Critical Insights for Marketing B2B Mobile Solutions

LIsa Vitale marketing GuruMobilization of the enterprise is rapidly creating several challenges for businesses, which savvy marketers of mobile solutions can turn into key opportunities. Mobile solutions are rapidly upending conventional approaches to how and where we work, facilitating organizational flexibility and agility, and enhancing operational efficiencies. Likewise, mobile apps create value for customers and change how customers interact with their supplier organizations.

To provide insight into this year’s current trends and challenges in the mobility market, SimplyDIRECT’s subsidiary, Gatepoint Research, conducted several client-sponsored surveys among technology executives at leading global firms. Here are the key insights from two such surveys that mobile solutions marketers need to know:

Organizational Goals: business processes and competitive advantage

Aggregated survey results indicate that respondents are mobilizing the enterprise primarily to improve business processes (67%), followed by improved employee satisfaction (60%), which leads to their third priority, gaining competitive advantage (55%).

Mobility Investments

Organizations expect that the following mobile apps will have the greatest impact on improved productivity and ROI (rated on a 1-5 scale, 5 being ‘high impact’):

  • Apps for customers (4.04)
  • Basic business productivity apps (e.g., email/calendar/contacts) (4.03)
  • Role- and function-specific apps (e.g., apps for marketing or sales) (3.85)

Underlying all of these selections are the goals mobile solution marketers must address: those of increasing effectiveness and efficiency, in support of the needs of both employees and customers.

The security disconnect

While strategically security is a critical issue in the C-suite, survey findings indicate that this doesn’t necessarily translate as a driving concern among application development teams. In fact, app developers’ responses relegate security concerns to the near bottom of their top challenges in developing mobile apps. This ‘security disconnect’ is also apparent when looking at the metrics developers see relating to the mobility programs they develop. As expected, businesses have high visibility regarding which apps are being used by whom. Yet despite the criticality of IT security as a strategic concern, developers have the least visibility into data- and device-loss metrics. To bridge this disconnect, marketers must clearly illustrate how their solutions address the pragmatic needs of app development teams, while simultaneously attending to the larger strategic security imperative.

The momentum challenge

Rather than being focused on security, those working at the app-development level identified their top challenges as “accelerated application development and deployment” and “staying current with latest mobile OS versions.” While security remains a widespread strategic concern, it isn’t slowing deployment momentum. Survey respondents indicate that over the next two years, they overwhelmingly anticipate large-scale deployments of mobile apps within the enterprise.

The pressure of this momentum is clearly affecting the selection of mobile development tools, as the top considerations cited by developers were the “ability to leverage existing programming skills” (53%) and “short time to market” (52%). For development teams rated by respondents as below average in programming expertise, the ability to leverage this skill is the critical deciding factor (65%). These findings speak to the need for mobile solution marketers to intimately familiarize themselves with their target segment, including prospects’ self-perceptions regarding programming competence and their ability to keep up with mobility’s momentum.

Success in marketing mobile solutions requires a deep knowledge of the target audience, encompassing an understanding of the needs and challenges of the customer’s end customer, as well as up-to-date information on the market and business context. For a deeper look into these results and trends, as well as additional insights, read our executive brief “Mobile Apps: Gaining Insight Into the Demand and the Difficulties”

To learn more regarding enterprise mobility’s strategic perspective, including best practices and critical success factors, read Apperian’s 2014 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report, based on the results of the survey they sponsored, conducted by SimplyDIRECT and Gatepoint Research. In addition to Apperian’s branded survey report, survey insights indicated a need for an enterprise app development and deployment e-guide, which Apperian subsequently created and promoted in industry press-releases.

You can learn more about sponsoring your own industry/prospect survey and gaining critical insight into the specific needs of individual prospects, by clicking here. Not only do such surveys provide prospect-level intelligence, but they reveal developing trends, as well as generate unique and insightful content for further prospect engagement.