Customer Experience: Forrester Analytics Mobile MarketingA report from Forrester Research showed too few businesses employ analytics solutions to measure mobile experiences and identified a shortage of clear mobile strategies and objectives.

Julie A. Ask wrote the report, “Use Analytics To Build Mobile Advantage,” with Carrie Johnson, Thomas Husson and Douglas Roberge based on the results of the Q1 2013 Global Mobile Maturity Executive Online Survey. Three hundred sixty three members of Forrester’s Marketing and Strategy Research Panel responded to this survey between October 2012 to February 2013, including representatives from CIBC, United Airlines and Proctor-Gamble.

Based on the survey responses, the report identified weaknesses in mobile strategies, a lack of mobile analytics use and made recommendations based on these findings.

Mobile is Here to Stay

Before the report looked at mobile marketing and analytics, it first explained why mobile has become such an important consumer and business tool. Today's mobile device is more than just a telephone, there are apps and features that make people more connected than ever before to friends and family, as well as services, such as healthcare and banking.

Delivering specific content and services to a consumer in their moment of need or just before boosts the need for relevancy on a mobile phone beyond that for a PC,” said the report, “The very nature of the mobile phone a pocket-size, personal, connected device [and[ that makes it well suited to deliver content instantaneously.”

Forrester noted that due to this, companies must use analytics to identify customers' needs and desires in as close to real time as possible.

Data Tracking

Mobile might be on the rise, but mobile marketing faces challenges. The report found many businesses lacked a clear set of mobile strategy goals.  Among those surveyed, 40 percent didn’t have a clear mobile objective and only 46 percent utilized mobile analytics solutions.

In spite of the absence of clear mobile objectives, the majority reported customer engagement -- traffic, visits, log ins, etc. -- as the highest priority. Seventy four percent said they focused on customer engagement as the main measurement of mobile success. 

Of companies with mobile objectives, customer satisfaction was listed as one of the top priorities at 47 percent followed closely by customer engagement at 45 percent. Other common priorities included brand loyalty, increased sales and traffic and improved revenue.

Many businesses also tracked the amount of traffic or the number of total visits a site or app had, the amount of mobile interactions made and customer satisfaction with a mobile service. Increased brand awareness and reduced operating costs were some of the lowest mentioned priorities.

Among the businesses interviewed that felt they could be successful with mobile, 12 out of the 25 measured customer engagement, while eight businesses tracked task completion and seven measured revenue. Only two out of the 25 companies measured customer experience.

Remember the Basics

The report advised brands and businesses to note the factors that play into how a customer engages across a mobile device. eBusinesses must develop ways to keep customers interested, by offering rewards such as loyalty programs and price comparisons, making sure an app is working properly and promoting products across different platforms.

The report also noted that not all businesses track mobile customers across multiple channels -- something that should be considered as it will give marketers more context into the customer journey. Fourty two percent of eBusinesses said they partially track customers and 36 percent didn’t do it at all. Only 17 percent tracked customers across more than one channel. The maturity of strategy played a part in responses, with those who have been working on a mobile strategy for more than three years more likely to track customers in both offline and online channels, unlike those who have had a strategy for less than year.

Don’t Just Justify Yourself, Concentrate on the Customer

Despite some of what was reported, Forrester concluded that many business use analytics to show how well they’ve adapted to mobile instead of improving the customer experience, since for example they are tracking engagement instead of figuring out why a customer didn’t finish buying an item in their cart. In order to have a good customer experience companies should be developing a strong mobile strategy, making sure content is relevant, making sure that a mobile services are "dynamic" and based off specific customer needs or situations.

While engagement is a key part of a business’s success, companies need to first create a great mobile experience, because engagement, conversions and revenue will follow.