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Mobile First Strategy to win the Mobile Moments

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Mobile First is the strategy that allows Companies to win the digital challenge and to master Mobile Moments.

This article originally appeared in Italian on MD – Marketing Digitale Blog.

In our previous article on digital Companies we had discussed how mobile could be the strategy that allows Companies to win the digital challenge in an increasingly interconnected market. Let’s see now why Mobile First is the way to do it.

(Via: ellaecreative.com)

(Via: ellaecreative.com)

We saw that mobile is the unifying element of two main digital transformation factors, which are the digital customer experience, allowing to speed up all steps along the funnel, and the operational efficiency by streamlining the structure to get huge cost benefits.

This mobile maturity goes hand in hand with the digital one, requiring the same organizational changes to ensure complete focus on a single direction.

The mobile, as internet, is a radical revolution, and it can change not only the Company structure but also strategy: from business model to pricing, from distribution to customer service including the entire infrastructure. To get ready for this transformation, it is therefore necessary to revise the analytical metrics, organizational models, priorities and resources needed.

You have to think and act differently to win in mobile moments.

Higher expectations from consumers entail a greater responsibility: Companies have to increase efforts to ensure these expectations are met, meaning that they have to work harder, to spend more money and to study new ways to earn users trust and also increase their earnings.

The present moment is very rich in opportunities, but it’s experiencing a deep crisis because Companies are not yet fully able to exploit them. From the moment the first iPhone made its appearance on the market everything has changed, and current impression is that Companies are neither able to anticipate the times nor to keep pace with new digital needs.

The risk is to fail, as those Companies that, having underestimated the power of the internet, have been forced to close because of their invisibility on the market.

To exploit all opportunities, mobile must become an integral part of the corporate DNA, because it offers something unique and essential: the opportunity to build a real-time, interactive relationship with the user. And, unfortunately, they are still too many companies that are not taking advantage of this opportunity as they should.

Most often used approach is “we do our best“, which means to adapt their existing web strategies to mobile, obtaining much lower results if not opposite to those desired, such as little user involvement, early churn in use of the service and less earned money. The worst thing is that many resources are spent on mobile channels to acquire new users, but no strategy is set to ensure that these users will find satisfaction during their experiences.

In order to implement a Mobile First Strategy, first of all we have to act on Governance to optimize resources, to promote the creation of a diffused mobile culture and to implement best practices.

What really matters is not continuing to see mobile as a mere distribution channel, but rather as a real new business, with dedicated structures and metrics. The aim must be to revolutionize not only the Company itself, but also the User Experience and therefore the way users interact with the Company and its products/services.

To do this, a Company should:

  • Melt small mobile teams within the organization, in order to make their functional capacity grow and enable them to facilitate mobile strategic features within the Company;
  • Spread Mobile culture within the whole organization, to make clear how important it is not only to the User Experience but also internally, discussing success stories and communicating the results achieved so far, and promoting new ideas and opening discussions;
  • Integrate digital teams with non-digital ones. User Experience is given both on-line and off-line. By involving non-digital teams, all new opportunities and lifestyle changes that mobile leads may be better understood, so that a complete view will be possible (an example is how technology is radically changing our travel experiences in and out of airports);
  • Ensure that Mobile Units have total control over their functionalities. Unless Core business itself is not already digital, meaning tightly connected to mobile (for example as internet banking), it must be ensured that the mobile experience is entirely decided by the responsible Mobile Unit. It has to find the new features and to study new future updates, without any interference from the digital team. Mobile experience is not a small version of digital experience, and the Mobile Unit has to ensure that all of its unique features and capabilities are best expressed, to let it bring differential value compared to on-line (a good example is Health & Wellness market, deeply exploiting new possibilities from wearables and collecting data to track user behavior and to provide specific services and solutions to different needs).

The analysis conducted by Forrester Research Inc. (Source: “Own Mobile to Own your Customers”, Forrester Research Report, 2015) suggests creating an operating model made by four parties. Each party will have a say over the leadership, governance or executive action between different Mobile tasks. The details vary according to the type of industry, geography and Company size.

Multiple Team IDEA to enhance Mobile Development

Multiple IDEA Teams to enhance Mobile Development (Source: Forrester Research Report, 2015)

You should:

  • Create a steering cross-functional cabinet committee, with representatives of key geographies, products and functional groups. Only 24% of Companies surveyed have a mobile steering committee;
  • Create a mobile center of excellence. This center will serve as a resource for the whole organization, teaching how to use mobile to improve the digital part of the User Experience and business results consequently. Only 25% of Companies already have it;
  • Create IDEA teams. IDEA is an acronym created by Forrester Research Inc. to guide enterprises in their quest to win, serve, and retain customers in their mobile moments. They are teams made of 4 to 10 professionals, representing development, product management, and project management functions, including non-digital corporate staff. To date, 40% of the mobile business have Agile teams, but not IDEA teams with managerial and technical personnel working together;
  • Dedicate IT resources to support marketing initiatives. Too often the lack of technical resources dedicated to continuous analysis improvement and marketing control, condemns valuable initiatives to failure.

