Mobile best practices: alignment around mobile-first strategy


CMO Council Report: Getting in Sync with Mobile Customers, Best Practices in Engaging Mobile Customers.Today's customers want consistent interactions and experiences with your organization, and increasingly they expect personalization and real-time relevance. A major catalyst behind those customer dynamics is mobile devices. The sheer size of the mobile market is enough to take notice, but an increasingly important factor is the proportion of smartphones & tablets and the interaction of those devices with wearables and how that's impacting the purchase process. Consider how:

The order of magnitude and the potential of mobile was the impetus behind our recent collaboration with the CMO Council to explore how organizations are getting in sync with mobile customers. That research surfaced many best practices in approaching mobile, and perhaps the most powerful was showing how taking a mobile-first approach to marketing enables companies to capitalize on the full potential of mobile, which I explore in this final post in my series on mobile best practices.

  • At Western Union, Laston Charriez, SVP of Marketing for the Americas revealed that a key element of Western Union’s mobile-first mindset starts with being available to the customer wherever they are and at a time when they’ll be most receptive. The ability to interact on its customers’ terms provides ease of mind and builds a solid relationship between the business and consumers.
  • Hallie Harenski, CMO for Consumer lines for AIG shared that their measures for driving a mobile-first approach is with matrices they use to measure how mobile is doing and how they want to invest for the long term. She candidly offered that with such a large global organization, they do face the challenge of getting all country locations to adopt the same mobile mindset.
  • At Home Depot,  Michael Hibbison, VP of Integrated Media says the marketing team has adopted a mobile-first mindset, adding that it must take place across the organization. Having someone on the team who is dedicated to the mobile strategy is a great start, and they also get support from the dotcom team and key stakeholders in order to make it happen.
  • Kevin Green, Executive Director for Global B2B Marketing at Dell shared that when it comes to their web content, everything starts from a mobile-first perspective and then scales up from there. He added that even though marketing takes this approach, it can still be a challenge to achieve this kind of prioritization across the full organization.

It's not coincidental that cross-organizational alignment is a recurring theme in these accounts. The central role that marketing plays with strategy and the digital nature of marketing mean that mobile-first can (and probably should) begin in marketing, but needs to be adopted throughout the organization.

  • Western Union's Charriez says that they work across not only the digital marketing group that brings the insights, but also the other agencies who are responsible for TV and radio, which enables them to share across all territories and achieve the greatest impact.
  • Robert Pearson, Director of Digital Marketing at Men’s Wearhouse believes that creating a seamless mobile experience requires an integrated approach across business functions and channels. The way that looks at Men’s Wearhouse, it includes in-store operations, merchandising, ecommerce/digital, print, TV, CRM and development/IT to shape the overall strategy.
  • At Wells Fargo, CMO Jamie Moldafsky says that mobile and social media strategies have a significant amount of overlap, but while these two functions coexist, they aren’t one and the same. The mobile marketing team works hand-in-hand with the social media team, as well as other key stakeholders, including IT, the mobile channel group, advertising and marketing, and the product groups.

One clear benefit to the mobile-first mindset and the cross-organizational alignment is that having multiple groups involved helps ensure the delivery of functionality that people want and need through mobile. Another conclusion from the research worth repeating is the danger of taking a campaign-centric approach to mobile strategy. The risk in that approach is that each mobile campaign is iterated in a single moment in time, typically in one format, in one device and with one purpose in mind.

Taking that campaign-centric approach to mobile ensures you'll miss all the major opportunities for using marketing analytics to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, which is what builds long-term value for your organization. Do you really want to do that?

While you ponder how to answer that question, take a moment to download the full CMO Council report, Getting in Sync with Mobile Customers: Best Practices in Engaging Mobile Customers. I assure you it's well worth the read.

Let me know what you think!







About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm John Balla - a Digital Marketing Principal here at SAS focused on Content Strategy. I co-founded the SAS Customer Intelligence blog and served as Editor for five years. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions and maybe even challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I stay busy with my wife and I keeping up with my 2 awesome college-age kids, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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