The Five “Big Lies” CMOs are Told About Mobile

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

By Scott Snyder

Mobility is the most disruptive technology wave ever. With customers spending more than 60% of their online interaction time on a mobile device, mobility has changed the game across all industries, empowering users like never before and changing how companies, markets and consumers behave and operate.

Businesses have recognized the trend and have tried to capitalize, but the impact has been minimal, at best. They’ve spent roughly $10 billion on mobile apps over the last three years, but 70% of the apps produced over that same period were thrown into the electronic trashcan.

Why are so many companies struggling with mobile? On one hand, there have been general failures to develop carefully devised mobile strategies aligned with investment criteria. But another broad reality is that the C-Suite has become susceptible to misconceptions and spot lies they hear about mobilizing their marketing efforts. In order to fully take advantage of mobile, CMOs and their teams must resist the temptation to think only about building an “app.” Here are five “big lies” that have hindered the mobile progress of brands worldwide.

1)     We need a mobile presence … NOW

You already know your customers have high expectations of your brand, and you’ve read about the high expectations around mobile experience. Can you really afford a mobile experience of your brand that is not at least on par with your competitors, if not better? Can a mobile experience assembled just to “check off the mobile box” truly charm your customers, or will it decrease your promise and reach? Fifty-five percent of consumers said a bad mobile website experience would hurt their perception of the brand, according to a recent Google survey. Even if you plan to eventually get mobile right, it is critical to recognize that it is very important business enabler and not merely a check off.

2)     Mobile is no more than another advertising channel

Your customers always have their mobile devices with them. Mobility allows you to reach them at the point of inspiration or decision with the most relevant information or best offer from your brand. To do this effectively, you will have to integrate and optimize the user’s brand experience across the many different devices they might use at different stages in their journey. You will also have to integrate with data and content from a variety of different systems such as CRM, CMS, website, and other platforms to delver an engaging experience across all touchpoints. Creating mobile apps or experiences that leverage all available digital marketing infrastructure at all possible touch points is critical.

3)     Omnichannel is only for retail

Not only do 45% of customers expect to engage in a combination of channels with your brand, they expect to do so seamlessly and with consistent experiences across “every pane of glass.” They expect an enriched experience that provides relevant information and offers, and are perplexed and displeased when it does the brand experience does not connect so nicely.

While “Omnichannel” began in retail attempting to connect online and shopping planning with in-store experiences, marketers are gaining ground on the holy grail of reaching and servicing existing and new customers on all possible channels. Every marketer, retail or otherwise, needs to understand and build multichannel customer journeys that connect customer behavior across different channels to provide a clear path to ROI. It requires tracking, consistent digital and mobile experiences and deep integration with marketing infrastructure to succeed.

4)     Our creative team can design the interface: According to Pinch Media, after an app’s first use, only 20 percent of users use it again. By day 30, that’s down to three percent. Undoubtedly, your creative staff can design the visual assets and user interface for your website, but designing for an interactive mobile experience is fundamentally different. You need to understand how the target customer will connect with the application and then deliver that interaction in useful and compelling ways. Experts in this field test designs with actual customers and create solutions based on what the customer wants, not what you assume they want.

5)     Our staff can handle the development work. A member of your IT staff can code an iPhone game, but does that mean he or she can code an enterprise-class mobile solution? Probably not.

There is a litany of potential user problems to think about and design and code for. What happens if your battery dies while using the application? If you get on an elevator, lose the connection and then get back the connection? How do you cache all information so you don’t have to restart? If you are in a low bandwidth world, does your app detect and act differently than when you are in a 4G environment?

The many technical challenges that mobility presents are new and not the same as encountered in the digital web technology wave. Can your team master all these areas and deliver an engaging and well-rounded mobile experience to your customers while keeping up with the incredible pace of change in mobile?

Scott Snyder is president and chief strategy officer of


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