The Digital Mobile Consumer: Key Findings

While the study explores numerous issues, we found six findings to be among the most noteworthy:

1. Many businesses are making fundamental changes to their products/services and processes to win over the digital mobile consumer.

Nearly three times the number of “leaders” in our survey (82%) made the digital mobile consumer a unique market segment than did laggards (only 28%). And a much greater percentage of leaders (85%) developed a new product/service offering for the digital mobile consumer segment than did laggards (30%). (See link.)


2. The average company in the four regions of the world will spend between $13 million and $22 million this year on technologies, business process changes, and other expenses to respond to digital mobile consumers.

Asia-Pacific companies are spending the most (an average $22 million, or $2.4 million per $1 billion in revenue) vs. $16 million (or $1.43 million per $1 billion in revenue) in North America, $20 million in Europe (or $1.59 million per $1 billion in revenue) and $13 million (or $1.63 million per billion dollars in revenue). (See link.)


3. Marketing, sales and service functions are taking the lead in shaping their organization’s overall strategy for serving the digital mobile consumer – but the IT function is integrally involved.

For example, in 48% of North American companies and 43% of European companies, marketing, sales or service is leading the way, whereas IT is leading the effort in 35% of North American companies and 38% of European firms. Companies in our survey reporting the greatest success in winning the digital mobile consumer rated cross-functional collaboration much higher as a key success factor than the companies with the least success to date. (See link.)


4. Companies with some of the best opportunities are in sectors that haven’t changed as much as others in responding to the digital mobile consumer (based on the TCS index).

We found this in our research on mobile initiatives at companies in media and entertainment, banking/financial services/insurance (State Farm and Progressive), industrial manufacturing (a global tire manufacturer), health care (Humana and Geisinger Health System), and retail (Starbucks). Companies whose products have greater overall importance (especially urgency) to consumers and whose consumers are more likely to be “in motion” when they research, buy and use those products are among those generating the highest customer and firm value from their mobility initiatives. (See link.)


5. Designing mobile applications and websites just for tablet devices is becoming a new battleground.

Companies reporting the most success in winning the business of the digital mobile consumer said they designed an average 25% of their mobile apps for tablets; in contrast, in the companies with the least success, the percentage was 17%. Overall, 17% of all the mobile apps that North American organizations have developed to date are designed just for tablet devices (vs. those developed just for smartphones or to run on both tablets and smartphones). In Europe the number is 25%; in Asia-Pacific, 28%; and in Latin America, 27%. (See link.)


6. Consumers in Asia-Pacific and Latin America conduct more business through mobile devices than consumers in Europe and North America.

Companies in Asia-Pacific and Latin America had a much higher percentage of mobile interactions with consumers than companies in North America and Europe. By percentage of mobile interactions, we mean out of each company’s total number of consumer marketing, sales and service interactions, what percentage were consumers conducting through a mobile device? The number was about 48% in Asia-Pacific, 42% in Latin America, and about 28% in Europe. North American companies finished last on this measure, with about 21% of their consumer interactions coming through mobile devices. (See link.) 


In the pages that follow, we dive deep into these and many other issues that relate to the way large companies around the world are changing the way they operate to respond to the digital mobile consumer.


Introduction and Key Findings
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