Mobile phones and tablets are becoming the remote controls of our daily lives. Smartphones are the new digital hub for a growing percentage of consumers, while tablets are starting to rule the personal computing landscape at home and at work. In a previous post, I elaborated on why I think tablets are not mobile devices per se. Moving forward, new mobile form factors will emerge, and we expect wearable computing to gain traction. The definition of mobility is likely to evolve, but what’s certain is that increasingly connected devices will enable us to interact with the world around us by leveraging a host of new technologies packaged into smarter devices — be they QR codes, NFC, image recognition, Bluetooth 4.0, new sensors, etc. The physical world will be a catalyst for spontaneous interactions and for commerce via mobile devices. I think we’re only scratching the surface of new mobile behaviors (and what those will lead to), but mobile devices will become the primary digital connection to your customers.

Recognizing that mobile traffic is growing quickly — for some players, it represents between 30% and 50% of their online traffic! — many players are simply playing catch-up to avoid failing to serve their customers by not optimizing content for mobile. Mobile still looks complex and fragmented. It is difficult to master the pace of technology and platform evolution. Most companies look at mobile as a way to increase customer engagement and improve customer satisfaction — objectives that are often challenging to measure. That’s why it is so critical to align measurement systems accordingly.

Some leaders, recognizing that mobile is not just another channel but an opportunity to deliver advanced contextual services, are investing dozens of millions of euros in the next few years to plan ahead for next-generation mobile experiences. Delivering a differentiated mobile customer experience requires investment not only in marketing segmentation and customer understanding, as well as in staffing and competencies, but also in infrastructure and in more agile processes.

I'll be speaking more on the subject of how mobile is reframing the possibilities in customer experience next month in London at Outside In: A Forum For Customer Experience Professionals EMEA, November 6-7; check out the agenda here. My colleague Harley Manning will deliver the keynote speech and share key takeaways from Forrester’s latest book. Sean Risebrow, director of customer experience at Virgin Media, will let you know what putting your customers at the heart of everything really means. If you’re in the US, you can also join my colleague Julie Ask's session at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum (Los Angeles, November 14-15) to learn more about the future of mobile experiences.