To help top marketing executives maneuver the mobile landscape, The CMO Club and Oracle Marketing Cloud hosted a recent Digital Roundtable that was moderated by Andrea Ward , VP of Marketing at Oracle. This article is a recap of their discussion.

Mobile strategy is just another piece of the pie. Done well, it complements brand initiatives and contributes to the bottom line. Without a thought-out plan, though, it can lead to customer-brand disconnect and eat up resources. When wondering where to begin implementing it in their own companies, members turned the lens and recalled outstanding mobile experiences they’ve had personally. The apps cited were ones that added value to their daily lives by providing customization, tracking and simplified solutions – whether that was for an electrical account, fitness routine or upcoming business flight.

“If you can activate someone at the right time, with their right need, increasing your bottom line and solving real problems – that’s the sweet spot,” said Steve Keller, Customer Experience Practice Manager of Cisco Systems.

CMOs all agreed: mobile marketing is about providing relevant value that enhances the customer experience across all channels. In finding that sweet spot, members asked questions that helped them focus their strategy: ‘Where?’ ‘How?’ ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’

Where Does Good Mobile Strategy Start?

While the marketing department owns a customer’s journey and brand experience, CMOs pointed out that mobile isn’t so cut-and-dry. Depending on the day and function, it could fall under the blanket of IT, customer service, retention or internal communications (to name a few). That’s why a mobile-oriented thought process must be top of mind throughout the entire organization, and at every level.

For the slower adopters, CMOs had to find openings to introduce a mobile approach within their brand. By first leveraging mobile for promotional marketing, they were able to highlight the ROI of mobile to their companies and then expand it into other areas of the user experience.

How is It Implemented?

Effectively identifying an opportunity to enhance your customer experience with mobile and knowing how to take action is a crucial first step, according to CMOs.

For companies with bricks and mortar locations, marketers are looking for a way to create an experience that seamlessly spans digital and physical interaction. Knowing that more than 90% of purchases still happen in-store, commerce brands are focusing their mobile strategy on helping consumers locate nearby stores, find specific products and browse product suggestions.

While those particular tactics require a focus on mobile-optimized sites and content marketing, other brands – like Starbucks – resolve customer pain points with a native app. They took a slow, manual production flow (made-to-order coffee drinks), and turned it into something fast and convenient by offering a rewards program, mobile order and even tap-to-pay. By showing up to the game early, Starbucks showed customers they really get it, resulting in a cult-like loyalty and skyrocketing revenues.

What Tactics Should be Used?

Customers are practically attached to their phones and tablets, so building a strong digital strategy is one way to literally get in the hands of your consumers. But CMOs cautioned against implementing mobile tactics just for the sake of playing the game.

This is the time to research the readiness and ability of each tactic to add value to the customer’s. Most members cited the use of push notifications in order to send customers requested updates, relevant offers, or account information – and they seem to be on the right track.

According to research done by Oracle, push notifications improve an app’s adoption by up to 70% in some industries. But the underlying focus with any tactic must be relevancy. Otherwise, your mobile efforts will have a negative affect on customers.

“We are working to be relevant daily. One way we’ve done this is bring all of our blogs, social channels and news into one giant news feed where users can tune in daily, causing a repeat need,” said Wendy Wong, SVP of Marketing at The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Why Do all of This?

Like other marketing strategies, the proof is in the numbers, and CMOs said they are constantly looking for ways to quantify their efforts.

Members agreed that mobile is almost never a standalone strategy, so it comes down to determining how that data fits into the overall campaign – and trying to pinpoint what percentage of the traffic and conversion totals belong to mobile.

Refining data to find the mobile ROI is a continuous cycle for marketers, but it’s one that brings everything full circle. In the future, CMOs said they will continue to hone in on how mobile interactions relate to physical sales, and how purchasing right on mobile devices will continue to change the mobile and digital landscapes.