These and many other mobile initiatives to date will eventually show what “sticks” and what doesn’t. We believe every consumer company has an opportunity to generate more business with consumers and increase their loyalty through mobile technologies and new ways of doing business with them. That is, we see enormous opportunities for companies to follow consumers – even if they number in the millions — to use mobile technology and mobile-friendly ways of conducting business and reap substantial benefits. However, the value of the mobile initiative must be compelling enough to convince consumers to “follow” these companies back through their mobile devices – to want to download and use a company’s mobile apps, to want to search on and deploy its mobile websites.
In this way, one can imagine that simply spending heavily on mobility initiatives is no guarantee of success. From our survey, the biggest spenders on initiatives aimed at digital mobile consumers were not at all the most successful ones. How do we know?
We grouped the 664 survey respondents into two categories based on how they answered one of our questions: “Compared to your biggest competitors, how would you rate your firm’s success at addressing consumers who interact with your organization through digital mobile devices?” We provided a seven-point scale – from a 1 (“far behind”) and a 2 (“behind”) to a 4 (“neither ahead nor behind”) and a 6 (“ahead”) and 7 (“far ahead”). There was barely any difference between “leaders” (answering with a 6 or 7) and “laggards” (answering with a 1 or 2) in their 2012 spending on initiatives to win over the digital mobile consumer (technology, consulting, IT services, etc.). (See Exhibit IX-4.)
Exhibit IX-4: Q16/Global: What Companies Will Spend in 2012 and 2015 on
Technologies and Services to Respond to Digital Mobile Consumers
(in US$ Millions, Adjusted for Average Revenue/Company)
The ratio of mobile consumer spending as a percent of company revenue was virtually the same for “leaders” and “laggards.” And this was the case for both questions on investments – for this year and their projection for 2015. What that tells us is that being successful in this arena requires spending on the right mobile capabilities for consumers – not spending more than the competition.
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Numerous challenges confront companies that want to respond effectively and cost-efficiently to consumers who increasingly use mobile devices to transact business. Therefore, we wanted to know which elements in responding effectively and efficiently to the digital mobile consumer were considered the most important. We constructed a list of 14 factors that we had heard repeatedly in our interviews. On a scale of 1-5 (1=not at all important, 5= of highest importance), we asked survey respondents to grade these 14 success factors. To be sure, they aren’t the only factors. But they were enough to give us an understanding of what factors are more important than others.
What did we find? First, not one success factor stands much higher than all the others. (See Exhibit III-14.) The average scores were all between 3 and 4 on our scale of 1 to 5. However, the three highest-rated factors were these:
- Developing mobile applications that are both useful and easy to use for consumers
- Getting the business functions that “touch” consumers – especially marketing, sales and service – to work in a unified way on mobile initiatives
- Making sure the company’s mobile apps or mobile-optimized web pages appear prominently in local search results. That is, when consumers enter a term into a search engine such as Google or Bing, does a company’s mobile app or mobile web pages appear near or at the top of search results?
Exhibit III-14: Q21/North America: Key Success Factors in
Winning Over Digital Mobile Consumers (Scale of Importance, 15)