It’s official!! We’ve passed the tipping point in the consumer’s shift toward Mobile device usage. Comscore (2015_US_Mobile_App_Report from comscore) reports that the number of global users of Mobile devices now exceeds those using Desktops. Earlier this year, eMarketer reported that time spent with Mobile devices now represents 51% of all digital media consumption, and represents about three hours a day, up from less than one hour a day just five years ago.
So it stands to reason that more Marketers are shifting their media spend to accommodate this shift. Also according to eMarketer, both Mobile search and Mobile display advertising spend will exceed Desktop for the first time in 2015.
But while Marketers are rushing to find consumers on Mobile devices through their marketing plans, are business strategies keeping up? We don’t think so!!
Mobile marketing is just one element of a broader, more cohesive enterprise Mobile strategy. Yet, many organizations approach Mobile as only a marketing channel. Not enough companies fully leverage the channel to fundamentally change the way they do business.
Here are some simple ways to ensure that your Mobile strategy is a key driver in your organization’s overall business plan and strategy.
Understand the Customer’s Needs – And Where You’re Not Meeting Them
An organization’s Mobile strategy should be grounded first and foremost in customer needs, and how a Mobile experience can enhance the overall customer experience. Consumers are on their Mobile phones constantly, and just about everywhere. The numbers are eye-opening (if not a little strange).
We know most people research products via Mobile devices while standing in a retail store – 45% performed a shopping-related task in the last three months alone (Loyalty360). And that people watch TV with their Mobile phone in hand to follow social media interactions or exclusive, Mobile-only companion content.
But it goes beyond that. A Verizon Wireless survey found that 52% of people use their phone before getting out of bed in the morning. And in a stat you probably can’t forget now – even if you want to – 90% report using it in the bathroom.
The point is, there are opportunities like never before to expand the customer experience into ways we couldn’t have conceived a decade ago. Understanding what your customer is doing, and how they’re using their Mobile device, is essential to unlocking those business-building opportunities.
Document the Customer Experience – Particularly Those Places You Don’t Currently Connect With Them
Once you know how customers use their Mobile device, organizations must fully document the customer experience to know where they’re using their devices. No longer is that experience limited to time spent with a call center agent on the phone, or a static desktop session on your Web site.
Success in Mobile will be defined by organizations’ ability to recognize these “Mobile Moments” and deliver experiences that capitalize on them. Mobile Moments are those specific points in time consumers turn to their device in the customer journey.
The online deal site and Mobile App RetailMeNot lets Marketers serve customers coupons when they’re in a specific distance of a retail store. And 27% of shoppers now get offers on their Mobile device, up from just 6% three years ago. Mobile enables interactions to happen at the right time, and with the right context – if organizations understand the journey and fill in any gaps they find.
Mobile App Versus Mobile Web
It’s true that most Mobile media consumption happens via Mobile apps. In the 2015_US_Mobile_App_Report from comscore, Comscore reports that 71% of smart phone time is spent on apps, and that apps contribute 77% of the total increase in digital media time spent on Mobile devices.
But be careful. That’s a bit misleading, and could send your strategy down a black hole. The fact is, most of consumers’ app time is spent on a very small number of heavily used Social Media and Gaming apps. In fact, a user’s Top 3 Apps constitute 78% of their Mobile App time.
When deciding whether to build an app, consider the role your brand or product plays in the lives of your customer. How often do they interact with you? What added value does your app bring to the experience?
Remember that breaking through with an App is difficult. While the reward is significant, so is the risk. Remember that Mobile-enabled Web sites reach more users every month, and that usage is growing faster than App usage (42% v. 21%, per Comscore).
Customers expect a seamless experience. Therefore, we recommend not taking a tool-first approach to Mobile strategy (e.g., start with “We need an app.”). Rather, consider how to drive the across devices and touch-points through the entire customer experience.
Implement a Mobile-Only Analytics Capability
The industry has suggested creating a “Mobile-First” customer experience for a couple of years. That is, since more consumers are using the Mobile device, design first for the Mobile device and let the Desktop support it, rather than the other way around. We agree. But it’s not enough. Organizations must also implement the same strategy for their analytics.
- First, identify differences in how consumers use your Mobile experience. Many of the traditional Desktop “funnel” KPIs organizations monitor on their Desktop analytics simply may not apply to how customers use your Mobile experience. Because customers use their Mobile devices differently, Mobile analytics has the potential for far more “contextual” insights (Forrester).
- Next, evaluate different analytics tools to support your Mobile efforts. According to the Win Mobile Moments with Digtial Intelligence Forrester report, 77% of organizations measure their Mobile Web sites using a traditional Web analytics solution, compared with just 23% who use a solution designed for Mobile. Most importantly, testing and optimization techniques so common in the Digital space, lag significantly behind in Mobile. The same Forrester survey suggested that only 19% of Marketers apply online testing tools and techniques for their Mobile experience, and only 9% apply any Mobile behavioral targeting.
Free Mobile from the Marketing Department
Mobile is not just a media channel. It’s a platform that crosses organizational siloes and enables new ways of doing business. Too many organizations hide “Mobile” in the Marketing Department. Mobile too often resides with mid-level employees who lack senior-level support, or the power to broadly transform the customer experience. As a result, only 7% of organizations have been able to drive a “Mobile transformation” in their business (Forrester Predictions 2015- Most Brands Will Underinvest In Mobie).
Also according to Forrester Research, just 19% of companies have a cross-functional Mobile steering committee with the authority to determine what Mobile services or experiences to build out. Companies need Mobile to permeate the entire enterprise, and be part of the daily discussion in all departments – from finance and IT to supply chain, marketing and customer service. Doing that will change old habits and enable a much broader opportunity to improve the customer experience through Mobile.
Look for Inspiration Outside Your Company
Organizations have the choice to disrupt how they interact with customers and support the relationship with Mobile, or risk being disrupted. Consider the warranty industry. Often seen as high-pressure, confusing and complicated, no business is as ripe for change as the warranty category. Along comes Minneapolis-based Upsie. Upsie is a Mobile application that lets shoppers scan a bar code anywhere and get the cost of an extended service plan for that product. And, shoppers can manage all the warranties in one place – regardless of product, category, or place they purchased the item. Upsie empowers shoppers and simplifies a traditionally confusing, frustrating experience.
Considering how important warranties are for retailer and manufacture margins, Upsie presents huge risk for established brands by intercepting the customer at a critical “Mobile Moment” in the journey and putting the power in their hands. Upsie has now expanded into home warranties, a very logical extension that only increases consumer value.
As a Marketer, what should you do?
It’s clear that while consumers have hit a Mobile tipping point, many of the organizations with whom they have relationships haven’t kept pace. 35% of Marketers still say they lack the budget to achieve their Mobile objectives (Forrester Predictions 2015- Most Brands Will Underinvest In Mobie). Organizations who recognized the opportunity to enhance the customer experience, and design a strategy that supports the organization’s business goals will be best positioned to succeed.
Remember to focus on the fundamentals – A documented understanding of the customers interaction points, well-developed analytics solution and an organization with the right staffing and senior commitment to hold teams accountable for delivering.
The time for Mobile is NOW!
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