Consumers are Loving the Mobile Revolution – and Brands Must, Too.

by Matt Asay

posted on 03-07-2017

The printing press democratized information, broke down global barriers, and allowed for the building of ideas on a continental — and, in time, a global — scale. As a result, industries began to collaborate toward progress. Discoveries from one generation were passed on to the next and then built upon, lending to the development of lifesaving medical practices and cultural shifts based on new ideas and philosophies. The book became one of the first assembly-line products — ushering in the concept of mass production of manmade products. Though the printing revolution began with making a small impact in one industry, it ultimately grew to impact the very foundation of our current global ways of life.

The Mobile Revolution Starts Now.
A major shift — like the invention of the printing press — is occurring now. Mobile devices are increasingly changing the way we live our daily lives, affecting everything from how we work and connect with each other to how we shop for things we need. On a global scale, consumers are turning to affordable and always-accessible mobile devices to connect with the brands that impact their lives.

Most Brands Struggle With Mobile.
Ninety-two percent of our survey respondents consider their smartphones to be their primary devices, and the average user checks her smartphone 85 times per day. And, we are only at the start of this mobile revolution. As the revolution progresses, further spreading across the globe, mobile will increasingly dominate the customer experience. Brands need to either optimize for a mobile world — or risk being left behind.

Sadly, though many brands recognize the need for internal change to meet shifting consumer demands toward mobile, almost two-thirds of the respondents surveyed in our Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing on Mobile continue to focus on a channel-centric view with desktop at the center, and only 20 percent have a well-defined mobile strategy. Many brands simply don’t know where to start in their shift to a mobile-centered organization. Democratized efforts and proper allocation of resources can usher brands into the heart of the mobile revolution.

Get Your Whole Team on Board.
A vast majority of companies have a team dedicated to their mobile strategies. Interestingly, almost all IT decision makers believe that IT owns their companies’ mobile strategies, while two-fifths of marketing decision makers claim they own their companies’ mobile strategies.

Though it’s been proven that customers are interacting with brands more and more via mobile, most brands have not decided who owns mobile internally. Too often, mobile falls under IT without input from marketers regarding how the customer experience affects mobile strategies. Though it’s great that companies are dedicating teams to their mobile efforts, from the customer standpoint, the mobile journey spans all channels and devices. A dedicated team shouldn’t mean mobile capabilities aren’t considered across campaigns and on all levels of the customer-centric organization. The mobile focus must be democratized to become an organization-wide effort.

Through integration efforts, brands can make their mobile strategy an organization-wide tool to meet customers’ needs for effortless and valuable customer experiences. DuPont underwent a digital transformation. To execute it, they turned to Adobe Experience Manager first to centralize their assets. Then, using Adobe Experience Manager Mobile, regional teams could easily update information on their apps used around the world. The Germany Division team, for example, replaced its 400-page printed customer label and safety manual with an app. As a result, DuPont improved their time to market (for updated information) in the region by 50 percent — allowing farmers to enjoy always up-to-date information at their fingertips to better protect themselves and their farms.

Feed Your Mobile Efforts. Put Your Resources Where Your Strategy Is.
In the next decade, three billion people — mostly in developing countries — will gain online access, meaning smartphone and mobile users will increase dramatically. And, for current users, almost 60 percent of the total time spent online is via mobile apps. Brands that can develop a mobile-first strategy now can reap the benefits in the future.

Democratizing mobile efforts is easier said than done, though, as 40 percent of companies cite a lack of resources — including budget and staff — as the top challenge for crafting positive mobile experiences. Companies must allocate their resources where their strategy is — and many brands are doing just that.

They’re Investing in Technology.
Our survey findings show that a significant slice of technology spend is allocated to creating, measuring, and optimizing mobile. Annual development investment ranges from $4.2 to $4.8 million for apps and $4.9 to $5.1 million for mobile websites, according to both marketers and IT decision makers. Consistent with last year, one-third of digital-marketing spend is being devoted to mobile-marketing programs to drive customer acquisition. Budgets have held steady, but most expect these expenditures to increase next year.

