Companies Are Falling Short in Meeting Consumer Mobile Expectations

Marketing & Promotion
Posted 3/31/2016 8:06:21 AM by STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Companies Are Falling Short in Meeting Consumer Mobile Expectations
According to a recent research study, companies are still finding it difficult to create mobile experiences that meet consumer expectations. The study was conducted by Sitecore which polled 4,500 consumers in 11 countries about their attitudes toward mobile interactions, expectations, and experiences. 

We recently visited with Scott Anderson, CMO of Sitecore, to discuss the challenges companies are facing with mobile interactions and his thoughts about the results of the study.

ADM: Who is Sitecore? 

Anderson: Founded in 2001, Sitecore is a global leader in experience management software that enables brands to interact with consumers in the context of their individual experiences over time – to achieve true one-to-one personalization. The Sitecore Experience Platform manages content, supplies contextual intelligence, and automates communications with consumers, at scale. 

More than 4,600 customers, including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, and L'Oréal, trust Sitecore to deliver personalized interactions, in context, that delight audiences, build loyalty, and drive revenue.

ADM: How are you different from other martech offerings currently available? 

Anderson: Sitecore is built from the ground up and combines web content management with marketing automation, email marketing, social media, e-commerce, optimization, and analytics into a single, unified platform that captures every interaction – and intention – that customers and prospects have with a brand, both on a website and across other digital channels.

By comparison, many other competing marketing technologies are disparate point solutions, stitched together. This approach, typically taken by large corporations acquiring niche technologies to build a marketing stack, can lead to data and tech integration issues and be difficult to scale. 

ADM: What is marketing in context all about?   

Anderson: Context Marketing is the new standard of personalization. 

Technology has fueled a consumer evolution, forging new ways to communicate, but also shifting the expectation consumers have of brands. Similarly, consumers are now inundated with a high volume of (often times irrelevant) marketing messages and are growing increasingly weary of brands. Marketers who are able to cut through the noise and understand the relationship between their brand and consumers on an individual basis, over time, delivering relevant content to a consumer’s preferred device or channel at the desired cadence, achieve marketing in context.  

ADM: What tips do you have to improve digital marketing strategy? 

Anderson: Marketers face major hurdles when trying to stay relevant to consumers and personalize marketing messages on an individual basis – it’s critical that the level of care that goes into a creative campaign also be paid to technology and overall engagement strategy with consumers, on an ongoing basis. 

Identifying technology that brings together quality data, engaging content, the ability to personalize in context and accounts for all devices and channels will be critical to forging relationships with consumers and breaking through the noise. 

ADM: What trends are you observing in mobile marketing? 

Anderson: Sitecore recently partnered with Vanson Bourne to conduct a global consumer study. The scope of research analyzed 4,500 consumers in 11 countries about their attitudes toward mobile interactions, expectations and experiences. 

An interesting trend uncovered in the research is how many mobile experiences actually fall short of consumer expectations and that these needs are anticipated to continue evolving over time, creating a moving target for marketers. Currently, six in ten consumers do not feel that their mobile experience expectations are completely met, driving them to take action. 

Key among the findings is that when mobile expectations are not met, an overwhelming 93 percent of those surveyed take immediate action, with 33 percent never purchasing from the brand again. Alternatively, when a good mobile experience is achieved, 76 percent report that it has an influence on their loyalty to a brand.  

Three top areas of concern for consumers include user experience: only 24 percent are completely satisfied, only 23 percent feel that there is continuity between the mobile and web experiences, and just 21 percent think they are getting adequate customer service.

While the research confirms brands need to focus on improving mobile experiences in real time, brands must also implement a flexible strategy and anticipate consumer expectations to evolve over time. Two-thirds of those surveyed admitted their expectations and requirements as a customer will change within the next three years. 

ADM: Is 2016 finally the year of mobile? Why or why not?

Anderson: I would characterize 2016 as the year of ‘the mobile consumer’. Mobile consumers, fueled by the continually advancing technology they use, are redefining the expectations that businesses must ladder up to. Marketers have made huge strides in mobile, but the experience is not universally seamless for all consumers today and an experience gap still exists in many cases.  

I would not characterize 2016 as the year of mobile per se, but hope to see enough marketers responding to consumer expectations that perhaps we can apply that label to the latter half of the year. 

ADM: Consumers reside on different channels and devices, what do marketers need to know in order to bridge the gap between expectation and experience? 

Anderson: To bridge the gap between consumer expectation and experience, it is critical for marketers to activate technology that uncovers insights, hidden in the data, about their audiences. Marketers must leverage the data to create a single view of the consumer and then layer on relevant content, delivered to the device or channel of choice, in the context of each consumer’s individual experiences with the brand. Marketers must also remain agile and flexible as consumer expectations are constantly evolving. 

ADM: How can context marketing help app publishers?

Anderson: Sitecore offers a mobile app developer kit that allows developers to quickly build apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phones that take full advantage of each platform and deliver personalized, engaging app experiences in real time. 

Additionally, Sitecore stores contextual information about individual customers, and depending on the implementation, makes it available to apps to deliver a personalized, real-time experience for app users. By storing app usage information in the same single, connected experience database, Sitecore enables users to leverage that knowledge to further personalize subsequent interactions across all digital channels.

ADM: What is the best marketing advice you can give to the indie developer?

Anderson: The best marketing advice Sitecore has for an independent developer is to design applications with the entire brand experience in mind. Tech savvy marketers are dedicated to delivering seamless and consistent experiences across all touch points and apps play a critical part in achieving that goal.  

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About the author: STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Stuart Parkerson has an extensive background in niche technology publishing.

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