In 2016, my wife and I were expecting our first child and being parents-to-be we wanted to get a head start on learning the emotional, physical, practical and nutritional aspects of her pregnancy. One evening, my wife shared an app called ‘The Bump’ with me and it completely changed the way I perceived mobile app experiences.
This isn’t an app review, but The Bump shows many reasons why it’s been ranked the #1 app for first time mums; 2 years consecutively. The app delivers weekly articles that tracks and foster your baby’s developments in the most delightful ways, offers the service of a baby registry creation, provides a forum with certified experts to respond to your every query and has over 15,000 baby products reviews.
But this isn’t why the app is truly ground breaking. As my wife and I were learning about every moment and movement of our daughter before her due date; I assumed that the app would complete it’s journey with us once she was born — I was surprisingly mistaken.
When our daughter was born, a few days after I received a notification from The Bump to fill in her gender and her arrival date. After I did, the app contextually changed it’s foundry of information to suit our next phase of parent hood experience: raising our new born daughter.
The app now provides a guide to parenting ages and stages from a new born all the way up to a 2 year old.
Brands like The Bump are the first wave of mobile apps that captures real-world developments and phases in our lives.
Micro-focus vs mono-focus experiences
People aren’t generic archetypes, they are multi-dimensional and evolve over time with different sets of needs, goals and challenges in life. Google’s study on ‘Micro-Moments’ expanded on this:
In today’s data-driven world, imagine if businesses digital experiences could change and respond instinctively to our moment-to-moments throughout a day, season or new milestones achieved in our lives.
By day, at the office we go through a personal task list of replying emails, writing proposals, sitting in meetings, paying bills and more. Naturally as the day unwinds, our social paradigm shifts from being logically work grounded to slightly more emotionally leisure minded — catching up on a novel, dinner with friends at a restaurant, watching another episode on Netflix and possibly sharing images and updates on social media with friends and family.
This makes perfect sense, yet surprisingly many businesses still setup a singular mono-focus digital experience for customers, instead of being micro-focused.
Growing with your customers
Most young millennials in their 20 to 30s are newly graduated, working in their first job, potentially paying off a student loan, registering their first credit card, paying rent, possibly dating and thinking about marriage in the long-term future.
Whilst their older counterparts in their 30 to 40s would be facing a very different series of life challenges. They could be raising their first or second child, paying off a housing loan, purchasing a more comprehensive insurance plan, saving for their children’s college fund and diversifying multiple opportunities for future investments.
Yet, uninspiring default digital experiences continue to greet everyone at different ages and phases in their life — imagine all the missed opportunities.
Banking and Beauty
Let’s explore the potential of micro-focus experiences in 2 leading brands:
1. DBS Bank
Imagine if our ibanking app experience could be contextualise to suit milestones in our lives.
Each time a monumental change is anticipated, features in the app could be modularised and tiered through real-time gamification to suit these newfound achievements. This would allow us to grow with the institution and appreciate the financial advisory being delivered to us in an intelligent, delightful and well-timed manner.
A use-case scenario would be recognising when a customer requests a cashier’s order to put a downpayment for their first home in Singapore. The relationship manager could mark this milestone by tagging the customer’s account in DBS’s CRM to a ‘first-time home owner’ category — thus unlocking new relevant content to be made available in their digital ibanking experience. The next time the customer logs into their account; additional content regarding renovation loans, HDB guidelines and financial advisory are exhibited.
Likewise a similar micro-focus experience could be applied to beauty commerce giant, Sephora.
Based on cohesively matching data from customer’s age group, country location, current season in the year and beauty profile; Sephora could add another layer to their shopping experience by building a more intuitive and useful recommendations engine that is reflective of the customer persona and geographical context.
Additionally, research has revealed that women at various phases in their lives are concerned with different types of beauty concerns.
People walk around with brands in their pockets. We need to learn how to engage with them in a multi-dimensional and meaningful way — meeting them in moments that are most relevant and crucial.