This article is part of CMO.com’s February series about mobile. Click here for more.
It’s been just over 10 years since Apple launched the first iPhone, which has inarguably changed the world and how we work, play, and communicate.
Now, with the advent of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, the next decade of mobility promises to be even more transformative, according to a new study by Adobe, CMO.com’s parent company.
Adobe surveyed almost 500 marketing and IT professionals to explore current mobile trends, forecast where mobility is going, and learn what some of the most advanced organizations are doing in the space.
The key finding? Integration and alignment are key for a winning mobile strategy. The most advanced companies also ensure mobile apps and websites—including continued investment in each—are core parts of their plans, along with the right leadership team and solid KPIs.
Not surprisingly, for mobile-mature organizations, mobile is treated as a key component of the overall marketing strategy, not an add-on: Two-thirds of respondents said mobile apps and mobile Web are important to their overall marketing strategy. Of note, IT decision-makers reported a much higher importance of mobile apps than their marketing counterparts.
“Companies with advanced mobile capabilities are differentiating themselves in the market over those who have less built-out strategies,” said Dave Dickson, senior manager of mobile and emerging technologies at Adobe. “And overall, about half of brands are using at least five of six key mobile technologies—including acquisition, analytics, personalization, optimization, messaging, and content management—to achieve these results.”
Seventy-five percent of marketers and 85% of IT professional reported that mobile is a definitive part of their company’s integrated customer experience. That is certainly good news, however, it is important to note a split among marketing and IT professionals in terms of who is in charge of the mobile experience. Sixty-one percent of marketers said they do vs. 81% of IT professionals who said they do. Just 15% of marketing professionals and 26% of IT professionals said their organization has an advanced mobile maturity.
Asked to rate their company’s mobile maturity, the vast majority of both IT and marketing professionals chose “focused” over advanced or novice. The report defines “focused” as having data and processes somewhat integrated, automation common, and solid and expanding technical skills. Most organizations feel they have further to go to reach mobile maturity, exposing a need for greater departmental integration and better collaboration, according to the report.
Transformative mobile experiences also take investment, the survey uncovered. Mature organizations are investing, on average, $16.3 million per year into mobile app and web development, compared with just $6.3 million in annual investment from non-advanced organizations.
Fifty percent of mobile mature organizations already have a defined strategy for virtual reality, while just 28% of non-mature organizations have one in place. Additionally, 47% of advanced organizations have an AI strategy (compared with 27% for non-mature) and 84% have a personalization strategy within their mobile app experience (compared with 50% of non-mature).
“Mobile is now woven into the marketing strategies of most companies—but 85% of brands say they can further develop their mobile capabilities,” said Dickson. “To be successful with mobile, brands need to see it not as an isolated program, but a strategy that has relevance in every customer interaction and for every group in the company.”
Adobe used the survey data to highlight six steps organizations can take to move toward advanced mobile maturity and transformative mobile experiences.