How the customer journey has changed with the arrival of the mobile age

Hester Gras

Our first post in this series covered the unique characteristics of mobile communications and what these can offer marketers. Our second post in the series, discussed how content marketers should actually use mobile to add value to a company’s business strategy. One reason for this is that many marketers struggle with the role of mobile devices and do not know how to translate it into their content marketing strategy. So, what exactly is the role of mobile devices in the customer journey?

For many consumers, smartphones and tablets are the cherries on top of their media usage. It’s that special something that allows them to remain connected at any time of day. Because of this, they use the internet on their smartphone and tablet in a different way than they would on their desktop.


Researching the customer journey

In 2013, Netsociety researched 21 of its customers, aiming to identify differences in how consumers use tablets, smartphones and desktop computers. The customer journey can be divided into five phases:

  1. The Discovery phase (introduction to a brand)
  2. The Orienting phase (comparing brands)
  3. The Informing/Informative phase (getting more information on a product or service)
  4. The Purchasing phase (buying a product or service)
  5. The Engaging phase (being loyal to the brand)

Their results indicate that: 

  • Smartphones are used more at the beginning and at the end of the customer journey.
  • Consumers use their smartphone as an exploratory and service-oriented channel rather than a purchasing channel (also explained in a study by Forrester and Google).
  • Tablets are being used more to inform and to inspire. A tablet could be seen as an “online showroom”, in which consumers are inspired and get information on products of services, while feeling comfortable at home.
  • In the orienting, informative and purchasing phases, consumers mainly use their desktop. However, both desktops and tablets are being used in the orienting phase. Tablets are preferred in the informative phase and desktops in the purchase phase.
Image by Netsociety. Source:
Image by Netsociety on the customer journey. Source:

The role of a content marketing app in the customer journey

With a growing demand for content delivery and a customer experience channel, mobile apps represent a great content marketing opportunity for brands. They often deliver the same material as passive content, but then in a more engaging way. Therefore, this kind of apps should mainly focus on the last stage of the customer journey: to engage with customers.

Our Insights apps are a good example. The apps have become a popular channel for companies that want to create an engaging dialogue with customers while gaining industry authority as resource-based advisors. Read more about thought leadership apps.

ABN Insights  - which suits the engagement part of the customer journey
imgZine’s ABN AMRO Insights app, which shares the latest financial information with customers.


Mobile should be part of the omni channel strategy

The results show that the integration of mobile is an important addition to the overall customer journey. However, you can only optimally serve consumers throughout the customer journey if you serve different media activities. The main aim should be the improvement of customer experiences with your organisation/brand, while making use of the opportunities that mobile offers.

At imgZine, we have helped many companies in creating engaging dialogues with their customers. If you would like to have a chat, feel free to contact us.


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