In this opinion piece, Andrew Birmingham, editor of www.which-50.com and event producer, Melina Gouveia, argue that it should be all about the mobile for marketers. So why are so many getting it wrong?
As consumer content consumption and expectations of mobile devices continue to accelerate faster than the ability for brands to address, the question now is not whether brands need a mobile presence but how brands create one that delivers tangible value, according to Adobe.
When Optus acquired the English Premier League rights it signified a seismic shift to the small screen, as it usurped Foxtel and television’s last failsafe content drawcard — big sport — cementing mobile’s place as self-contained experiential platform with this bold acknowledgment that consumer content consumption habits have dramatically changed.
Mobile is no longer the secondary screen for consumers, it is a primary touch point — one that will transform the way they operate and interact with their users, as brands continue the digital migration of their businesses online. A solid mobile strategy will be one grounded in content and data where experience is the real differentiator. This, however, is beset with challenges, Adobe believes.
The challenge with the mobile app development and design process is that it is fragmented, complicated and expensive. The ability to produce mobile apps in different formats, being able to link them with other services currently available inside of an enterprise, and maintain them is resource intensive. This causes a problem with capacity — a problem that is going to continue to grow.
Often brands have different teams managing disparate touch points, each with its own resources, methods, and metrics. These siloes and disjointed inter-departmental relationships lack the necessary collaborative approach needed for continuity in the customer experience.
Consumer mobile expectations have evolved to demand personalised experiences that are in real time and relevant, moving beyond just being content for the smaller screen and the basic branded app.
Treating mobile as an add-on to existing digital initiatives leads to poor customer experiences, forcing them to multiscreen between devices and channel jump as they progress along their brand journey. For brands that want to increase revenue per customer, improve conversion rates, and maximise marketing spend, a customer-centric mobile app strategy is essential to achieving these business goals.
In the digital marketing ecosystem it is abundantly clear: app building and mobile enablement are integral to the enterprise. Yet brands struggle with how to build, manage and deliver compelling mobile experiences — which quickly leads to consumer abandonment.
Recent data from Adobe’s Digital Index showed, on average, new monthly app installs increased only five per cent against an over 25 per cent increase in new available apps. This research also showed 25 per cent of consumers abandoned an app after just one session. This suggests that in the rush to build apps, brands underestimated everything else that came after.
Mobile apps give brands a direct connection to their customer with contextual content that is highly personalised and valuable beyond what the mobile web can offer. Location-based personalisation, for instance, is a key enabler for the delivery of highly relevant, real-time contextual information that allows brands to act on various location data such as geo-fence entry/exit events.
This allows brands to communicate relevant in-store promotional offerings to their customers through notifications inside the app’s targeted environment using i-beacon technology as a shopper enters a geo-fenced retailer.
Or, a sales associate could have a customer’s information ready for more personalised service, once it is known that the customer has arrived in store — this provides a huge advantage to brands that wholesale their products to retailers in creating offline loyalty and advocacy.
Adobe recognised the dilemma brands faced — the commercial imperative to have a customer experience-led mobile strategy, but without the complicated workflows inherent in app building — when the firm launched its Adobe Experience Manager Mobile at this year’s GSM Mobile World Congress.
An addition to its marketing cloud product suite, AEM seeks to remove the difficulties, inefficiencies and highly complex workflows previously required when building mobile apps. By simplifying mobile app creation and management with rich native apps that can be deployed across multiple platforms, Adobe claims AEM mobile helps brands deliver a mobile strategy through the eyes of the evolving connected customer.
The product gives brands the ability to create compelling app experiences and simplify application delivery without the need for IT teams and mobile developers for rapid market deployment.
Customisable templates, seamless integration of existing enterprise content sources, and workflows that include on device previews and connection to back-end systems, enable app building for non-technical users.
AEM Mobile is also designed to also allows a brand to update its apps without the need for app store resubmissions. This removes a significant pain point previously experienced every time Android, iOS and Windows updated their operating system. A mobile developer would have to go through the entire app building process again, pushing it through to the relevant app stores for every app it had — which for some companies number in the hundreds.
A successful mobile strategy requires data about customers and their mobile behaviours for continuous iteration in improving customer experience and business goals. Mobile apps offer brands an easy access point for rich insight into their customer.
Every time a customer downloads an app to their device it provides unprecedented access to that customer’s usage data and how they interact and path their way inside the app. For apps created and managed in experience manager mobile, integration with Adobe marketing cloud provides detailed lifecycle analytics and user behaviour data.