B-to-B marketers who rushed to deploy a mobile app without considering an enterprise mobile strategy are recognizing the significant long-term cost of what may have seemed a minimal initial financial outlay. Developing and deploying a mobile app without sufficient insight to buyer preferences can drain scarce resources. That's because it must be maintained and updated to support new device types and operating systems over time, regardless of whether it's enjoying high user adoption rates. The skills and capabilities necessary to support an integrated mobile presence, particularly experience design and front-end development; i.e., HTML5, CSS3, are also in short supply.
By deploying a scalable mobile infrastructure that leverages responsive web and mobile apps appropriately, you can reduce design, development and support costs, and, more importantly, better anticipate and serve their customers. To get there, follow these steps:
- Take a holistic approach to digital. It's important that B-to-B marketers think about the mobile channel as an extension of their digital presence, not a one-off or separate platform that must be developed and maintained. By viewing the mobile channel holistically, you will more likely recognize the opportunities for cross-channel engagement, content re-use, and other tactics that serve to provide an integrated brand experience for your mobile customers and prospects.
- Partner with sales and customer service to identify key buyer pain points and decision drivers. Taking the holistic approach to digital a step further, marketers must also take a holistic approach to how they identify and respond to customer needs. Sales and customer service can be powerful advocates in helping ensure that your mobile presence is a sales and customer service enabler and that you're investing marketing resources in developing the right content and transactional tools to facilitate the shopping, buying, and support processes.
- Engage design and technology partners with a long-term view. Because of the constantly changing mobile landscape, short-term, one-off investments can results in high long-term development and support costs. Whether you're working with in-house or outsourced resources, it's important to develop a long-term view of your mobile strategy and to assess each investment with an eye toward return on investment, factoring in attributes such as user adoption, scalability and reliability.