Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Blog |

You have workers out on the road, departments asking for mobile apps to take advantage of new markets and no standard for your workers mobile devices – maybe it’s time to look at getting a Chief Mobile Officer?

According to a new Forrester report, having a CMO could be a key factor to success in your mobile strategy. The idea isn’t a new one, but having someone alongside your CIO could be just the tonic.

With the vast array of devices now available, we are seeing a broad shift from traditional desktop computers – you only have to go in the Apple store to see this in effect. To quote the report, Forrester says “To remain vital in this business technology reformation, CIOs must step up and work with other executives to establish an office of the chief mobility officer to implement an enterprisewide mobile strategy.”

It’s better to start thinking about mobile now, as Forrester predicts a 100% growth in business spend by 2015, with spending on apps to hit $55bn by 2016.

With all of this potential, why should you create a CMO? The main reason is coordination. Take this scenario: Marketing want a loyalty app, whilst sales would like tablet app for field sales to take orders. The CFO would like staff to be able to submit expenses using their device and the CTO creates an app to allow staff to be supported. With just these 4 apps, the company is potentially paying 4 different teams of developers. Maybe even more when the CFO and CTO realise their apps could be combined by now share totally different backend systems.

Clearly then, joined up thinking and coordination win the day. A CMO with a taskforce behind them should sit amongst the groups within the business to coordinate and develop ideas that the business units require. They should also track down any existing mobile projects and bring them under their umbrella.

To measure the success of the task force and CMO, don’t rely on return on investment alone. You should also ensure that you have the lowdown on user engagement, how they are adopted by the user, and the activity levels.

If an app is highly used and rated as useful by users then it’s valuable. And your CMO helped you do that…

Update:

According to Nielsen research just released, nearly half all of mobile phone users own a smartphone as of last month.

  • 22% of these owners have bought something using their smartphones
  • 38% use their phone to research a product before they buy it, or to compare prices whilst in store
  • 32% read reviews on a product
  • 24% use their phone for coupons
  • 22% have scanned a barcode in order to obtain more information on a product
  • 18% have used a location based service to find a local store

I have to say, I have done every single one of those things on my iPhone. How about you?