To those of us in the marketing and digital industries, optimising for mobile may seem like a given.

But according to Rob Thurner, Lead Facilitator with the Google Digital Academy and Founder and CEO of mobile agency Burn the Sky, businesses still aren’t doing enough to meet consumer expectations for timely and relevant mobile experiences.

“At all of the retail brands that I work with, I see that a multi-device customer has an average lifetime value of around three times that of a single channel customer,” Thurner told Google’s Natasha Tamiru in a recent interview. “Yet assigning the full value of mobile to the customer journey is something that many businesses still struggle with, and fail to factor into their planning.”

How should marketers go about creating memorable mobile experiences that unlock the true potential of mobile as a marketing channel? In a new guide published by Econsultancy with Think With Google, A Short Guide to Mobile Marketing, Thurner explains why data-driven personalisation is so important for developing mobile experiences that work and drive strong return on investment.

“A customer’s mobile phone is likely to be the most personalised device they own and use,” Thurner writes. “Mobile is also the most personalised communication channel available to marketers. Customers never share their handsets, which allows businesses to develop immediate and intimate relationships with customers.”

28 inspiring mobile marketing quotes

Digital pioneers like Google, Apple, Uber and Domino’s have all succeeded in designing personalised and impactful mobile experiences – but Thurner emphasises that companies don’t need to be huge tech enterprises or have vast resources at their disposal in order to innovate on mobile. “Lesser known enterprises in the beauty, travel and B2B worlds have also won hearts, minds and wallets with modest budgets by putting the customer first.”

Thurner’s advice to marketers on how to accomplish this is twofold:

1. Develop a “forensic fascination” with the customer

“Your customer should be your North Star, directing all aspects of your marketing,” Thurner writes.

This laser focus on the customer ultimately benefits both the customer and the business: personalisation enhances the customer experience, thereby increasing engagement and loyalty – and for businesses, personalisation can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, increase revenue by 5-15%, and increase efficiency of marketing spend by between 10 and 30%, according to McKinsey.

2. Capture, process and share real-time data

In order to improve the performance of your mobile investment, Thurner advises, this data should be shared with others in the business as well as your partners.

“The exponential growth of machine learning, driven by an explosion of available data, better algorithms and cloud computing could save you time and money while supporting revenue growth.”

On the Think With Google blog, Thurner gives an additional piece of advice: when thinking about mobile marketing transformation, business shouldn’t treat mobile as a channel with a separate budget, but as “an interface, and the first place for customers to engage.”

And part of valuing mobile in this way, as interviewer Natasha Tamiru points out, is using it to create and deliver truly personalised experiences.

For more best-practice advice on how to nail mobile marketing, along with examples of brands who are getting it right, read the full interview with Rob Thurner on the Think With Google blog, and download the Econsultancy report, A Short Guide to Mobile Marketing. Subscribers can also delve into the full Mobile Marketing Best Practice Guide for even more expert insight.

Mobile Marketing Best Practice Guide