Combining an Agile Marketing approach with B2B mobile strategy can result in supercharged marketing and sales results leading to significant business returns. With the number of mobile users globally increasing exponentially and over 60% of US smart phone users downloading mobile applications, there is little doubt mobile or connected computing has to be taken seriously by businesses. Unlike social media, where many B2B companies struggle to leverage the tools effectively, connected computing can be one of the most effective inbound marketing tools for a B2B company.
Morgan Stanley predicts that in five years time, the internet will be accessed more from mobile devices than the desktop. And while that is an interesting prediction, most will focus only on smart phones or smart devices in their strategies. For companies targeting an international presence, remembering the majority of mobile phones are not “smart” even though they can access the internet becomes important.
The current trend is to focus on smart phone applications, but this is short sighted. (Incorporating SMS marketing and mobile web marketing into strategies should be considered as well.) Combine this awareness with the fact that mobile computing can increase the continuous market connection and B2B mobile strategies must be broad and most importantly, responsive.
This is where Agile Marketing plays a critical role. Establishing a B2B mobile strategy is not as simple as it sounds, but it can be done and executed effectively with the right understanding. What I have seen companies struggle with is responding to the sometimes overwhelming data, information requests and customer interactions…and doing so in a manner which produces positive revenue results. An Agile Marketing approach combined with a mobile solutions can address these challenges and provide actionable returns and revenue to companies.
A B2B company I recently spoke with, located in London and focused on the medical market, developed what they were confident was a comprehensive mobile strategy and was in the process of executing Phase One. They had taken an approach that included:
In total, the budget for this mobile marketing campaign approached nearly $250,000 US – not a small amount for a company with less than 100 employees. And the results, meaning the number of interactions, was far greater than expected. The problem – nearly 63% of interactions were the result of mobile users venting about lack of responsiveness and inability to access the company’s website.
Over three months the response times to inquiries increased from a normal 24-48 business hours to nearly four full business days, an eternity in mobile business. And I am not just talking about marketing’s response, but also that of sales…both of which were woefully ill-equipped to handle the resulting increases.
When I spoke in detail with the CMO he was both excited and concerned. He realized they had, as he said, “a tiger by the tale and it was now pissed”. The conversion rate of interactions to identifiable revenue returns was less than 5% and the increase in “emergency spending” far exceed the allotted budget. He pointed out that the company was spending more time triaging the responses than closing business.
As we talked, it became apparent their approach had the potential to provide short term success but had actually created a situation where evolving their mobile play could be more costly in the future. As we conducted a brief postmortem, the list of challenges was longer than anticipated, including:
There were others, but these are the most pertinent. In the end, he gladly admitted than an Agile Marketing approach integrated into sales for this campaign and a more complete vision for mobile would have been invaluable. While they have recouped their initial investment and are now cash-flow positive for this campaign, the “money left on the table is uncomfortable.”
Our next conversation is scheduled to focus on a “get-well plan”, but for now I found the conversation to provide a glimpse into the potential B2B business benefits of connected computing and an excellent illustration of the need for complete mobile strategy combined with Agile Marketing. This could not have been highlighted more when, after approving my desire to blog on our conversation, he asked, “What do we do about iTV? The market isn’t there yet, but with Apple TV and GoogleTV, it is just a matter of time. How do we leverage those platforms effectively and ensure we are ready to handle the impact?”
My response…”one Agile Marketing Wave at a time.”