12 May 2015: The mobile is clearly no longer the second screen for customer engagement. Nearly a third of total digital traffic (31 percent) is now via mobile devices, with more consumers than ever using their mobile devices to engage with companies, be that shopping or interacting over social media.
Yet 71% of marketers still rank desktop as the primary route for providing a consistent customer experience, according to the Econsultancy/Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Quest for Mobile Excellence.
The report showed that a third (34 percent) of companies have a defined a mobile strategy for the next 12 months, but nearly half (45 percent) haven’t. So what’s caused this desktop bias? A lot of it is simply down to resistance and lack of understanding.
The temptation to not implement a strategy until absolutely necessary is a perennial problem for many businesses, yet mobile devices provide a rich source of information for companies keen to better understand their customers on a personal level. Mobile is at the centre of any successful strategy; not taking it seriously will not only damage the overall customer experience, but negatively impact the bottom line.
Location is the highest currency when it comes to context. Location based services using geo-fencing technologies are already making great strides in the retail sector by driving footfall into stores. In addition understanding users’ historical location behaviours is a powerful contextual means for advertisers to re-target their audiences.
Mobile as the lynch-pin
The report revealed that almost half of companies (49 percent) say they employ mobile apps but less than a third of companies (30 percent) agree their mobile activities are ‘central to the overall business and how they engage with customers’. It’s clear that many are still seeing mobile as a silo of the marketing strategy, but in my eyes mobile is the glue that binds the entire cross-channel customer experience together. Consumers don’t discriminate based on platform; they expect the same level of service whether they’re on a company’s website on their work desktop or on the train, browsing on their mobile.
In the rush to go mobile (and to be seen to be going mobile) many companies have let measurement fall by the wayside. This has had an adverse effect, meaning they lose the nuanced, most insightful, view of success. Ultimately, ROI guesswork helps nobody yet the study shows that just over half (51 percent) of companies say they are measuring user engagement and ROI as part of their mobile-related marketing campaign. Measurement must be taken seriously in order to improve the mobile experience, both for the customer and business.
Data makes the world go round
The mobile landscape is changing at a lightning speed and having insight on data is the key to unlocking the personal context that advertisers and marketers seek. First-party data sources helps for a real-time, hyper personalised view of customers–marketers are starting to see the importance of first-party data sources and the weaknesses of third-party data sources. At Telefonica we’re seeing greater demand from our clients for targeting our audience segments which have been created from our first-party data.
Age of context
We’ve been on the cusp of this sea change for some time, certainly as the Internet of Things and wearable technologies become more commonplace. Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s book “The Age of Context” distilled where contextual technologies will take us, but the challenge now is for companies to get to grips with how they can make it a reality for customers. Contextually-driven dynamic data has been an industry utopia for years. Now the technology and data is available there is no good reason why it should not be the reality.
This is only the beginning. The currency of context is growing exponentially and marketers can’t be shy of taking advantage of it; the reason it’s not happening is lack of education, a natural resistance to change and measurement. Advertisers need to resolve this, otherwise they risk being left in the dust by their competitors.