished with your always on, and always on you, smartphone.  Paying bills and sending documents, on the other hand, are almost exclusively done from laptops.  The point is, each item on the list above involves a specific mindset of the customer and a part of their journey toward a certain need or desire.  The device we choose to accomplish this directly reflects the concept that mobile users have a “device usage persona”.

Smartphone usage is best characterized as the weapon of choice for immediacy, convenience, or singular tasks with laser specific focus.  Tablets are used during leisure hours, and used typically at home. It’s the “fun” way to interact digitally, and users will usually be sequential in their tasks when using the device.  Traditional web (laptop/desktop) is the device of choice, offering the most productivity, multi-tasking, and is still the predominant access point for web.

This is the “device usage persona.” But why is this important, and how does it impact your mobile measurement strategy?

First of all, brands and customers are unique and the general mobile persona will likely have important deviations for your brand.  Identifying where and how customer interaction varies across the device eco-system can be solved through measurement.  Applying specific and unique measurement to the core environments (phone, tablet and web) is essential to properly understand the attitudinal and device personas of your customers.  As digital interactions become fragmented across devices, satisfying customers becomes even more important.

Second, you need to develop, think about, and better use the unique device persona to create the right experience.  Many businesses have focused on a responsive design to create a single experience of the brand across touch-points.  However, replicating a web site across devices does not equate to single brand experience.  Brand is really about the intangible attributes customer associate with your product, service or company (trust, reliability, cost effective, etc.).  The mobile usage persona can better inform your digital design strategy on where, how, and when to deviate from a uniform web site design.

Whether you choose responsive design or not, decide to have both a website and a mobile optimized site, or want to incorporate an app, knowing the specific mobile usage persona of your customers will help prioritize content, functional improvements, and optimize content to align with the specific brand expectations of your customers.

Lastly, the future will only bring us more connected devices – cars, watches, glasses, oh my!  These changes can be very disruptive and threatening to existing brands.  Continuous measurement becomes the best solution for staying on top of customer needs.  The pace of change is greater in rapidly evolving channels and businesses must use constant attitudinal measurement to continuously deliver on their brand’s promise.  In-channel measurement (not just market level measurement) provides a powerful means to deploy in-channel concept testing.  Combined with a predictive methodology clients can make better business decisions by modeling out how and which improvements will impact customer behavior.

So, the next time you look at the honey-do list on the refrigerator, think about which tools your customers are using to check off their digital tasks and how that affects your and your business.

Categories: Uncategorized

About the Author

As ForeSee’s Director of Sales, Mobile, JJ Cramer contributes to the development of institutional knowledge about the mobile customer experience, influences product innovation for ForeSee’s mobile solutions, and collaborates with ForeSee’s sales team to support clients. JJ has over 10 years of experience in digital research and is an expert in online custom research and customer analysis. JJ holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree from Springfield College. He is a former professional tennis player and has been with ForeSee since 2010.

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