Emerging consumer technologies such as bots, intelligent agents, extended reality, connected objects, and IoT will not replace mobile — instead, mobile will be the key to unlocking these new touchpoints.

Facing limited budgets, marketers feel pressure to prioritize much-hyped new consumer-facing technologies over their foundational mobile work. Jumping directly to the latest shiny objects of VR, IoT, etc., without first implementing a proper mobile foundation is a costly mistake, as marketers will not be able to effectively scale innovative technologies beyond a small testing audience. With over 5 billion smartphones forecasted to be in use worldwide by 2020, mobile will play a key role in activating adjacent connected experiences.

That’s one of the key messages of my new “2017 Mobile And Technology Priorities For Marketers” report written with my colleague Jennifer Wise.

In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to sit down with many of our clients across different industries. A marketer at one of the largest CPG brands told me they currently had 18 chatbot pilots across the world! The Chief digital and customer experience officer at a global insurance company told me conversational interfaces is his top priority for the next 3 years. The SVP e-commerce and marketing at a global travel brand think extended reality will become a key differentiator. Beyond, these anecdotes, our quantitative survey among marketers, shows that:

  • 6% use intelligent agents regularly and 18% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 5% use bots regularly and 40% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 3% use augmented reality regularly and 30% are piloting or planning to use AR in the next year

What strikes me is that most of these brands are jumping into exciting new technologies while still struggling to execute their mobile approach. They underestimate what it takes to truly deliver mobile moments at scale. Instead of considering mobile as an opportunity to create new offline experiences and as the gateway to the connected world, they still consider mobile a standalone marketing and advertising channel. The majority of marketers we surveyed — 54% — are still stuck in the earliest mobile maturity stages and lack the cross-channel, cross-device execution required in today’s complex digital landscape.

Because mobile is becoming the primary touchpoint to engage consumers, Forrester believes they should:

  • Drastically increase mobile's share in the marketing mix
  • Invest in app-like experiences for mobile web moments
  • Partner with Business Technology counterparts to integrate automation technologies

Don’t get me wrong it makes sense to test and learn early with new technologies but you should also cut through the hype. While mobile-first is the new marketing mantra, don’t think that because you have launched apps and responsive mobile websites, you have checked the box on mobile and can move on to the next big thing. To deliver contextualized experiences on new touchpoints, you must first get it right on mobile.

I’ll be in New York City next week at Forrester’s Marketing Forum to discuss this latest research with our delegates. I look forward to attending this event on Thursday 6/ Friday 7 to listen to my peers and to many different speakers from Facebook, Hearst Magazines or even from Danielle Lee, Global VP at Spotify. See the full agenda here and register here