Siva Gane­shanan­dan, Direc­tor, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite, Adobe APAC – @sivagatwork

Can you remem­ber the release of the first IBM Simon smart­phone in 1992? Web access is now a stan­dard fea­ture in even the most bare-bones mobile device, and mobile apps are a multi-billion dol­lar busi­ness. In coun­tries such as India, mobile web access has out­paced desk­top access for years. Smart­phones remain hot con­nec­tiv­ity tools and now tablets are also mak­ing their impact on the mar­ket.  With an ever-increasing vari­ety of devices to choose from, con­sumers are becom­ing more acces­si­ble on-the-go, with no sign of this trend slowing.

This means it’s imper­a­tive that busi­nesses reach out to their grow­ing mobile pop­u­la­tion. Of course, with these new oppor­tu­ni­ties come heavy impli­ca­tions: Make the user expe­ri­ence seam­less and you cre­ate advo­cates for your brand and gen­er­ate return busi­ness. Fail to deliver– and you drive the user to a com­peti­tor who is only a “swipe” away.

To main­tain brand loy­alty and cus­tomer reten­tion, con­sumers should expe­ri­ence seam­less engage­ment across mul­ti­ple touch points. If the expe­ri­ence is frag­mented by a fail­ure to close the gap between the cus­tomer and the busi­ness, users will turn to a com­peti­tor. It comes down to this: How do com­pa­nies dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves in this mobile land­scape? – By deliv­er­ing a supe­rior expe­ri­ence to the end user.

And just as the con­sumer should have a seam­less expe­ri­ence, enabling that expe­ri­ence should be just as easy behind the scenes. Busi­nesses have to empower mar­ket­ing and IT pro­fes­sion­als to man­age the expe­ri­ence their com­pa­nies deliver intu­itively with­out over­whelm­ing them with multi-faceted mobile device support.

Here are five steps you can fol­low when you’re con­sid­er­ing how to apply this to your own business.

  • Under­stand what infor­ma­tion or ser­vices cus­tomers are look­ing for on their mobile devices. What con­tent do they need and where and when do they need it? How can a com­pany make it easy for cus­tomers to do busi­ness with them? If cus­tomers want to share their expe­ri­ences with you or their friends, how can you help them do that? Mea­sure­ment and ana­lyt­ics tech­nolo­gies can help you pin­point and analyse these kinds of behav­iours. In some cases, it’s unre­al­is­tic to assume that all online con­tent can be avail­able on a mobile phone, but by work­ing out what’s most use­ful to cus­tomers who are on the go, organ­i­sa­tions can meet cus­tomer expec­ta­tions and deliver out­stand­ing experiences.
  • Know what devices your cus­tomers are using. You’re going to need to deliver con­tent that’s opti­mised for their spe­cific phone or tablet to ensure the best expe­ri­ence. For exam­ple, appli­ca­tions should be able to inter­act with a vast range of screen sizes and screen res­o­lu­tions, be able to han­dle var­i­ous inter­ac­tion pat­terns for touch screens, as well as dis­tinct input sources such as cam­eras and GPS.

You can find solu­tions which pro­vide gran­u­lar details such as the users’ screen size and whether it is a touch screen or not. This will allow you to make adjust­ments to improve your user expe­ri­ence and you’ll start enjoy­ing a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage by know­ing and using the best plat­form to engage with mobile customers.

  • Close the gap between all users involved both inside and out­side your com­pany. If man­ag­ing your organisation’s cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is cum­ber­some and com­pli­cated for staff, then you can be pretty sure the end prod­uct will be impacted– and your cus­tomer can tell. On the other hand, expe­ri­ences that can be intu­itively man­aged by staff charge trans­late into opti­mised and engag­ing expe­ri­ences for con­sumers. Empower your work­force by con­sol­i­dat­ing ven­dors and plat­forms involved in the process and pro­vid­ing tools that effec­tively sim­plify the author­ing of mobile experiences.
  • Give your employ­ees the right tools for the job. Along those lines, employ­ees involved in man­ag­ing a company’s mobile pres­ence should have a base­line report of analy­sis data that helps them con­sis­tently opti­mise expe­ri­ences. Sim­plify the work­load by equip­ping work­ers with the right tools.

Want to really future­proof your brand? Make your con­tent work across mul­ti­ple chan­nels. Instead of design­ing con­tent mainly for tra­di­tional desk­top users in mind, make it your mis­sion to always remem­ber that mobile, social and cloud-based expe­ri­ences are just as impor­tant. Can your con­tent be shared as an app, or a link?