Design Without the Seams

One of the tenets of SoLoMo for me is an integrated and seamless experience across the three channels.  Though the So and the Mo of SoLoMo may actually converge over time with a large percentage of users using mobile to access their social media accounts.  Even given that, most have looked at SoLoMo as a marketing innovation.  What about the user’s experience?  If you are doing more than just trying to get the consumer jazzed about your new jeans or sugar water, what you really want to do is engage with them.

The Building Blocks are There

If you have an active social media presence that has great reach and great engagement, there are people in your organization that understand meaningful engagement.  I don’t believe engagement is in delivering the latest deal on your product or service via a tweet.  Meaningful engagement is all about the consumer and what they want/need.  Some brands do a good job with impactful stories that tug at their fans heart strings and relate.

So when you are designing your SoLoMo experience find the people in your organization who are already touching your consumers.  Don’t wall them off and exclude them when you are thinking about what to do.  If your organization has social management and marketing separate from each other, they need to start talking to each other.  Your mobile developers that are working on the mobile experience, whether native or mobile web, are probably separate from those two as well.  They need to all be brought together.

Matrix is not just for Equation Solving

Even for organizations where social and marketing operate out of the same group, you need to look at the purpose of the social side.  Typically in organizations where social is part of marketing, you will get a slight bias towards social as a marketing tool, and in some places the bias is much more than slight.  Social is about engagement on the user’s turf with marketers being there at the sufferance of the users.  I think engagement practice can be learned, but you need to be open to that, understanding that typical metrics about the ROI do not work.

Now to the mobile side.  Your mobile efforts invariably have been lead by the IT folks in your organization.  While there are some good designers in those shops, they are too close to the technology to truly understand what will engage your consumers.  Don’t get me wrong, they will do their best and will at some level succeed.  But as we move towards the future, the wants/needs of the users will change and best efforts will only get you so far.

In large organizations there is a concept called matrixing.  Some folks just consider this an overly complicated organizational chart invention and see no value in it.  I think there is value in the concept, though the process around matrixing is quite cumbersome (look at those org charts and the multiple dotted line relationships you might have).  If you return to the foundation of matrixing it is all about cross-discipline teams.  Bring all your smart people into the team and get them started.  The marketing folks will have knowledge about what attracts consumers, the social folks will know about engaging content and the mobile folks will know how to deliver it.  But what is great about groups like this is they can also act as your ad hoc user groups.  The mobile folks can be your average user when it comes to marketing techniques and tell you what works for them.  The social folks who are at the leading edge of consumer technology use can tell your mobile developers what works for them.  Etc.

Bringing it All Together

When you put yourself in the seat of the consumer, think about seamless experiences across channels.  Being able to start an engagement sitting at home on their desktop, moving to the tablet as they watch their Friday night TV (yes I watch TV on Friday nights) and then moving to the mobile on Saturday.  Within that seamless experience, solve their problem, make their life simpler and you will get the pot of gold at the end of this journey.

Don’t forget your user’s needs.  And don’t ever forget one of my laws, “You Are Not an Average User.”

Next Time on SoLoMo Law?

This week has started off with some mental meanderings.  What do you want to hear about?  As I was writing this post, I think that the subject of cross-discipline innovation piqued my interest.  I might write about that more later this week, or something else of your choosing.  Send me a note to solomolaw@icloud.com, or leave a comment.

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