Commentary

The Never-Ending, Mobile Testing Mentality

Early in the mobile commerce revolution, the concept of test and learn became commonplace.

This was for numerous reasons, but primarily at the time it was so early that no one had a good handle on what would work, since not many things had been tried. Smartphone possession also had not reached the majority of consumers.

Fast forward some years later, at the MediaPost Mobile Insider Summit in Captiva, Florida, today, numerous presenters relayed how they have super-powered the test-learn concept into their mainstream approach to mobile.

Most notably, Tim Kraus, director, digital marketing at Quiznos described he called the never-ending mobile test.

“You need a testing mentality,” said Kraus. “Don’t fear failure and learn from those.”

Kraus cited some of the recent Quiznos experiments, including sending audio ads to car dashboards with a call to action in the form of a mobile coupon and directing the driving consumer to the nearest Quiznos.

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Another speaker outlined the relatively large number of small experiments relating to popcorn. Burke Raine, senior director of marketing at Diamond Foods, described one of the most notable experiments as the creation of a mobile app that helps to perfectly cook popcorn.

What struck me as an overall theme here is the large number of small experiments going in around mobile. Rather than the big, killer idea or researching something to death to mitigate risk before launch, marketers are testing many approaches in small ways.

From a mobile commerce perspective, retailers are in a similar situation, experimenting with scanning, in-store sensors, geo-fences, augmented reality, touch screens, employee-armed mobile devices and in-aisle payments.

The merchants not taking this approach are at risk of not keeping with increasingly mobile empowered consumers.

We’ll be further tackling this aspect tomorrow when we discuss redefining the shopping experience in day-2 of the mobile summit. Stay tuned.

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