Thanks so much for joining me hear today. In thinking about the themes we ’ ve heard at this summit, and the topic we promised to discuss at this session, we thought it would be interesting to inject a little bit of controversy into the conversation. So, we ’ ve decided to be provocative and propose some advice to the audience. It ’ s best summed up in this tweet we found by a leading user experience designer working in Holland. Let me read it to you.
The tweet might be cheeky, but the idea behind it is pretty important. For the vast majority of users we are trying to engage, there are no differences between the mobile web and the desktop web. If you were to ask the man on the street the difference, he couldn ’ t tell you that it ’ s a moniker for the technical complexities of creating and distributing content for small-screen devices. In fact, he ’ d probably look at you kind of funny and ask you for more free content.
So, if you believe that premise, you may not be surprise to hear that at Volvo, when we think about content delivery mechanisms, we don ’ t think about standalone mobile strategies. Instead, we think about who we are as brand, what we mean to our consumers, how to create meaningful content that triggers behaviors that are beneficial for both the consumer and our brand, and how to get that content into the hands of our consumers so that it ’ s useful and enjoyable to them. D.A.Y.
In other words, a standalone mobile strategy can ’ t support brand positioning on its own. The only tool we know that has the ability to make a brand relevant to an audience and make content available and stick to them is a content strategy. And that ’ s the framework we ’ re using to engage consumers in our brand and our products.
This isn ’ t to say we haven ’ t gotten smart about mobile devices and the ways consumers are using them. We ’ ve given a lot of thought to it not only domestically, but internationally. The exercises we ’ ve gone through have made us think hard about how content has changed.
But, there are several truths that have emerged in creating content to engage consumers. Remarkably, they look a lot like the truths that emerged 15 years ago when we first started creating content for the desktop web. We ’ ve boiled them down to 5 points. I thought I ’ d take some time to share them with you, and show some work out in the market that I think exemplifies the point.
The first point is an oldie, but a goodie. If you want people to enjoy your content, the first thing you need to do is make it easy for them to find it.
Our content strategy for mobile devices is rooted in user behavior. It may surprise you that the user behaviors that exist on the mobile web are very much like the user behaviors that exist on the desktop web. In fact, 77 of smartphone owners use search to discover content, less than 10 points shy of the number on the desktop web. This alone was evidence enough for us to design a plan to make our content searchable across all sorts of search engines. It turns out we ’ re in good company.
95% of smartphone users have looked for local information 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business Ritz Carlton seized on this user behavior to make it easy for travelers and guests to search the world near their properties, building a strong presence on FourSquare that helps travelers find great things to do near their properties. (Note: Can we pick up screenshots of FourSquare ’ s new search engine with Ritz-Carlton content in it?) At Volvo, we looked at these search innovations and thought about how they can drive prospects to dealers In the coming months, look for exciting stuff that we ’ ll be sharing to make our content more discoverable
The second point is an area that ’ s personally very exciting to me. Just as content format and page design were crucial to making the desktop web an enjoyable place to spend time, they are critical to making the mobile web a valuable place to spend time.
We ’ re living through an exciting era of experimentation. There are lots of new applications and environments that can make brand content pop right off the screen. We take finding those formats very seriously at Volvo for a variety of reasons. We ’ ve come to realize that there will likely be multiple formats we need to work with in order to engage our audience. One that we have a lot of heart for seems to have the emotional power of a magazine, as well as some very intriguing commercial possibilities.
