Monetize the Mobile Channel Using a Sales Funnel Approach

Over the last several years, mobile investment decisions have often been linked to customer satisfaction, cost reduction, and customer retention objectives.  Now that most banks are operating with at least some form of mobile solution, there is the increasing need to transform mobile devices into a clearer revenue generating channel.  The proliferation of mobile devices however makes this a challenge. The types of mobile devices span everything from feature phones to laptops and include every tablet and smartphone in between.  Additionally, mobile modes of communication like apps, mobile web, voice, camera, and messaging makes this challenge even more interesting to work through.

In our current work/life environment, mobile phones, tablets, and PCs remain in consistent and in some cases simultaneous use as customers navigate their workdays and weekends.  Given a customer’s access and use of multiple devices (I may switch from phone to laptop to iPad in a span of ten minutes as I walk through my house or settle in at the coffee shop!) how are banks expected to get the communication right when trying to drive new revenue?  What capabilities should a bank use to drive engagement through the different devices, and how will they succeed at sending the right message to the right person at the right time when that may also depend on sending it only once and to the right device? More importantly, how will they get me, the customer, to purchase a loan, buy insurance, sign up for a new card, or use their rewards site?

A framework that helps to lay a foundation for addressing these questions and turning the mobile channel into a revenue producer is the concept of the sales funnel.  First, consider your customer engagement using the traditional model of customer Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action (AIDA).  Next, consider how the array of mobile devices might support, reinforce, or accelerate your customer’s progress through this funnel. 

By using the right communication channel at the right time, banks can help initiate customer awareness, say of an available line of credit, and then shepherd the customer through the learning and decision making process.  In the table below, we investigate the applicability of different mobile devices across the sales stages, and see that increasingly, devices and their form factors inherently align themselves with each stage of the sales funnel.  The tables below assess the mobile phone, the tablet, and the PC or Laptop.

Generate Awareness

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 Generate Interest

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Support Decision Making

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Drive to Action / Support Conversion

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The funnel approach provides a great framework for considering how devices types apply to specific customers in specific scenarios and stages of purchase, however, customer preferences and capabilities still constantly push tendency toward “one click” transactions/approvals or forms that have been nearly entirely “pre-populated”.  As such, there is an opportunity for the sales stage activities to be pushed up the funnel if a bank is able to do more (and more effectively in a wider range of noisy/busy environments) on the smallest form factor.  Through the use of the right approach (one-click / pre-population) on the right device, or through a clearer understanding of how customers are using the many devices in their possession (on the go / reclining on the couch), banks may increasingly succeed at generating revenue amidst the wide proliferation of mobile devices.

-Clay Almy (calmy@bstonetech.com)

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