In a rush to release mobile offerings, brands often create less than optimal experiences. Instead, they should take the time to create a measured strategy and make sure to integrate customer data.
That's according to a recent study from Kontagent, a provider of mobile customer intelligence.
The study, released with Econsultancy, which provides market research, guides and training on digital marketing, finds two-thirds of brands are investing more heavily in mobile but also say they don't know how to meet mobile customer needs. Further, more than two-thirds of respondents say they don't know the appropriate metrics needed to grow their mobile business channels.
The 2013 Mobile Sophistication and Strategy study includes more than 1,300 respondents from product and marketing executives at brands, agencies, and verticals like gaming, retail, financial services, and travel.
The report looks at so-called "mobile mainstream" companies, which Kontagent says view the channel as yet another channel or extension of their digital strategy, and "mobile first" companies, which have a primary business focused on mobile platforms.
According to Kontagent, only 25 percent of mobile mainstream companies report having well-defined mobile strategies. That's compared to 64 percent of mobile first. Kontagent says this is because mobile first companies rely heavily on mobile visitors.
What's more, agency respondents say most of their clients are behind where they need to be with their mobile programs - less than 25 percent believe companies grasp their customers' transitions to mobile devices, Kontagent says.
This is reflected in the mobile customer experience itself, Kontagent says.
Fifty-six percent of respondents rate their mobile sites as average or below. Thirty-seven percent and 36 percent say the same for their tablet apps and smartphone apps, respectively. Only 11 percent (tablet apps), 9 percent (smartphone apps), and 6 percent (mobile sites) call their programs state-of-the-art.
That's because companies that rush to market usually end up with experiences modeled after their desktop sites. Only 42 percent of mobile mainstream respondents say their mobile apps offer experiences that are quite different or completely different from their desktop experience, Kontagent says.
In addition, just 32 percent of mobile mainstream respondents are making changes more often than quarterly versus nearly 70 percent of mobile first companies, Kontagent finds.
When it comes to an industry comparison, Kontagent says gaming companies are the clear leader in mobile while financial services companies lag behind, providing a poor experience and/or insufficient tools.
In addition, Kontagent finds travel services companies are good at collecting and working with data, but have slow development cycles and mobile experiences that are similar to the desktop.
Instead of the status quo, companies must integrate customer data into every business decision and use it to build engaging mobile experiences, Kontagent says.
"Mobile adoption is outpacing any historical adoption trend," says Jeff Tseng, CEO of Kontagent, in a prepared statement. "Businesses that will succeed on this next wave need to understand how to not only build outstanding experiences on mobile platforms, but also leverage user data rigorously in order to best measure and improve their mobile offerings."
For its part, Kontagent offers a mobile customer intelligence product.
Mobile image on home page via Shutterstock.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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