Chelsea Apps Factory founder Mike Anderson says proper ROI measurement will demonstrate the centrality of mobile investment to your overall business strategy
A lot of businesses still don’t understand the mobile opportunity. There are individuals within most businesses that do, but it’s still hard to get entire organisations to buy into the vision of a mobile future. The result is that most companies don’t engage with mobile fully and end up tinkering with small mobile projects as a fringe activity. We see a lot of that.
Why? The first problem is that few businesses realise how big an opportunity mobile offers. They don’t see the scale of the transformation that they can achieve through faster, more efficient processes and accelerating revenue growth. They also don’t see how quickly those benefits can begin to flow through once they start the journey.
By now, the evidence that shows how important mobile is – both commercially and internally – is piling up and becoming more widely known. But even those that have seen what mobile has delivered for other companies face a second problem. If they don’t have the tools to measure properly the contribution that it can make, they are still stuck.
You cannot act strategically and invest in a coherent plan without being able to demonstrate the value that mobilisation delivers. Our experience of working with clients of Chelsea Apps Factory is that there is no shortage of ways that they could use mobile in their businesses. The challenge is to work out the opportunities that will deliver the most successful transformation and the greatest gains, and to measure the results rigorously.
There is absolutely no doubt that the return on mobile investments can be measured and that the figures can stand up to tough scrutiny. Our experience proves that mobilising business processes delivers transformational results and that it does so very quickly: we’ve seen companies recoup their investment in mobile within a few weeks and go on to make huge gains.
For example, one of our clients generated revenue growth through their mobile channel of more than 160% in a year, lifting them from last place among the major UK players in their market to first place. The executive that headed that project went on to become CEO. Another client saved £4m a year with one app. A third saved £27m in 12 months. A fourth has become 1%-2% more efficient across the entire company using mobile apps that we delivered.
Once you can achieve and measure results like these, as our clients have done, you know that mobile investments can produce returns of ten times or more and you’re able to set out the hard data that proves it. Then the business case pretty much makes itself.
And that’s the important point – it’s a business case. Companies need to understand that they’re not investing in mobile technology: they’re investing to achieve major business objectives, whether that’s a productivity gain or additional revenues. Mobile technology is the tool that will deliver the gain but it’s not the most important part of the picture. What really matters is the strategic approach that the business takes, the scale of change that it wants to achieve and the financial returns that this transformation delivers.
Which is why ROI is the number one issue. Chelsea Apps Factory builds mobile technology for our clients. But what we really do is help them to understand the scale of change that mobilisation can bring about in their company, work with them to define the return on investment that they should expect to make, and make sure they are able to put a robust set of numbers on it when the results start to appear.
Technology is only part of the puzzle. Instead of thinking “we need an app”, think “we need to improve our efficiency by 1%” or “we want to be the leaders in our space”. That’s the real mobile opportunity.