This is good news for brands — but don’t stop there. You can create opportunities to reduce costs by reusing content across multiple channels, including mobile. Integrating with core systems and technologies can also aid in cost-cutting measures. It’s important to remember that mobile apps are best used when integrated into core systems — content-management systems ( CMS), customer relationship-management (CRM), or enterprise resource-planning (ERP) systems, for instance. When your mobile strategy is integrated with your complementary core systems, it is more likely to run efficiently and help you capitalize on opportunities.

They’re Investing in People.
On average, mobile teams have fewer than 50 members. Despite this, over one-half of marketing and IT decision makers expect their mobile teams to grow in the next year. This growth includes increasing full-time staff members on mobile app teams and the number of team members dedicated to creating and publishing mobile apps.

In addition, mature mobile brands often work via a federated approach, with a centralized mobile team dedicated to making key decisions as well as independent teams that execute depending on their context. For example, DuPont has teams in each of their global markets. “While we centralize as much as we can, we also have to give the countries enough flexibility to deliver the right message to farmers in their regions,” reports Joanne Hewitson, global digital marketing lead, Crop Protection Division for Dupont. Local teams may optimize the centralized strategy based on language, economics, culture, local trends, and other contextual factors to deliver more relevant and valuable mobile experiences to users.

They’re Investing in ROI Sustainability.
The cost of acquiring new customers is too high for brands to risk high-churn mobile strategies. Right now, cost-per-acquisition averages continue to climb, with Android apps at about $2.57 and iOS apps at about $3.99 (as reported in late 2015). But, after 90 days, the retention rate drops to 4 percent. A solid mobile strategy that keeps users engaged will help you reach — and keep — new users, resulting in billions of dollars in ROI down the line.

Yes, customers want personal and contextual mobile experiences, but they prefer those experiences to be delivered via brand apps. Still, many brand apps fail. The average app loses 77 percent of its users within three days of being installed. And, the top reason that apps fail is that they deliver insignificant value to users.

To sustain the success of your app, it’s important to take advantage of strategies that are optimized to keep customers engaged. The features within your app make it easier than ever before to deliver compelling, personalized mobile experiences. Built-in authentication and geofencing capabilities allow brands to enjoy ample data to better identify their customers’ needs. Then, using these insights, brands can leverage customizable home screens, push notifications, in-app messages, deep-links, and more to deliver on those needs in highly relevant and timely ways.

MLBAM Exceeds Customers’ Mobile-Experience Expectations.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) offers their in-stadium fans their Ballpark App. To make the app experience exceptional, they have tapped into app- personalization capabilities. Using Adobe Marketing Cloud, they define and track points of interest in their stadiums via geofences. When fans use the Ballpark App near these points of interest, MLBAM can track metrics like which fans are attending road games, which are interested in watching video highlights or checking scores via the app, and why fans chose to log in to the app. In addition, MLBAM ran mobile campaigns and then used app-acquisition tracking to determine which campaigns were most effective. Then, by connecting campaigns to the geofenced stadiums that were part of those campaigns, they could send in-app messages to app users, touting premium subscriptions and promotions. By connecting all customer touchpoints, MLBAM optimized the customer experience to meet fans’ needs via their app experience — without consumers having to ask.

In Conclusion
The mobile revolution is here, and brands must get on board with it. If you’re ready to focus on mobile but don’t know where to start, having the right tools can help. Adobe Marketing Cloud lets you use data to effectively reach and engage customers and prospects with highly personalized content across digital touchpoints, whether in mobile apps or web. Further, it allows skilled people across your organization to reach consumers with relevant information without heavy reliance on IT, decreasing time to market for both relevant information and customer experiences. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of focusing on mobile strategies, you can read more in the 2017 Adobe Mobile Maturity Report.

Topics: Digital Transformation