Fix Your Mobile Foundations To Make The Most Of Bots, Agents, VR and Other Emerging Tech

Thomas Husson

Emerging consumer technologies such as bots, intelligent agents, extended reality, connected objects, and IoT will not replace mobile — instead, mobile will be the key to unlocking these new touchpoints.

Facing limited budgets, marketers feel pressure to prioritize much-hyped new consumer-facing technologies over their foundational mobile work. Jumping directly to the latest shiny objects of VR, IoT, etc., without first implementing a proper mobile foundation is a costly mistake, as marketers will not be able to effectively scale innovative technologies beyond a small testing audience. With over 5 billion smartphones forecasted to be in use worldwide by 2020, mobile will play a key role in activating adjacent connected experiences.

That’s one of the key messages of my new “2017 Mobile And Technology Priorities For Marketers” report written with my colleague Jennifer Wise.

In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to sit down with many of our clients across different industries. A marketer at one of the largest CPG brands told me they currently had 18 chatbot pilots across the world! The Chief digital and customer experience officer at a global insurance company told me conversational interfaces is his top priority for the next 3 years. The SVP e-commerce and marketing at a global travel brand think extended reality will become a key differentiator. Beyond, these anecdotes, our quantitative survey among marketers, shows that:

  • 6% use intelligent agents regularly and 18% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 5% use bots regularly and 40% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 3% use augmented reality regularly and 30% are piloting or planning to use AR in the next year
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What To Expect From Mobile World Congress 2017

Thomas Husson

It's that time of year again! From next Monday (February 27) through March 2, 2017, Mobile World Congress (MWC) will take place in Barcelona. I attended this event (then 3GSM) for the first time in 2005 and it is fascinating to see how the event has morphed from a B2B telecoms technology trade show to one of the largest business conferences around the globe. This year’s MWC theme is “The Next Element” which may seem broad but I quite like this idea that mobile is elemental and has become part of our daily lives. By analogy with the previous industrial revolution, mobile is like electricity: once you have access to it, it is a disruptive enabler of adjacent technologies powering more powerful innovation. Mobile is barely entering its teenage years.

Consumers now use mobile as a sixth sense. If the human senses serve as effortless faculties through which we access information on the world around us, then mobile has become the sixth sense. It brings digital to consumers in their daily lives. It has truly become the face of digital.  That’s the main challenge for marketers: as mobile becomes the primary interface between your brand and your customers, you must leverage mobile to accelerate digital transformation and transform the customer experience you deliver. A lot has to happen behind the scenes for marketers to be able to deliver real-time contextual experiences on mobile. That’s why it makes a lot of sense for marketers to spend time in Hall 8.1 where most marketing, advertising and app vendors will be gathered.

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Beyond ROI: Showcasing The True Impact Of Mobile Marketing

Thomas Husson

My colleague Jenny Wise and I just updated the business case report of Forrester’s mobile marketing playbook with new data, examples and primary research.

B2C Marketers know mobile is a strategic imperative but the vast majority don’t strategically integrate it in their marketing-mix with only 13% saying they do so systematically. Only 27% of marketers we surveyed told us the ROI of their mobile marketing campaigns was profitable and a stunning 67% told us they simply cannot measure it!

Why? Because marketers:

  • Don’t align objectives and KPIs. There is a misalignment between their top objectives — improving customer satisfaction and transforming customer experience, which they barely track.
  • Can only start to benefit from vendors’ advanced ROI tools. Greg Stuart, CEO of Mobile Marketing Association, sums it up better than anyone else: “It seems crazy that CMOs haven’t pushed vendors to do marketing mix measurement comparing TV, mobile, and all other media and that the MMA, working with our research partners, is the only entity to have developed an industry methodology for an opportunity this obvious and big”. You can find out more on MMA's SMoX research here.
  • Find it difficult to measure the impact of mobile on other channels, especially offline.
  • Have limited mobile expertise of their own.
  • Can’t prove they need it to take budget from existing pools.
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The State Of Mobile Marketer Tactics: 2016

Thomas Husson

I quite like this provocative sausage dog picture because it forces marketers to think differently about responsive web design (RWD). More often than not, marketers scale content down to fit a smaller screen; because they then claim that they use RWD and have some mobile apps, they think they have checked the mobile box. In fact, RWD was by far the most common tactic that marketers were using or planning to use in 2015: Only 9% of marketers we surveyed are not planning to use it. When fully implemented, RWD can improve the user experience, but more often than not, it’s implemented as a quick fix to the problem of multiple screen sizes. It often prevents marketers from thinking about the need to contextualize offerings for different devices. Customers do not necessarily want the same content across all their screens. However, a scarily high percentage of marketers we surveyed — 47% — admit their mobile services are primarily a scaled-down version of their PC services. In short: 

  • Marketers misuse mobile marketing tactics. B2C marketers often focus too much on piloting the latest mobile shiny objects and, unfortunately, do not invest enough in adapting to mobile experiences’ core touchpoints -- like email or search -- that most consumers use to engage with brands.
  • Use mobile to transform brand experiences. Too few marketers think of mobile as an opportunity to transform the brand experience. To really differentiate themselves, they should develop mobile-unique interactions delivering visible value with apps, messaging, and online-to-offline tactics.
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What To Expect From Mobile World Congress 2016?

Thomas Husson

From February 22 to 25, Barcelona will be the center of the business world. Do not expect a specific industry focus but expect announcements impacting any industry: from payments to automotive. Why? Because “mobile is everything”.

