Adobe Digital Dialogue

July 22, 2016 /Mobile /

Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity

The 2016 Econsultancy/Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing on Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity is available now to download, revealing the progress of mobile strategy and adoption in Asia Pacific and globally more than 4,000 global marketing and digital professionals took part in this year’s Intelligence Briefing.

We all know that APAC is a focal point for mobile growth and smartphone adoption

A survey from Ericsson in June revealed that the region will grow by a staggering 1.7 billion new smartphone subscriptions by 2021, exceeding the total combined subscriptions for the rest of the world. It’s also nearly double the uptake of two years ago, reinforcing a key trend of mobile business adoption.

Of some concern, however, is the lack of a mobile strategy revealed by so many of the survey’s respondents. Only 20 per cent said they have a strategy looking forward 12 months. This closely aligns with a recent Econsultancy report on the State of Digital Marketing which found that business strategy is the biggest missing skill gap for digital marketers.

The report is worth reading in full so I won’t give away too many details, but here are some of the other highlights that stood out for me:

  • Survey respondents claim they update content on their apps more frequently, but are challenged when it comes to measuring the business impact downstream post download
  • Lack of resources has emerged as the most significant barrier to optimising respondents’ mobile web and mobile app presence
  • APAC marketers believe optimising the mobile experience by location is far more important than their European and North American counterparts

One well considered and executed mobile app now has the ability to disrupt an entire industry, so you could expect businesses to have a mobile investment strategy beyond a 12-month horizon, yet only 20 per cent of respondents do. Agency respondents thought businesses were even less prepared, with only 11 per cent saying their customers had a strategy in place.

The assumption may be that organisations think that the mobile experience on a smartphone is simply an extension or replication of the desktop experience and doesn’t require as detailed thought. However, we know that a mobile device is more commonly used in the research phase of the sales cycle and less so in the transaction phase. Its portability is commonly used for show rooming in retail, for example, which can’t be replicated on a desktop and requires a new approach and strategy.

New payment options for mobile devices are being rolled out with increased regularity in APAC

New mobile payment options in Asia Pacific have undoubtedly contributed to the region outperforming other parts of the world in terms of revenue from mobile ecommerce. Another growth driver is the confidence users in Korea and China have with transacting through localised messaging chat applications such as WeChat and Kakao. WeChat has 750 million users that spent $4.6B (Tweet this) on the platform over the past 12 months, a number which is forecast to increase dramatically as more Chinese adopt the service.

Marketers are increasingly creating experiences unique to the small screen

Around two-thirds describe the experiences as ‘completely different’. Over half of survey respondents update their mobile apps at least monthly, while 26 per cent do so weekly or daily, which is fantastic news.

Constraints in doing this are more frequently due to ‘Tech development delays’, followed by ‘lack of internal staff/resources’ and/or ‘reliance on an external agency/partner’ to do this for the business. Technology has a role to play here in simplifying the ability to deploy mobile apps across operating systems and easing the updating of content to the app by putting it in the hands of marketers.

We hear across every stream of digital that the lack of resources (availability, skill and budget) is the most significant barrier to organisations optimising their mobile web and the mobile app presences. In fact, an E-Consultancy report released in July last year showed that companies in Australia and New Zealand rating themselves as excellent in digital skills had fallen from 14 per cent in 2012 to just 7 per cent in 2015, while very poor had climbed from 4 to 10 per cent in the same time period.

Lack of testing being done within mobile apps is a concern

Based on the latest survey’s responses, only a minority of those surveyed believed they had the technology or resources to test their mobile web and app usability. With testing central to optimising the customer experience, organisations will need to invest in the technology and people over the next year to keep up with their competitors that already have it in place.

Half of respondents thought that location-based testing was the best starting point for optimising customer experiences and it’s really good to see APAC leading by example here by more than doubling its investment in this field compared with its global counterparts.

I’ve covered just some of the highlights, but I invite you to download the 2016 Econsultancy/Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing on Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity and read more. Please join me in continuing the conversation and let me know your thoughts: @rigbyscott

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