Presented by SessionM

We’ve reached Peak Mobile: U.S. consumers are now spending more time with their mobile apps than catching up on The Walking Dead. They’re turning to their phones all day every day, racking up an average of 150–200 “mobile-moments.” That’s 200 opportunities to catch them in the wild and deliver something valuable, interesting, surprising, and delightful. That’s 200 opportunities most marketers are missing.

Breaking the legacy

In a recent report, Forrester found that marketers are still leaning heavily on legacy solutions originally designed for email when mobile was just a twinkle in a marketer’s eye. So you’re stuck in an endless cycle of pre-built, pre-planned messages fashioned from demographic data that’s already historical by the time your customer gets it.

Or you’re spending, on average, $2.51 to acquire the single loyal iOS user who will open the app no more than three whole times. That’s a lot of money funneled into the macro goal of app loyalty, which is so often a big black money-sucking hole, instead of the much more lucrative micro goal of ongoing, valuable engagement with existing customers you’ve determined have a propensity to be profitable.

But in mobile moments we have the opportunity to go the extra mile: Every online and offline interaction between you and your customers can be real-time, personalized, and purposeful — and there are hundreds of opportunities every single day.

Mobile isn’t just an out-of-the-way corner of the overall digital medium and digital channel. It’s the most immediate, opportunity-rich quarry of engagement you’ve got, deserving a budget and a mining strategy of its own. It’s increasingly clear that mobile-focused marketers will gain key competitive differentiation.

The new IDEA

To deliver on shifted consumer expectations and the possibility of mobile, Forrester recommends the IDEA framework:

Identify: Identify the best mobile moments to win, serve, and retain your customers. Who are they? What journey are they on? What are their needs and motivations on the go? How can the immediacy, simplicity, and context or relevancy of mobile improve those experiences. And find the moments most likely to drive concrete outcomes, from account creation to sales.

Design: Choose the right content and channel based on context for each customer group in each moment and then design each of those interactions like you’re going for a Nobel prize.

Engineer: Execute at the speed of light, or as close as you can get, to deliver the right content to the right person in the right channel at the right time.

Analyze: It’s the classic rule of thumb: Measure the performance of your campaigns and app engagements, and keep on keeping on top of optimizing.

A whole new category of martech

It’s a great IDEA. But it’s also an enormous undertaking. Adapting, anticipating, and delivering on customer expectations in their mobile moments will overwhelm even the most sophisticated tech-savvy marketers. Forrester has identified an entirely new vendor category that’s risen to help marketers move from following the customer’s journey after the fact to leading it: mobile engagement automation platforms.

They’re the contextual marketing engines bursting onto the scene from vendors like SessionM that can help you deliver these self-perpetuating cycles of real-time, two-way, insights-driven interactions with individual customers that keep them profitable and engaged with your brand across channels.

These platforms do the heavy lifting by immediately sorting incoming data into audiences and context triggers that set off the workflow that the marketer planned. An engagement automation platform won’t generally stand entirely alone; they require some integration on your side with existing CRM, CMS, and product information management systems, channels for delivery (customers’ email service providers, for example), and other analytics solutions.

Dig deeper: Download the complete Forrester report: Vendor Landscape: Mobile Engagement Automation Solutions

In this report you’ll learn how to:

  • Stop falling short in superior customer engagement
  • Create relevance and immediate utility in mobile moments
  • Select the right partner in the new vendor landscape
  • Automate identification and messages to keep pace with consumer expectations

The right partner, at the right moment

Forrester warns that in a nascent category, selecting the right partner in this budding landscape requires thorough research, from vendors’ current capabilities and breadth of integration across the customer life cycle to automation sophistication. As you climb the mobile maturity ladder, these vendors can help scale cross-functional collaboration and execution, and you’ll need to depend on what they learn to continue to keep pace with consumer expectations.

Key to keep in mind:

These solutions are not plug-and-play. Your customer journeys and mobile moments are unique, so you need to identify and prioritize the moments and context that the immediacy, simplicity, and context of mobile can remove friction or create delight, to match platform to strategy.

Form a tactical plan. Are you looking for in-app journeys or overall customer journeys? What geographies? Hire help, or handle it internally? Who is using the tool and what do they need to do it right? Will you need proximity marketing, or some other kind of context triggers?

Take an inventory. What have you already got on board? The devil is in the details, like the APIs you already have in place.

Go in with a shopping list. A set of requirements based on your tactical plan means you drive decisions with vendors, rather than the other way around. Know which mobile technologies you want to use, such as push notifications, in-app messaging, and display ads, and where you have gaps in your technology stack—a better CRM, mobile app analytics, SMS distribution capabilities?

Make a shortlist. On paper, which vendor can most easily meet your needs? Look at mobile technology, supporting services, infrastructure, professional services, geography, industry expertise, and more.

Have a chat. Will they grow with you in maturity? What does their solution really entail, do they have web-based functionality, how long have they been at this game?

Build your own best practices. A vendor with a bird’s eye view into their client portfolio can help you outline best practices and launch your mobile marketing strategy; from there, it’s up to you to keep testing, optimizing, and maturing.

The ultimate vendor selection toolkit

Forrester’s November 2016 report, “Vendor Landscape: Mobile Engagement Automation Solutions,” was designed to deliver key insights into capturing mobile moments, creating a foundational mobile strategy, and selecting the technology platform that can help you seize the competitive advantage of a robust mobile strategy.

The vendor solutions analysis identifies core platform offerings, and a vendor-specific toolkit with individual vendor overviews, key facts about the firms and their go-to-market strategies, and an overview of their campaign tools, analytics abilities, and breadth of automation to help you narrow in on the platform that’s right for the future of your mobile strategy.

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