“There will be nearly 3.5 billion individual smartphone users among more than 5 billion individual mobile subscribers by 2019. Mobile will clearly be the battleground where you must win, serve, and retain your customers globally,” [1] forecasts Forrester in their report “The Global Mobile Revolutions Is Just Beginning.” Clearly, mobile is the device and channel that consumers love to use, and with phones getting cheaper, smarter and more widely available in first, second, and third world countries, this love will only continue to grow. In fact:

  • China, the world’s largest smartphone market, will continue to see massive growth in smartphone penetration (from 44% to 62% between 2015 and 2019[2]
  • India’s smartphone penetration will grow from 23% to 43% between 2015 and 2019[3]
  • More than 50% of the populations of Indonesia, Egypt, and Turkey will have a smartphone by  2017[4]


  • Mobile will generate 43% of all global web traffic in 2017[5]
  • Traffic from Wi­Fi and mobile devices will comprise 66% of all IP traffic by 2020[6]

Clearly then, customer experience teams and strategies need to treat mobile as the primary user interface on which most of their customers will be connecting to their brand—regardless of what region their base comes from. They’ll need to ensure their CX programmes capture mobile data with pinpoint accuracy, and they’ll need to develop better mobile designs, offerings and experiences through learnings from this data. More importantly, they must realise that “‘Mobile-only’ doesn’t mean design for just one channel; rather, that mobile will be the primary  design parameter.”[7]

With mobile ­first strategies, companies will be able to expand the limits of their customer service, brand awareness and communication – as we have been with leading brands such as PepsiCo, who has been testing location targeted ads on various apps like the navigation app Waz.

“The interesting thing about our category is mobile is the only touchpoint we have with consumers in the stores, and that’s hugely valuable, ”[8]  says Ram Krishnan, the brand’s Senior  VP-Chief Marketing Officer. He points out the all too obvious benefit to mobile over every other consumer channel—it’s mobile! Smartphones travel with consumers to and from retail locations, occupy their time on the subway, bus or on coffee breaks. Their ability to reach consumers anywhere at any time is limitless—and there are so many creative avenues to uncover in this broad and uncharted territory.

This mobile-­first shift is not for the timid, however, and will require fastidious oversight and innovation by all teams in your organisation, whether they are on the frontline, in marketing or in the C-­Suite—but as we have seen time and time again with shifting consumer platforms (Radio, TV, Desktop Web), getting ahead of the game pays far greater dividends than staying put does.

To learn more about the emergence of mobile within Customer Experience Management, check out our previous post ‘Why Mobile is Mandatory for Success in our Modern Era’ here.

[1]  Forrester Research Inc., “The Global Mobile Revolutions Is Just Beginning.”April 16, 2015.
[2] Forrester Research Inc., “The Global Mobile Revolution Is Just Beginning,” April 2015.
[3] Forrester Research Inc., “The Global Mobile Revolution Is Just Beginning,” April 2015.
[4] Forrester Research Inc., “The Global Mobile Revolution Is Just Beginning,” April 2015.
[5] Forrester Research Inc., “Predictions 2017: Mobile Is The Face of Digital Landscape: The Mobile eBusiness Playbook,” November 2016.
[6] Cisco Systems, Inc., “White paper: Cisco VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020,” June 2016.
[7] Forrester Research Inc., “Predictions 2017: Mobile is the Face of Digital Landscape: The Mobile eBusiness Playbook,” November 2016.
[8] Morrison, Maureen. “Is a MobileFirst Approach Really Best?” www.adage.com February 22, 2016.