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.
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.
- 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!