Flipboard provides an easy, innovative way to quickly flip through all the content you care about in a convenience of a single experience. It combines the beauty of print with fresh creative opportunities for advertisers, custom publishing opportunities, and social integration. Gilt Taste that enables readers to feel part of a bigger brand community. When Flipboard readers click on the Gilt Taste catalog, they will see artful, full-screen photographs of products like artisanal cheese, a juicy steak or shiny chef ’ s knives. They can flip through the pages with their fingers as if they were reading a magazine, which Gilt Taste also is, with recipes and articles by food writers. And they can make purchases from Gilt without leaving the Flipboard app.It is the first time that Gilt, which has its own iPad apps, has shown its content or sold items in another app. The company became partners with Flipboard in part because it has figured out how to make Web content attractive, said Shan-Lyn Ma, the general manager of Gilt Taste. “ Our goal is to make people hungry and thirsty, and it ’ s never been more the case than when you look at the app, ” Ms. Ma said. Gilt Taste also wanted to reach new shoppers who know about Flipboard but not about Gilt, she said.Flipboard, which has so far teamed up with publishers and social networks, sees catalogs as a new business opportunity, said Mike McCue, its chief executive and co-founder. For retailers, he said, it offers an alternative to Web sites and print catalogs and a way to turn their Twitter and Facebook feeds into sales by offering the ability to make purchases within Flipboard. “ Beauty has been highly underrated ” on the Web, he said, showing a big Gilt Taste picture of a hunk of cheese on Flipboard. He added that he would be more likely to buy it from the app than on a typical Web site.Gilt Taste becomes one of many retailers, from Wal-Mart to Saks Fifth Avenue, that are taking advantage of the iPad ’ s unique characteristics — like its touch screen, its video and the ease of using it while relaxing on a couch — to give catalogs a new spin . “ We believe that usage of the iPad and Flipboard will really spike during Thanksgiving, when people are at home and have more time on their hands to read and really have the lean-back iPad experience, ” Ms. Ma said. At Volvo, we ’ re studying this example very closely to figure out how we can use our content to make new vehicle purchase easier.
This next point may seem somewhat cliche on screen. I mean - who would actually set out to create irrelevant content? It ’ s a silly idea, right?
The idea though ladders up to something more important which is our consumers. The volatility of the past number of years have created a new normal for them. And they ’ re searching for answers to what it means. That may be what ’ s driving the demand for content across any and all sorts of screens. In our category, it ’ s caused us to reevaluate what stories we tell consumers about our brand, our heritage, and our point of view in order to engage them. And, it ’ s resulted in a new positioning that not only allows us to create relevant content, but, more importantly, create rich stories will resonate with consumers. Let me share a little of our story with you.
Let me ask for a show of hands. How many of you have water coolers in your office? Coffee bars? Cafeterias? What is it you talk about there? Is it TV commercials? YouTube videos? Facebook status updates? That ’ s all content, right? For small-screens to deliver relevant content, we ’ ve come to the fourth part of our plan: make your content sociable.
In many ways, this is an art more than a science. At Volvo, we know that consumer referral is critical to building our brand and our business. Our content - historically in tv ads - have been critical in creating conversations that drive sales. I was really struck by how that behavior is even more true when people share content on mobile devices. According to Android Alliance, fully 24% of mobile phone users recommend a brand to a friend by sharing content on a phone or tablet. The diversity of content types was also pretty amazing.
How many of you have heard of iPhoneography? It ’ s a purely digital photographic process using Apple's iPhone camera as the primary tool, either as a hobby or simply out of fancy. At the center of it is a company named Instagram. It ’ s a 14 million person community of people loyal to one another and to sharing their passions in life, including their brands. When we think about promoting content that strikes up conversations, we ’ re actively looking at communities just like Instagram where conversations happen naturally and referrals spread as easily as taking a picture.
Of course, it ’ s not worth having great content if it doesn ’ t get results either for the user or the brand. Which leads us to the 5th and most practical point of our plan for engaging consumers on small-screen devices.
Let ’ s start with some facts. They ’ re pretty compelling. 90% of smartphone searches result in a consumer interaction with a brand, whether it ’ s a store visit, conversation, or purchase. Of these interactions, another 90% are taking place within 24 hours, and 70% are taking place in person. That ’ s pretty compelling. It also speaks to making sure consumers can act on your content quickly if they ’ ve enjoyed it and found it relevant. The solution to doing so: good old-fashioned direct response mechanisms.
