Mobile is a key driver of digital transformation across industries, said Ray Pun, who handles strategic marketing for mobile at Adobe, during his panel session yesterday at the Adobe Summit, in Salt Lake City.
“To address the needs of mobile consumers, marketers and developers must reinvent how they create, measure, and personalize mobile experiences across platforms and devices,” Pun said.
However, John Bollen, SVP and chief digital officer at MGM Resorts International, had a slightly different take on the matter. To Bollen, mobile is just one of many touch points.
“The ROI has to facilitate all the touch points: Internet, mobile, kiosks, all of it,” he said. “The investment is not always just about mobile and mobile-first. The tool set has to facilitate the whole organization. Mobile is just one of many digital channels.”
Michelle Eten, divisional VP of digital retail at REI, said that, unlike some, her company was fortunate enough to get C-level support for mobile in the early days—way back in 2009. By 2011, REI developed a mobile strategy and hired appropriately.
Today, REI has a mobile Center of Excellence and is evolving to make mobile less of a department or team, and instead something everyone within the organization is responsible for. Marketing, operations, customer service, sales, etc., all need to think across all screens.
Matt Asay, VP of mobile at Adobe, added to Eten’s point about executive buy-in for mobile. He said he recently spoke to a large retailer that got executive support for mobile. The CEO was insisting on a mobile app—when 90% of traffic to the retailer’s site is coming from mobile. “Besides getting support, it is also important to steer leadership towards the right direction,” Asay said.
Bollen agreed with Asay’s point, and said that MGM’s customers visit a property about once a year, twice at most, so asking them to download an app is too much work. For MGM, the focus has been on building a personalized experience on its mobile Web site so that if a person is on a property and has a question, he could pull up the mobile site and find what he needs quickly and easily.
Donald Brady, principal and mobile/digital marketing leader at Deloitte Digital, told attendees he is astonished that, more than eight years after the first iPhone, he still comes across clients who are uncertain about whether they should invest.
“We have research that mobile influences conversion in-store,” Brady said. “And mobile users convert at a 40% higher rate. Those numbers need be used to educate leadership.”
Brady also talked about organizational structure as it pertains to mobile. Although many marketers tout the importance of more generalists and fewer specialists, Brady said companies need a mobile team that is part of the digital team. That mobile team needs to include both marketers and developers, as well as partners, who are on the same page and working together.
REI has a huge synergy between the mobile and marketing teams, Eten said. The company’s director of mobile strategy is very much integrated with the mobile developer team, and it’s a collaborative environment. “They work together because, otherwise, you can’t be successful at customer experience,” she said.
According to Brady, many marketers question mobile because they can’t yet measure ROI. “Don’t get discouraged. A lot of our clients aren’t able to measure mobile until they are at the optimization stage,” he advised. “That’s when you see the ROI. Optimization implies a level of personalization. Personalization means having the data in place. These things are all challenging, but if you have a game plan, you’re more likely to be successful.”
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