 

 

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Data Digest: Just A Handful Of Apps Account For Nearly All App Time On Smartphones

Nicole Dvorak

Today, consumers spend most of their time on smartphones using apps - and just five apps account for 88% of the time they spend using downloaded apps. For the average US smartphone owner, those apps are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Gmail, and FB Messenger. And although smartphone owners use about 24 unique apps in a given month, the remaining 19 command just a small slice of users' time.

Nicole Dvorak is a data scientist serving all roles. Follow her on Twitter at @NicoleLDvorak.

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2016 Mobile And App Marketing Trends

Thomas Husson

In November, Forrester released its mobile predictions for 2016, highlighting how mobile will act as a catalyst for business transformation and explaining why the battle for mobile moments will redefine the vendor landscape.

Let’s now take a closer look at how mobile will impact marketing in 2016.

A year ago, Forrester argued that most brands would underinvest in mobile in 2015. This is likely to remain the case this year, since too many marketers still have a narrow view of mobile as a “sub-digital” medium and channel. This is good news for the 20% of marketers who told us they have the budget they need and for the 33% who said they know how to measure mobile ROI. In 2016, this growing minority of leading marketers will start to fully integrate mobile into their marketing strategies. These mature mobile marketers will measure the impact of mobile across channels, see a clear opportunity to differentiate their brands, and increase their investments in mobile initiatives. Here’s what else we expect to happen:

  • Integrating mobile into your marketing strategy will become a key differentiator. While most brands are trying to mobilize their ads, few are going the extra mile: serving their customers in their mobile moments by transforming the entire customer experience. Only those that do go that extra mile will differentiate their brands via mobile. Leaders will also start measuring the impact of mobile on offline channels and will end up allocating up to 20% of their marketing budgets to mobile.
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Beyond The Beacon Proximity-Marketing Hype, Fuel Contextual Marketing With Location Data

Thomas Husson

When it comes to location-based marketing and proximity-marketing, more often than not, marketers seem fascinated by the beacon technology.

With 82% of shoppers making their actual purchasing decision in-aisle, it’s no wonder that vendors are betting on beacons and indoor positioning systems to help marketers interact with consumers in real time.

A year ago, Forrester warned of the hype around beacons. Despite huge interest and numerous successful pilots, we have yet to see very many successful commercial rollouts. This is not so much about the technology (even though battery life and operational deployments raise technology issue), but primarily because reach is limited today and because few marketers can deliver smart contextual messages at scale. They must also define engagement scenarios and automated rules to deliver relevant messages to individual customers.

Location data alone is dumb. Sending someone a coupon to redeem in a nearby store just because they’re passing by isn’t enough. For ads and messages to be relevant, firms must combine location data with insights like past behaviors, preferences, needs, and situations. It is also likely they will have to combine multiple technologies to reduce the complexity of in-store operational deployments and boost the accuracy of location data.

There are many more opportunities than just pushing marketing messages in real-time. Using location data is more important than just capturing the attention of nearby smartphone owners — it’s about powering contextual marketing.

In particular, marketers should fuel contextual marketing with location data to:

  • Increase brand preference by delivering personalized experiences
  • Improve the customer experience on location
  • Advertise more efficiently
  • Unlock audience targeting and offer intention data
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Uncover Your Customers' Mobile Pathways To Win In Mobile Moments

Jennifer Wise

We all know it: Consumers are glued to thier mobile devices, glancing at them hundreds of times in a day, and spending almost 67 hours on apps and sites in a month. These glances -- anytime you pull out your phone to do something --  are what we call "mobile moments." What could this moment be? To set an alarm. To browse Facebook. To check your email. To go to your favorite retailer's site to shop. To do seemingly anything you wish.

The meaning of these multiplying mobile moments to brands and marketers is clear: You need a mobile strategy. But what should this strategy be? How can you win in your customers' mobile moments?

To help answer this, Forrester has launched a new report: Master Your Customers' Mobile Pathways. A collaboration with Ted Schadler and Nicole Dvorak , it presents a new type of data analysis: Mobile Pathways. So, what is this data and how can you use it? Here are some key things to know:

  • What is mobile pathway analysis? Mobile pathway analysis is defined as: Charting the immediate path customers take to and from your brand's mobile moments.
  • Where does mobile pathways data come from? We’ve been tacking mobile sessions in the US and UK to learn about how people use their phones – what sites they visit, what apps they go to, and what string of actions they take in a mobile session.
  • What does mobile pathway analysis tell you? In mobile pathways analysis, we aim to help answer 5 pressing questions:
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The A, B, C, D and E's of Marketing Engagement

Laura Ramos

Presenting today with Marketo's CMO, Sanjay Dholakia, gave us the opportunity to talk about what CMOs (both B2B and B2C) need to do to transform marketing into a growth engine. Here's a little retrospective on our conversation in case you missed it. 

In 2010, Forrester introduced our "age of the customer"(AOTC) research and defined four investment imperatives needed to better win, serve, and retain customers in this digital age.

Marketo focuses here, not just as a marketing technology provider, but as a practitioner as well.  They've been talking about Engagement Marketing - the evolution from mass marketing to transactional to customer engagement -- for more than a year, and practicing it for much longer. Now their advice is as easy as ... well ... learning your alphabet. 

Forrester's research shows that technological change reduces competitive barriers. Building and sustaining customer relationships is the exception. In some ways, technology actually enhances relationship creation and maintenance. Top firms recognize this and get customer-obsessed to beat their competition.  By investing strategy, budget, and energy in the following four areas, they:

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