Decision-makers fail to deliver foundational mobile experiences

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Marketing organisations must prioritise their mobile foundation before diving into emerging technologies, says Forrester.
Marketing organisations must prioritise their mobile foundation before diving into emerging technologies, says Forrester.

Many organisations are adopting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), chatbots, augmented reality (AR) and IOT in their service offerings, however, one-third don't have a mobile first strategy as a basis for these services.

This is according to Forrester's "2017 Mobile And Technology Priorities For Marketers," report which advises marketing decision-makers to get their mobile-first strategy sorted first before adopting new technologies. Consumers' expectations of a brand's mobile experience have never been higher, and yet almost one-third of marketers divulge that their mobile services are merely cumbersome, scaled-down versions of their PC services - this results in frustrated consumers, says Forrester.

"Marketing organisations must prioritise their mobile foundation before diving into emerging technologies. With most mobile Web sites disappointing consumers, marketers have work to do before diving into emerging technologies. Focus on meeting consumer demands through a strong mobile Web experience, and then strategically test into new platforms and partners.

Emerging consumer technologies will require, not replace, mobile. As such bots, intelligent agents, connected objects, and the Internet of things will not replace mobile, on the contrary, mobile is key to scaling innovation and unlocking these new touchpoints," notes the report.

The majority of marketers surveyed by Forrester - 54% - are still stuck in the earliest mobile maturity stages and lack the cross-channel, cross-device execution required in today's complex digital landscape. According to the research, most of these marketing organisations placed unwarranted focus on emerging consumer-facing technologies.

Mobile-first is the new marketing mantra, adds Forrester. However marketers think that because

they have launched apps and responsive mobile Web sites, they have checked the box on mobile and can move on to piloting VR, AR or bots. They're wrong. Marketers' current mobile-first strategies are inadequate because they fail to deliver on foundational mobile experiences and master their mobile basics, then home in on new technologies.

"Marketers are easily lured by the hype around emerging technologies. For example, 28% of B2C marketing decision-makers plan to implement or expand existing implementations of virtual assistants - despite the fact that two-thirds of US online adults who use smartphones, tablets, or computers say they do not use these types of assistants today," reveals the report.

Yaron Assabi, chair of Mobile Marketing Association for SA (MMA SA ) and CEO of Digital Solutions Group, says mobile is the future of all media, and marketers who can get this right will see positive returns on their investments and increased value for every rand spent within their media budgets.

"The question is no longer "why mobile?" but rather an acknowledgement that mobile will empower marketers to connect with consumers to drive awareness, advocacy and transactions on behalf of brands. In the next few years we expect that the mobile share of Internet advertising will increase substantially," he notes. "Nothing gets marketers closer to consumers than mobile and, even more so in a mobile-first country like SA," he explains.

According to the Mobile Report 2016, compiled by the Mobile Marketing Association for SA, smartphone adoption has outstripped growth in desktop usage and is now driving Internet access in SA. This trend will push mobile advertising to become mainstream as it has the highest penetration reach - making mobile the most powerful channel for customer engagement in SA.

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