Strategy to win the mobile moment

Losing the battle for the mobile moment means losing a customer's business and loyalty. Mobile has increasingly become the go to device to fulfil a consumer need. What's tomorrow's weather? Is the flight on time? Where's the nearest store, and is this product cheaper there? Whatever the question, consumers increasingly expect the answer to be on the phone.

The new battleground for customers is in this mobile moment - the instant in which the customer is seeking an answer. If you're there for them, you'll gain their loyalty; if you're not, you'll lose their business. But while both entrepreneurial companies like Hailo and huge corporations like Nestle in Switzerland, McDonalds in France, and ING Bank in Netherlands are winning in this mobile moment, the majority of firms still think 'we'll build an app' is the solution to serving customers in their mobile moments.

This approach, quite simply, will lead to lost business. Why? Because firms can't win the battle for a mobile moment with a technology platform built for the web era. Mobile is not small web. It's an entirely different experience based on simple steps and deep engagement, not self-service catalogues of transactions. Bolting a new interface on an old technology stack won't close the engagement gap that separates a company from its customer in that mobile moment of need. Rather, firms must completely re-architect their business technology platform to win, serve, and retain customers in their mobile moments.

Your technology isn't ready for the mobile mind shift and its unintended consequences: For 30 years, companies have been building the technology systems to power PCs on employees' desks and then websites on customers' PCs. They built software to connect these tools to the big corporate systems of record that manage things like inventory and customer records. The result of all this activity, in most large companies, is a technological chaos of complexity, redundancy, and antiquity. It's not ready for the mobile mind shift.

The technology you invested in to power PCs and the web won't stretch to handle mobile moments. Your complex transaction systems aren't designed to deliver simple mobile experiences. These systems were built for employees sitting at desks all day tending complex processes, not for casual customers taking action in seconds on a mobile device over a spotty wireless network. They don't handle the intuitive, task-oriented, contextual requirements of an app used in a mobile moment.

Your technology capacity won't handle the surge in transaction volume. Your systems are designed for a placid and predictable load. Successful mobile applications can drive a 10-fold increase in logins and transactions. One bank had to extend and re-extend its capacity because its mobile app generated six times the transactions than the company had expected. Can your systems handle the demands? One banking CIO fears a meltdown in the core transaction systems of the bank should the stock market tank.

Your separate applications will make it hard to deliver new services. For example, if your customer database is disconnected from your inventory and order management systems, you can't customise an offer or a price based on a customer's loyalty and preferences.

Your content systems and processes will hold you back as you stretch them into new engagement scenarios. In the mobile mind shift, people won't wait for your web content to download, and they won't tolerate a clunky content experience.Your siloed data will fail to address the real-time demands of engagement analytics. In the mobile mind shift, analytics can't be an afterthought-it must be built into the entire system of engagement.

These unintended consequences can sink your mobile moments. The mobile mind shift demands innovation. The complexity of your current business applications and legacy technology architectures won't support that innovation. You need a new technology approach, one designed for mobile moments.

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