Consumers are adopting mobile devices and wearables in record numbers.

But what does this mean for businesses? 

How can they capitalize on this always on, always-connected world — and how can they identify the best ways to engage with customers today?

While the qualitative benefits of mobility seem obvious, it's difficult to translate those values into quantitative statistics that reflect return on investment (ROI).

Stakeholders want more than promises of improved communications, greater efficiencies, seamless access to data and enhanced customer service.

For businesses, the goal is accurately calculating tangible and quantitative improvements.

Working with numerous customers and partners across a range of industries, we’ve put together some tips for measuring the success of enterprise mobile strategy, from setting the foundation to proving value and determining ROI.

Determine Your Intended Outcome

Regardless of company size, industry or services offered, the success of just about every mobile campaign is measured by how effectively it either:

  1. Increases customer engagement and satisfaction
  2. Improves operational or workplace efficiencies

While each campaign has a unique and clear set of intrinsic values, both outcomes need to be quantified to gain true organizational buy-in and strategic alignment. Doing so enables you to add tangible numbers that illustrate ROI and value.

Evaluate Consumer Apps

If consumers are engaging with a mobile app, this is an indication that the mobile campaign is positively impacting quantifiable metrics such as customer acquisition, lead generation, retention rate and resource allocation.

Use the following key performance indicators (KPIs) to assign quantitative values to various aspects of your strategy. You’ll condense these numbers into more digestible metrics later:

  • Total cost of mobile campaign
  • Total number of users
  • Total number of new sales-ready leads
  • Total number of new leads attributed to mobile
  • Total number of downloads
  • Current total of apps retained (number of downloads minus number of current users)

This data can be used to generate a variety of quantifying metrics. Take a look at the following examples of metrics that can be derived from your KPI numerical data.

  • User acquisition (the dollar amount that is spent on each new mobile customer). How to calculate: total mobile expenses ÷ total users = cost per user
  • Lead acquisition rate (the rate at which you are acquiring new leads that can be attributed to mobile). How to calculate: total new leads ÷ total new mobile leads = % acquisition rate
  • Retention rate (the rate at which the mobile campaign is encouraging customers to return). How to calculate: total apps downloaded initially ÷ total apps retained = % retention rate

Evaluate Enterprise Apps

The second outcome, that of improved efficiencies, can be quantified by considering actual user scenarios and integrating project-specific KPIs. It’s important to note that unlike KPIs for a consumer-facing app, these KPIs are not centered on customer interactions and consumer engagement, but specific user cases.

A field service technician needs to access real-time information in order to resolve a customer complaint, so you would look at the increase in sales, the reduction of in-office support, and reduction of paperwork and the creation of up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

Learning Opportunities

A sales engineer needs up-to-date information about product capabilities to design a specific solution while on site, so you would quantify the amount of time saved as a result of shorter response times, the reduction in travel, paperwork and reliance on internal resources, and the increase in first-time fix rate.

For a supply chain manager the qualitative goal may be to track and monitor products across the entire supply chain, so KPIs would include reduction in time to market, the drop in production costs and the increase in efficiency when integrated with other systems.

Consider Total Cost of Ownership

The final step in measuring the success of a mobile initiative requires the comparison of measurable KPIs to the initiative’s total cost of ownership (TCO).

Take note that calculating TCO requires the consideration of the development, maintenance, and upgrade costs associated with an ever-evolving pool of devices, environments, and platforms. These costs will likely include hardware, implementation, integration, support and the cost of upgrades.

The trick is to balance these costs against the KPIs and ROI that you previously quantified and calculated.

Having carefully calculated TCO and ROI metrics on hand lays the groundwork to do more than just reinforce the mobile initiative’s qualitative value. Instead, businesses can better identify the strategies most capable of creating value, such as improved customer satisfaction, increased customer loyalty, new customer acquisition, or better employee productivity.

And based on this, you can rank the apps based on the value they offer, and demonstrate how this value can be spread across multiple service areas through various applications.

So by understanding these four tips and being clear on how you will define success, look at ways to address consumer-facing efforts or enterprise employee-facing initiatives. Don't forget to look at the total lifecycle of each application to fully understand the total cost of ownership (TCO).

The result is a mobile strategy that offers more than identified costs. It offers identified advantages for each of the intended outcomes it is expected to serve.

Title image by Dương Trần Quốc

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