Home Depot ’ s done an excellent job of embedding direct response mechanisms into its mobile content. It ’ s promotional content is adjacent to a store locator. Its videos click through to project planners. The planners click through to its store. And, afterwards, there are helpful instructions and diagrams to make your DIY projects easier to complete. The seamlessness is pretty impressive. It ’ s a fresh way to manage consumer journeys through a combination of great content and instant responses.
So, there you have it. Those are a five points for engaging consumers, with a couple of examples to bring them home to you. I hope it ’ s given depth to a somewhat contrarian perspective on mobile opportunities. To close, let me share a couple of key points for discussion.
Mobile Strategy Is Dead. Long Live Content Strategy. <ul><li>Thoughts on engaging consumers </li></ul>
Contrarian Advice In 140 Characters <ul><li>“ There is no mobile web. There is only the web, which we view in different ways. There is also no desktop web. Or tablet web. Thank you.” @stephen hay </li></ul>
There ’ s Only One Web <ul><li>The mobile web exists to give name to the technical complexities and innovative solutions that help brands deal with content creation for small-screened devices </li></ul><ul><li>Users don ’t know the difference between the different webs </li></ul><ul><li>They just want their content, and they want it on their terms </li></ul>
Volvo Doesn ’ t Need A Mobile Strategy <ul><li>Mobile strategies on their own don ’t drive brand awareness, product consideration, or dealer leads </li></ul>
Long Live Content Strategy <ul><li>The answer is to create and curate great content for the legions of loyal and hungry Volvo drivers who just can ’t get enough </li></ul><ul><li>Providing content also fills the long purchase cycle for new vehicles, helping bring consumers into the fold </li></ul>
Optimizing Content For Mobile Devices <ul><li>This isn ’t to say that small-screened devices haven’t changed how we think about content </li></ul>
A 5-Point Plan For Engaging Consumers <ul><li>Of course we need a plan to optimize content for mobile users </li></ul><ul><li>We ’ve boiled it down to 5 points </li></ul>
Users Need Help Finding Great Content <ul><li>Smartphones have become an integral part of users ’ daily lives </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers use smartphones as an extension of their desktop computers </li></ul><ul><li>Their behaviors across devices are remarkably similar. In fact, 77% of smartphone owners use search to discover content* </li></ul><ul><li>So, the first part of our plan is to make content searchable across all sorts of search engines </li></ul>*Source: Google
Ritz-Carlton Makes It Easy To Explore The World
Find The Right Formats For Your Audience <ul><li>At Volvo we have a strong philosophy regarding design </li></ul><ul><li>The philosophy governs how we deliver content to consumers </li></ul><ul><li>We ’ve used HTML5 to make content render optimally on desktop browsers </li></ul><ul><li>But with 81% of smartphone and tablet owners using a browser, and with 83% of those users also reading content on an app, we ’ve had to think about what the right formats are for the Volvo audience </li></ul>
Offer Stories That Resonate With Your Audience <ul><li>The lives of our consumers have changed dramatically in recent years </li></ul><ul><li>It ’s driving demand for content across all kinds of devices </li></ul><ul><li>In our category, consumers are looking for stories to make sense of luxury, technology, and strength </li></ul><ul><li>It guides our efforts to reposition ourselves through content that makes for resonating stories </li></ul>
Promote Content That Strikes Up Conversations <ul><li>At Volvo, consumer referral is critical to building our brand and our business </li></ul><ul><li>Content has always played—and will continue to play, a critical role in creating relationships and building communities </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, industry studies show that 24% of mobile phone users recommended a brand to a friend with content shared via their mobile device* </li></ul><ul><li>And it ’s not just through words! </li></ul>*Source: Android Alliance
Embed Response Mechanisms Into Your Content <ul><li>Nine out of ten smartphone searches results in consumer inquiry, store visit, or product purchase* </li></ul><ul><li>88% of these users take action within a day* </li></ul><ul><li>70% of these actions take place at retail* </li></ul><ul><li>Embedding response mechanisms into your content is the crucial to justifying investment </li></ul>*Source: Google
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