KIMBERLY MORRISON

Mobile moments are the next battleground to win, serve and retain customers, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Companies must evolve quickly to adapt to the changing expectations and demands of the consumer, who has high expectations for their mobile moments. The mobile moment is a term coined by Forrester that means a point when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what they want immediately and in context. Seems simple enough.

But here’s the rub: enterprises lack operations excellence to service mobile moments effectively.

The technology and market research firm reports that companies, while recognizing the necessity of mobile, often lack understanding of the importance of mobile, too often viewing it as simply a channel or smaller screen or enhancement to a physical product or location. And that means they are missing huge opportunities to seize critical mobile moments. (Learn more by downloading the free report from Forrester, courtesy of TUNE.)

Why mobile moments matter

Consumer expectations of their mobile experiences and services in their mobile moments are evolving faster than enterprises can develop best practices, according to Forrester.

“This is more than just a shift in time spent; it’s actually a fundamental shift in how (consumers) engage and what their expectations are,” Forrester Analyst Jennifer Wise said in her Postback keynote. “It’s the expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need.”

Contributing to the problem is that digital business professionals commonly want to transfer their knowledge of building websites to mobile. They strive to match feature parity with competitors while building a bottom-up technology stack.

Forrester surveyed enterprises about their mobile ambitions, and found that only 17% aspire to use mobile to its full potential to overhaul customer and employee experiences. And yet a paltry 7% of respondents have the technology, budget and talent to execute.

How to seize the mobile moment in 4 steps

Forrester recommends four ways to seize — and win — the mobile moment:

  • Use analytics to drive experience improvements. Digital professionals tend to use analytics to make the business case for mobile’s value or monitor performance rather than to drive improvements in the mobile experience. You can gain a competitive edge by applying mobile analytics insights to improve existing products or even develop new products and solutions.
  • Work as agile teams to apply insights. To effectively leverage mobile analytics, you need the right processes in place to apply insights and drive continuous improvement. Your best bet is to have agile team working in two- to four-week sprints. Major updates are likely to occur quarterly or a few times a year, but bug fixes must happen more frequently. Adjustments to messaging, content and advertising should evolve as quickly as possible.
  • Master using analytics solutions to drive decisions. The majority of mobile marketing professionals either use or plan to use some type of analytics solution. But mobile analytics is a young industry with many new tools and marketers are still trying to determine how to use the tools and define the best use of the information and insights. Make sure you test the right hypotheses, monitor key performance indicators and create reports for executives to drive effective decision-making.
  • Serve consumers proactively with context. Consumer expectations are shifting, expecting brands to not only deliver the right experience but actually anticipate their needs. But just a third of digital professionals use analytics to inform contextual and predictive insights; another third use location and other contextual data to deliver relevant services. Even less — about a quarter of mobile professionals — regularly use push notifications, but these key engagement tactics are closely tied to systems of insights that can drive other strategies and are worth closer consideration and focus.

The right combination

The brands that combine consumers, data and technology will be the ones to win mobile moments. Marketers must get to know their consumers by capturing the best possible data on their interests, locations and preferences. They should use that data to create actionable, customized messaging for a variety of devices in the exact moments their customers need them. The companies who successfully integrate consumers with data and technology will be the ones who come out on top.