Making Today’s Businesses Mobile: Where Do We Stand?

Filed in Messaging / SMS / MMS by on October 10, 2013 0 Comments

Relevant, timely and personal. When I look for a common thread within the business community on what companies require from their mobile outreach, these three key ingredients invariably top the list. As well they should. With customer experience having been identified by more and more companies as the leading driver of revenue optimization, delivering customized engagement in real time has become the Holy Grail of mobile commerce.

This theme has been top of mind for me this year. In fact, I was privileged to have had an opportunity to speak about it earlier this year at the Mobile Marketing Association Forum 2013 in New York City during a workshop titled “Mobile Relationship Management: Building Lasting Relationships, Trust and Value.” Based on that event and some other recent customer projects, I’ve been focusing on how to enable meaningful mobile interactions through contextual and relevant data to deliver an enhanced quality of experience, protect brand loyalty and increase revenue. In this post, I would like to share my viewpoints  and offer some trends that will be important to closely monitor.

One insight I’ve been sharing this year is that the top three uses for smartphones now are, in order of importance, text messaging, email and Web browsing. I find it odd that even with messaging holding the top spot on that list – clearly indicating the most simplistic and ubiquitous means of mobile communication is still king – that so many of the hot new “killer” apps don’t use SMS. For those looking to take advantage of a truly global communication medium, it’s clear that the delivery of plain old SMS still presents a huge opportunity.

Another massive opportunity is location-based services. When integrated with messaging, location-based services offer almost unlimited possibilities as they expand from retail interactions and identity verifications to more use cases that enhance customer relationships. For example, tourists can receive real-time directions and transportation options by SMS when they enter certain geographic boundaries. Or sports spectators can receive SMS alerts about scores and in-game events when their devices are detected at stadiums. Moreover, combine location-based services applications with a graphical user interface, and you get the attention of chief technology officers, chief strategy officers and chief marketing officers everywhere. This technology brings us that much closer to an effective means of utilizing mobile couponing, in keeping with the goal of relevant, timely, and personal interaction.

Of all the trends I’ve been tracking this year, one of the ones with the biggest buzz I’ve been hearing about has been Apple’s Passbook. Passbook is more than just a mobile wallet; it’s an organizer, coupon clipper, gift card holder and mobile marketing cash register. After some initial skepticism from both retailers and end users, it is now used by over one-fifth of iPhone users, and it has gained momentum among retailers, restaurant chains, and ticket outlets as a means of acquiring and retaining customers. The question remains whether the enthusiasm for Passbook will continue, but this product leaves no doubt that the industry is focused squarely on delivering the ultimate mobile experience through relevant, timely and personal interaction.

When mobile commerce came about, at first it was good enough for mobile users to be able to conduct basic transactions easily and reliably. But now mobile users expect much more from their customer experience, having become accustomed to quick service, rich content and personalized service. To this end, companies’ ability to enable meaningful mobile interactions through channels like messaging and location-based services has become critical for successful mobile commerce.

What are your thoughts? Do you think messaging, location-based services and Passbook hold great promise for mobile engagement? Please share your viewpoints.

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About the Author ()

Jamie Mills is a former Vice President of Carrier Relations at Syniverse.

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