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Empowering Customers with a Mobile Strategy

Essay by   •  August 7, 2011  •  Essay  •  840 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,976 Views

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Mobile Web is a disruptive force today as what internet was in the late 1990s. Consumers come to expect it, especially so with the proliferation of smartphones such as iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.

It is important for companies to consider today because the benefits are wide ranging and the market forces demand it.

For instance, mobile applications enable companies to increase sales, cut cost, and boost customer loyalty. To the consumers, the benefit of mobile access is instant gratification and convenience. Because of these, they spend more time browsing for products or engage in more transactions, which increase sales frequency. In addition, support services can be provided instantly through the app, making it possible to downsize support representatives. Customers become more loyal to the firms, because of better service and instant anywhere access.

The majority of firms cannot insulate themselves from market competition. They must strive to continually reduce cost while increasing revenue. With increased competition, mobile applications provide an avenue to reduce cost and thus become a necessity for many firms today.

The POST method - People, Objective, Strategy, Technology - provides a framework for developing a mobile strategy. People and Objective should be considered before Strategy and Technology.

People

User's behaviors and the mobile device they use must be tracked and properly analyzed. If a significant percentage of users access the company's website on mobile browsers, it is a good indication that companies should start developing mobile sites or applications that can better serve users within the limitation of screen size, touch interface, mobile processing power and data usage. Different devices used provide an indication of user demographics: BlackBerry tends towards more professional users than iPhone or Android.

Objective

Objectives can be grouped into three main categories: increase sales, cut cost and boost loyalty. Depending on the companies, one of these objectives may be more important than others. For Amazon, for example, sales are the primary objective; for American Airlines, loyalty through ticketing/flight/weather information; for AIG, cost reduction through claim support system.

Strategy

Strategy should focus on immediacy, simplicity, and context, empowering users with information. The strategy aspect involves how the companies will:

* market the application

* make use of collected tracking data

* determine whether to monetize the application or use it to support the firm's primary business,

* and establish role and responsibilities.

Technology

Mobile technology ranges from text messaging, mobile web, to device-specific application in order of development cost and complexity. Ideally, firms would

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