By Dave Faupel –  January 4, 2017 –

“Mobile” as many marketers once defined it is beginning to feel like a dated term. Now that the first decade of the “modern mobile experience” is coming to a close, we need to acknowledge that mobile devices are simply an essential vehicle through which the customer experience takes place.

As such, companies in 2017 and beyond shouldn’t have a “mobile strategy,” they should have an engagement strategy for their customers on mobile. Businesses that are creating beautiful mobile experiences that aren’t tied to their online systems, offline messaging, branding, trade shows and more are throwing money into the wind.

This isn’t to suggest that you should make every interaction so vanilla that there aren’t interesting assets in your mobile campaigns. Mobile devices have become the gateway to your brand, the easiest device to access no matter where you are. In most cases, this vehicle and its unique capabilities should be considered first before designing any content or campaigns.

However, while considering how a customer experiences your brand on a mobile device is essential, it’s not the only experience to consider. Every channel should know about interactions taking place in other channels — customers expect that. Remember: You’re one brand to a customer, not 12 channels.

When it comes to the mobile experience, the best way to break through the noise is to deliver relevance wherever and whenever your mobile customers want to shop. Consider, for example, that the average smartphone owner typically only uses three apps frequently. How do you deliver truly relevant and meaningful experiences so you’re one of those three?

Simply put, data helps create relevance. The more data you can make sense of, the more you can use to create valuable engagement with your customers. Mobile devices are a treasure trove of data, providing information on app behavior, email opens and clicks, web behavior, push responses, offer redemption, payments, location and more.

In 2017, make it a priority to integrate your technologies, processes and teams so the actions customers take on mobile are tied to your internal systems (CRM, marketing automation, etc.). The opposite is also true — your customers’ online and offline behavior need to inform your mobile campaigns.

For example, a customer’s app behavior should trigger email campaigns. SMS clicks should inform desktop web content. Facebook messenger Bot interactions should determine when a customer gets a customer service phone call. If a customer recently shopped in a store, that individual should receive a “drive to store” message the following day.

The devices on which we can engage with customers will continue to grow. From wearable devices to smart refrigerators, it’s the marketer’s job to determine the value of new platforms and how they might disrupt their businesses, and then take the lead on creating experiences that add value to a customer’s day.