Note to readers: The graphic to the left was found After the October 18, 2013 discussion, inspired by articles listed at the bottom of this post.
Does your near term performance hinge on your understanding of mobile technology, and if so, how critical a role does it play?
Today mobile platform adoption rates outpace the technology’s downward pricing. The dual benefits of convenience and constant connectivity offer irresistible value and overwhelm the initial cost bumps associated with implementation. It’s not merely the anytime anywhere connectivity with your social network that makes mobile valuable. Mobile technologies offers direct access to increasing varieties of information at the tip of your finger anytime and every where (if there’s wifi).
Questions that used to leave us uncertain, can be easily answered. For example: How soon until the next bus arrives? What’s the best route to any intended destination? What can I make for dinner? Who has the best price? What’s the name of this song playing right now?
Short message services–SMS, Geo Positioning software – GPS, Google search, untold numbers of product and service applications and internet browser capability are now built into multiple mobile devices. They allow everyone to travel lighter and access the information needed at the right time.
For business, if you don’t have a mobile strategy yet, best make it a priority. At least that’s what the discussion participants concluded. Skeptical of consumers ability to fully integrate many of these technology opportunities into their daily routine or modify their existing habits and behavior, companies who have yet to play in this space will find it harder and harder to catch up.
The strategic opportunities continue to evolve in tandem with the spreading uses for assistive mobile technologies. For example, a prudent strategy in consumer marketing might be to incorporate the technologies to enhance the user experience—especially as no clear killer sales application that deploys these technologies exist.
· Amazon with all its technology savvy and leadership in the online sales market leveraging its platform hasn’t found a way to fully leverage mobile capabilities to increase sales. Mobile assistive technologies, like Google maps represent a hybrid.
· Twitter, hot off its successful IPO has yet to grow actual sales for any business.
What advantage then can mobile technologies really deliver?
There seems no limit to the additional utility Search Engines provide. Mobile technologies allow roving users access to public, private or personal sources that the engines verify and validate boost both their value and help build loyalty incentive programs. Increasing numbers of gamification applications also exemplify how mobile technologies drive growth opportunities by enabling repeat sales through mutual identification of merchants and existing customers.
More interesting, mobile technologies helping to optimize each stage in the sales cycle sequence. Applications that make use of two way transmission—driving traffic both by or to customers is just the beginning. Efforts that allow discovery and exploit more stages in the cycle help determine when, where and how the transmission proves itself more efficient and effective. Should your business deploy mobile to simplify checkout? Or simplify merchandise location and availability?
In the ongoing evolution of technology, strategy that focuses on deploying tools for competitive advantage or advancement isn’t enough. Strategy needs to consider how the new technology influences your revenue flow.
Possessing mobile technology isn’t merely a lower cost play. Strategic opportunities increase when it’s used intentionally to offer stakeholders learning opportunities. Can you give your sales people the most up to date information on the customer’s past purchases, or your customers’ suggestions for product use, installation or enrichment? Present technology capabilities and big data offer business opportunity to accumulate metadata and create richer customer profiles. Mobile brings them together by putting the specific customer into the present transaction equation.
15 years ago, business wondered how, what and when E-Commerce would change their reality. Today, forward planning organizations recognize mobile technologies as a similar force of permanent change. Advantage will flow to those organizations who get out to test and experience for themselves the many features mobile technologies offer them directly. These options offer unique understandings and help them translate mobile technologies’ anytime, anywhere access options into business value.
Strategy that activates customer and supplier value goes beyond capturing attention and offering incentives to drive traffic. The strategy must consider the fuller customer experience and increase the odds of success by investing in developing future capabilities such as cross training staff and directing resources that effect cross-promotion , understanding both crowdsourcing and influence peddling opportunities.
Walmart’s recent experience demonstrates the shifting control customers now possess. A computer glitch with the Federal WIC program’s system communications prevented enforcement of purchase limits at Walmart’s Point of Sale. A customer tweet flooded Walmart with these customers who exploited the system failure to their advantage and Walmart received the short term benefits.
Summary of take aways
- Confirmation that organizations must be actively trying to understand the technology, otherwise they may never get the benefits. For now, obvious value is limited to facilitating adaptions to marketing . Eventually both seller and buyer will reach the same understanding but the advantage will continue to flow to those who worked hard out front and made it easier for their customers to both benefit and settle in as they who to trust and where to be. Switching costs are always serious and so it pays to be out front.
- Best to think through how you deploy these technologies carefully. What opportunities will make things easier for you consumers, and then work to simplify the individual steps and actual transactions. For example, Millenials view mobile as an essential service and continue to need and expect universal Wifi and battery charging wherever they go. Are you helping them? If not, your access to this key demographic will be limited.
- Balance the cost/benefit of information and investment. Mobile is a work in progress like any technology, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Opening up of information transmission in more places and with more transactions suggests that additional paths to capitalize on this phenomenon. Your strategy should seek to know and learn, as in where you can produce added convenience, respond and simplify steps in your own or your customers’ process, find out more about customer behavior and your ability to learn with them in order to gain strategic advantage.
- Continue to seek out pockets of advantage—customer loyalty is easy, instant access, centralize connections for your customer to one place is another.
- Transparency too is key. Mobile comes with real time imperatives and be sure your back up plans work. Open Table app for example failed to deliver real time answers or reservations, which diminished its value and its opportunity to build customer loyalty.
Mobile Now—Strategy +Business June 2013
The 6 Biggest Mistakes Made on Enterprise Mobile Strategy
Posted by Adam Bookman in Wired on August 5, 2013 at 10:30am
Global mobile statistics 2013 Home
And, an Optional case Illustration.
A look At Quiri- Retail Intelligence using mobile crowd workers