• January 1, 2015
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

There's an App for That, But Does Anyone Care?

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first to go to pick up memory space for music, videos, or photos," he says.

Another big factor contributing to the trend, according to Forrester's research, is that most marketers lack mobile experience. Forty-two percent of marketers have had a mobile strategy for less than a year or are in the early stages of building one, the firm found.

Another problem, Forrester's research suggests, is that few branded apps offer fresh content. Consumers don't want the same content across all their screens, Husson observes, noting that only about half of marketers have a mobile app strategy that differs from their mobile Web site strategy.

Device compatibility issues still abound as well. Additionally, too many marketers have a singular strategy for smartphones and tablets, failing to consider that most consumers use the two devices differently, according to Husson.

"As the battle for mobile apps reaches a stalemate, marketing leaders will need to formulate a broader mobile partnership ecosystem strategy to serve their customers where they are," Husson adds.

He advocates for greater use of a strategy that Forrester refers to as "borrowing mobile moments." To do this, marketers must capture the data consumers are sharing with mobile apps such as Apple's HealthKit or HomeKit and Android's Google Fit. Then, they must evaluate the contextual information to help them anticipate customer needs, Husson says.

The next generation of mobile apps must be smarter, drawing on information contained within CRM systems and other business data "to deliver on customers" contextual needs, he continues.

Husson also expects that, in 2015, marketers will roll out more simplified, anticipatory experiences that depend on mobile apps but live outside of them to simplify consumer engagement. One example of this is Uber, which lets consumers book cab rides not only through its own mobile app but also from within Google Maps or the United Airlines app.

Finally, marketers should allow strategic partners to serve shared customers on their own apps, Husson advises. It's important to note, however, that doing so will require them to expand the availability of their application programming interfaces, he adds.

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