Marketing used to be a far more laborious, time-consuming process: weeks for focus groups, months crafting a campaign, photo shoots and contact sheets, building ads without a computer.

Happily, things have changed. Today, a long time is the time between latte and lunch. Now, shifts in marketing messaging can be measured in seconds or minutes... if you're equipped to handle those shifts. Luckier still, your customers are equipped to help you—with their ubiquitous mobile devices.

Smartphones and tablets are changing nearly every aspect of our lives. We've never been more connected... or hard to reach. Never more focused, yet perpetually distracted. Still, never in the history of the world has it been easier for us to share our thoughts, feelings, and opinions—and, for smart marketers, never easier to collect that information.

Harness the Power of Your Consumer's Mobile Device

Your prospects and customers (yes, even a growing percentage of your older ones) are interacting in more and more ways with their mobile devices. They share bad experiences as well as good ones. They snap photos of their recent purchases. They share their whereabouts and their plans. They interact with their tablets and smartphones intuitively—because their mobiles have become a natural and ever-present part of their lives.

Make that natural, electronic extension of their lives a seamless part of interacting with your brand. All you have to do is provide a bit of motivation. Whether you offer a product or service or you produce events or educate classrooms full of people, start thinking of your customers' mobile devices as real-time conduits through which you can collect incredibly valuable feedback.

Five Ways to Tap Into Your Customers' Thinking to Build Your Brand

These methods aren't exclusive to the examples that accompany them. Be creative. Put yourself at the end of your customer's smartphone-wielding arm. You can see your brand as they do. Make it easy for them to use their device to interact with your brand and enlighten your marketing in the process.

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image of Mark Penson

Mark Penson is CMO of Survey Anyplace. Survey Anyplace Mobile Surveys provide an app-free mobile survey and gamification tool that generates real-time customer insights at the moment of experience.

LinkedIn: Mark Penson