As we close out our focus on Mobile Customer Experience this month, let's have a look at the results of our May audience poll. This month we asked CMSWire readers to identify their most significant mobile strategy challenge. The results were interesting, if not telling.
There were 500 votes in our unofficial poll asking you about mobile customer experience (Mobile CXM) strategies. The actual breakdown in results is as follows:
CMSWire Poll: What is Your Top Mobile Strategy Challenge?
Management Buy In has Yet to Come
You need your management team on board to implement a mobile customer experience strategy. Why? Because the degree of change your organization will have to go through to implement mobile solutions is huge. This isn't your website, it's not simple html and it's not as simple as pushing your website to a smaller form factor.
A mobile strategy requires you to think about the important tasks visitors will want to do via their mobile device, because you can't do everything. A mobile strategy requires you to think about what devices your customers and prospective customers will be accessing your content on -- Android, iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, other tablet? Do you need a web app or a mobile website, or do you need some kind of hybrid? What is the difference between all of these any way?
If management isn't buying into the need to address this growing market (Gartner is predicting mobile payment transactions will surpass US$ 171.5 billion this year), then you are in big, big trouble. if you need help trying to define the business case to get management buy-in, have a read through some of our Mobile Tweet Jam suggestions.
What's Your Strategy? Mobile First?
Not everyone it seems is having an easy time arranging their customer experience management (CXM) strategies around mobile first. This may be partly because management still doesn't see it as a primary channel, or it may be because the shift in thinking from a "you can do it all website", to a "do only the important things" mobile site/app is just plain hard to do. It could also be because orgs don't have the technology to make that shift easily.
In a recent interview with Kevin Cochrane, Adobe's VP of Enterprise Marketing, Cochrane indicated that many organizations are adopting brand new platforms to get their mobile first strategies going. Many times this is because their current technology investments aren't what they need to be to support mobile solutions.
While this will work to get things up and running quickly, there's going to be a huge disconnect. The ability to share content across website(s) and mobile apps/sites will be difficult and sharing context -- even worse.
Something we also learned in our Mobile CXM tweet jam last week is that maybe we shouldn't be calling it "mobile first". Maybe our perspective should be about focusing our CXM strategies on "purpose and context", and whatever channel or device comes out of that, that's where the effort should be. (Note. this topic was question 2 in the tweet jam).
Technology and Skills - Much To Learn
Mobile development skills and the right technology were pretty close to the top of the list as well in this poll. With no real hard standards for mobile development and very different platforms for developing mobile applications, it's not wonder it's difficult to get and/or train mobile developers.
HTML5 will likely become the de facto standard for mobile web development (including hybrid apps), but it does have a way to go before it becomes mainstream.
And organizations need to wrap their heads around the decision of mobile app or mobile site. Most are saying it's all about mobile sites, that's apps are great, but they have their place.
It's also interesting to note that a lot of the "other" responses focused on trying to understand and implement responsive design. Responsive design enables you to create one set of web pages and have them displayed differently based on the capabilities of the device accessing them. You can get a great explanation of responsive design here. Of course, not everyone is for this approach, which just goes to show that much work needs to be done before things settle and official standards are born.
A little more context on the technology front:
- The Importance of Mobile in CXM: Buyers' Top 4 Selection Criteria
- 5 Future Trends in Tablet App Development
- Key Mobility Factors for the Second Half of 2012
There is much to learn about mobile customer experience. Yes, the technology part is interesting, but it's the strategies that will tell the tale of how your organization will succeed. The key is to understand who your customers are and how they are trying to access you and your information. Once you have that understood, then look to the right platforms and tools.