Achieving effective mobile business strategy for CMO success

Patrick Bulacz

Patrick is the global head of mobile at Bluewolf. The global business consulting firm aims to partner with companies to improve business processes and strategy to help drive better customer engagement and growth. It works with more than 25 countries globally.

Mobile is the single largest disrupter to hit the enterprise, and has fundamentally changed how businesses and customer interact. But have we underestimated a potential perfect storm bubbling under the radar?

How many companies can safely say marketing and sales are working simultaneously, that their departments are actually speaking to each other on a regular basis and that their data is integrated to tackle the mobile opportunity?

More than just an emerging channel for marketing, 71 per cent of salespeople believe it is crucial to access real-time data about their customers on their mobile devices. While ‘mobile-first’ is top of mind for enterprises, it actually ends up being lower on the priority list. Truly achieving and capitalising on mobile opportunities requires a collaborative, organisation-wide approach as well as a robust mobile strategy.

Devices and apps are getting smarter and capabilities like GPS, combined with customer data and analytics, are adding context and intelligence to mobile experiences. Additionally, with cloud, social and mobile immediately at customers’ fingertips, we’re seeing higher expectations and less patience with unsatisfactory service.

The CMO needs to take a quick health check on the status of their marketing mix. After all, marketing and sales differ greatly, but they have the same goal: Increasing revenue.

So as the customer increases their mobile demands, now is the time to take a step back and look at the horizon; get your strategy in place and break down the department silos. Mobile is dragging companies into the new era of the ‘always on’ customer, but according to our recent research, only 18 per cent of companies are experiencing significant business results from mobile.

Here’s how you can take the first steps in utilising mobile for the big picture.

1. Business-driven use cases

The key starting point in any mobile strategy is identifying moments that support the business-level goals and can be tied to business impact. While it’s easy to head straight down the architecture or device path, evaluating business processes and interactions between employees, partners and customers is critical to achieving impactful mobile initiatives.

Putting yourself in your customers’ and employees’ shoes is one of the most impactful ways to identify the moments of value, barriers and areas for immediate and measurable gains within business processes. This is essential to turning broken customer interactions into frictionless and extraordinary moments.

2. Unleash your data

Great mobile initiatives are only as good as the data behind them. Data is a shared responsibility across all departments and enabling all employees, partners and customers with accurate and relevant data should be the backbone of a company’s mobile strategy.

Achieving a single and accurate view of customers, coupled with the ability to deliver relevant and actionable data from many systems to employees via mobile, can dramatically differentiate your business and the customer experience you provide.

3. Establish tenets for mobile delivery

In a recent survey by The Economist, 54 per cent of global executives stated that “mobile apps are critical”. However, only 26 per cent actually have apps deployed. This “app gap” reinforces the notion that delivering mobile initiatives is not easy.

Companies need to establish organisation-wide guidelines around the primary components of their mobile IT strategy (devices, apps, data and resources). These guidelines for mobile delivery will serve as the decision-making framework for every mobile initiative, resulting in consistent implementation methodology to deliver engaging mobile experiences and increase the quality of apps across an organisation.

4. Invest in UX design

Poor design choices are never more swiftly punished than in the mobile context. Mobile users tend to be time poor and task oriented, making every pixel, every function and every design decision count.

For mobile, design is how the app works. That’s why ‘smart’ user experience is more about data and less about design. The focus of a UX design team should be to gather analytics and user research to better determine design focus and usability decisions.

Great mobile design makes information clearer to understand, data easier to consume, and drives adoption. None can be achieved without doing the heavy-lifting data analysis up front.

5. Analyse and measure

A mobile application launch is just the beginning of a company’s journey. User acceptance and relevant metrics are key to ensuring all mobile initiatives bring value to customers and businesses. Quantitative metrics, such as sales figures and productivity numbers, and qualitative results, such as customer and employee reviews, will continually need to be tracked to fuel justify further releases, future apps and show ROI. To do this, the customer relations management (CRM) system can easily be integrated with the marketing automation systems.

6. Develop an innovation plan

User expectations are always changing. Combined with new mobile technology and increasing market pressures, businesses need a strategic plan to manage existing apps and bring continued innovation to mobile experiences. This include frequent updates and new functionality of the mobile tools they use to engage customers, as well as regular feedback from stakeholders, partners and customers to ensure your mobile apps stay ahead of customers’ and employees’ needs.

As mobile adoption in the enterprise matures, mobile engagement initiatives require the entire organisation to get involved. Both cloud and mobile technologies require a new business-consulting approach to innovate business process, get an edge on the competition and exceed bottom-line results.

Tags: mobile marketing, mobile strategy

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