Smart leaders know that constantly experimenting and perfecting approaches to collaboration is the only way to keep teams energized and productive.

In the next article we will understand what benefits Mobile First strategy gives to the entire organization and which KPIs are to take into account to measure its actual effectiveness.

How is your own world changing with new mobile features? What is the most radical change your mobile device (phone, tablet or smart-watch) allowed you to experience? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Thank you!

Digital Companies OK, but Mobile is better!

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Why should Digital Companies should consider Mobile as the strategy to succeed in the market? Let’s discover why Mobile possibilities are endless!

This post originally appeared in Italian on MD – Marketing Digitale Blog.

Mobile and Digital Companies

To demonstrate why digital Companies should invest in Mobile, we don’t need to look at statistics or at the most recent studies on Mobile Apps usage. Indeed, we have it proved everyday: just think about how Mobile devices have changed your lifestyle!

During our most intimate moments (those spent lazing under fluffy covers, relaxing on the sofa during a pizza and TV night, or soaked into a hot bath), we believe we are alone. But are we? Actually, not really.

It is always with us, and it is always connected for sure. It’s our mobile phone.

Forrester Research Inc. has studied this phenomenon (Source: “Own Mobile to Own your Customers”, Forrester Research Report, 2015) and has found out that there are more than 100 times in a day when we take it, switch it on, use it to give a relief to our sense of alienation. During these hundred times a day, our attention is absorbed by a 5 inches’ screen (at least) for even a very short time.

Moments that Forrester has called “mobile moments“.

To win the digital challenge, Companies will have to try their best to trap, fill, engage and retain engaged users during their mobile moments.

This is a tough challenge though. Mobile has also changed consumer expectations: everything has to be available at the moment they want it and in the place where they are. If not, it simply doesn’t exist.

The purchase funnel of a product continues to grow, increasing number of steps, and then the possibility that a user never comes to conversion. An attitude that could be considered hysterical, not linear, causing a fragmented and confused decision process.

However, if it’s well governed by the Company, each step becomes a major possibility of attraction and engagement. Indeed, Mobile is the most suitable instrument to guide them through the steps of their decision process.

Company’s success is increasingly linked to its ability to provide great Mobile experiences, for both users and organization members.

This will be possible if it:

  • Provides access to information and services anywhere and anytime
  • Encourages customers and employees to actively interact with Mobile
  • Makes the user experience special: ensuring a pleasant journey will improve its brand image, bringing faster to brand loyalty and awareness.

Mobile has got them all, being able to deliver unprecedented advantages thanks to its immediacy, simplicity and relevance to users. No need to go Mobile from the very first step, it can affect just one part of customer’s journey towards conversion (for example, by sending a notification, or by giving the possibility to use the device as a ticket or as a method of payment itself).

Mobile possibilities are endless, and it can destroy the business as we have known it ‘till today, radically changing business models, making new features possible and reducing certain costs incidence.

The most important thing is to become completely aware of it, to be able to govern the change and not to be left behind from competitors.

To sum up, the World is becoming more and more digital and Companies need to keep pace.

Mobile is the fundamental element a digital business has to govern to become successful. It can do it by driving two main drivers: the user digital experience and the digital operative excellence.

As a matter of fact, it can:

  • Improve and speed up user experience, making known and easily reachable the product/service, creating a real value added funnel, while helping to better define customer value;
  • Allow optimization: while connecting employees and users it also improves the efficient use of resources, ensuring at the same time that the structure is simplified and the processes are more effectively executed.

Of course, easy to be said but much harder to be done. In spite of more than 60% of Marketing Managers involved in the study are favorable to the Mobile revolution, there’re many difficulties such as the need of both a radical cultural change within the organization and dedicated funds. Also, it’s highly needed a close cooperation with IT department, often more inclined to simply run things rather than trying to find new ways to support innovation.

And, more importantly, making an App is a real project, rather than a simple product, therefore it should be consistently followed, with frequent updates and continuous alignment between feedbacks and changes to be done. All these actions of course involve a strong effort and the Company’s will to make a significant investment.

Companies should look at Mobile not as a channel, but as a real business, through which they can successfully face new digital market challenges. Managers should start to think about Mobile as an advertising medium that can improve customer satisfaction and increase engagement, and not just as a User Acquisition tool (this last approach is clearly the most pursued given main objectives of current Mobile strategies, like increasing brand awareness (29%), acquiring new customers (23%) and appearing more innovative (24%)).

In the next article we will see what a Company has to do to begin implementing those changes that will lead towards full digitization and exploitation of the mobile opportunities, and why a Mobile First Strategy could be the correct way to obtain it.

What about you? Are you operating in a still poorly digitalized market or in a not very technological context? What do you think of digital world? We would be happy if you’ll share your opinion in the comments.

Thank you!