In terms of the types of questions that clients have about their mobile strategies, Lange noted that a small group of clients are still in the “why do we need a mobile strategy?” stage but the majority are in the “what should we be doing in mobile?” category and are increasingly moving toward “how do we optimize the ecosystem that we have in place for mobile?”
For the second and third groups of clients, in particular, the answer, according to Lange is “not whether you need an app or should optimize your mobile site. The answer is, typically, what do you actually know about the behavior of your customer? Do you know how they’re making their shopping decisions? We do a lot of research on how customer behaviors are evolving to inform a client’s mobile strategies,” he said.
In response to an attendee’s question -- “What is happening inside the companies that are using mobile successfully?” -- Lange pointed to the importance of reconciling the different objectives of a business’s departments.
“If there was one thing I wish all companies did, it’s to combine their marketing and sales objectives with their operational objectives,” Lange said. “A lot of times these marketing ideas require technology that needs to be built into the physical retail space in addition to being synced up with legacy and CRM systems. We often see disparities between operational objectives—which is about efficiencies—and sales and marketing objectives, which are about increasing the commercial aspects of what they’re doing … the best companies understand that they need to get operations, IT and marketing to align on a common objective.”