Author Archives: Jaimy Szymanski

Fresh Research + Data: The 2016 State of Digital Transformation

This week, I released a new report with my client and colleague Brian Solis, principal analyst of Altimeter Group (a Prophet company) that delves into how digital leaders and strategists are tackling digital transformation within their organizations. It features data analysis from more than 500 survey respondents (because we all love a great chart)!


Here are a few highlights – aka TL;DR:

  • Customer Experience (CX) remains the top driver of digital transformation but IT and marketing still influence technology investments.
  • 55% of those responsible for digital transformation cite “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” as the primary catalyst for change. Yet, the number one challenge facing executives (71%) is understanding behavior or impact of the new customer.
  • Only half (54%) of survey respondents have completely mapped out the customer journey. This means that many companies are changing without true customer-centricity.
  • 41% of leaders surveyed said they’ve witnessed an increase in market share due to digital transformation efforts, and 37% cite a positive impact on employee morale.
  • The CMO vs. CIO: Digital transformation is largely led by the CMO (34%) not the CIO/CTO (19%).
  • Innovation tops digital transformation initiatives at companies today. 81% said it was at the top of their agenda, 46% stated their company has launched a formal “innovation center.” Right behind innovation was modernizing IT infrastructure (80%) and improving operational agility (79%).

You can download the report from Prophet’s website here. 

Next up? We’re working on a report that uncovers how the change agents — movers and shakers like YOU within companies — are inciting digital transformation. Stay tuned; that should drop in Q4.



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[New Report] The Six Stages of Digital Transformation

Cover_6_Stages_of_DTI’m pleased to announce the release of a new piece of research I’ve been working on––for a few years, collectively!–with my research colleague Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group. The report, The Six Stages of Digital Transformation, outlines a maturity framework to help companies advance technology roadmaps, business models, and processes to compete in a digital economy.

Download the report for free on

After several years of interviewing those helping to drive digital transformation (we call them “change agents”), we have identified a series of patterns, components, and processes that form a strong foundation for change.

The Six Stages of Digital Transformation reflect the state and progress of an organization in motion. The stages are defined by the digital transformation elements that are present in an organization’s current position or its immediate roadmap. Although presented as six distinct steps, companies may not migrate through each step on a linear path or at the same speed. These six distinct stages are:    

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  1. Business as Usual
  2. Present and Active
  3. Formalized
  4. Strategic
  5. Converged
  6. Innovative and Adaptive                                                                                        

Collectively, these phases serve as a digital maturity blueprint to guide purposeful and advantageous digital transformation. Our research of digital transformation is centered on the digital customer experience (DCX) and thus reflects one of many paths toward change. We found that DCX was an important catalyst in driving the evolution of business, in addition to technology and other market factors.

Within each phase, we assess the following criteria:

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As digital transformation involves many departments, leaders, and an overall cultural shift of an organization, there is no set prescription for its strategy and implementation. Instead, this report was developed to share common milestones and best practices by those leading transformation in companies such as Discover, GM, Harvard, Lego, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nestlé, Sephora, and Starbucks, among many others. Like the imminent customer journey you will develop, the path from phase to phase is not a linear experience. Use these best practices within the report as your guideposts.

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Crowd Companies Releases Playbook to Guide Members in Collaborative Economy Program Development

This post originally appeared on Research Analyst Jaimy Szymanski worked with Jeremiah Owyang, Crowd Companies founder, to create a Collaborative Economy Use Case Playbook to guide members in program development. The first playbook, Brand as a Service, provides members with guidance around how to build initiatives, including case examples, in on-demand delivery, subscription model, rental model, and on-demand services. 

Crowd Companies is pleased to deliver part one of its Collaborative Economy Use Case Playbook to its members, covering primary use cases for program development within the “Brand as a Service” business model. The playbook assists council members in establishing Collaborative Economy initiatives by outlining resources required, recommended vendors, an implementation process, pitfalls to avoid, starter metrics, and more.

This is part one of three playbooks to be delivered in 2016, covering the three Collaborative Economy business models: Brand as a Service; Marketplace Model, and Enable a Platform (see below).

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Within the Brand as a Service model, Crowd Companies identifies four key use cases for Collaborative Economy programs. These are outlined within the playbook:

  • On-Demand Delivery: On-demand delivery allows customers to order physical goods for delivery to their location in less than one hour, rather than them physically coming to your business.
  • Subscription Model: Customers commit to a recurring subscription (weekly, monthly, annually) to receive consumable goods from companies, many of which are seasonal based.
  • Rental Model: With this model, companies can sell one durable good, multiple times, through renting it out to customers. The real value comes with creating an experience around the rental though, offering complimentary services, coverage, and perks – essentially creating a full-service solution model.
  • On-Demand Services: On-demand services allow customers to order services for use at their location in the near future, rather than them physically coming to your business.

You can view a preview of the Brand as a Service Playbook on SlideShare, and be on the lookout for additional playbooks as they’re developed for the Marketplace Model and Enabling a Platform. If you’re interested in learning how Crowd Companies works with large corporations please request an invitation to learn more.

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Chart: Autonomous Cars Change Every Industry, Even Yours

This post originally appeared on Research Analyst Jaimy Szymanski worked with Jeremiah Owyang, Crowd Companies founder, to create an in-depth research brief (for council members only) that outlines the implications of autonomous vehicles on all industries. This infographic is the high-level visual representation of this research, available to the public. 


Download a hi-res version of the full infographic here

Above graphic: Autonomous vehicles impact every business model. This infographic illustrates some the many industries that will be impacted, from Insurance, Logistics, Retail, Auto, and Cities.

Though your company may still be adapting to social media technologies or Collaborative Economy disruptions, even more business model changes are coming. New autonomous technologies on the horizon are triggering greater acceleration of innovation programs to keep up. Google, Uber, Apple, Lyft, Tesla, BMW, Ford, Volvo, Yamaha, Mercedes, and other car manufacturers are working on producing self-driving cars, and the industry impacts will reverberate.

At Crowd Companies, we’re focusing on the autonomous world as the next phase of the Collaborative Economy, and define it asfollows:

Autonomous World: A future state when intelligent technology systems, operating without human participation, enable new business models in a more efficient society.

These intelligent technology systems can take the form of many hardware and software products, including self-driving vehicles, drones, and other artificial intelligence. The Autonomous World is our futuristic vision, with society experiencing an inevitable “semi-autonomous world” with minimal human interaction before fully autonomous systems are operable and dependable.

That’s right, the human drivers of taxis or Ubers will be cut out by robots who can do it better. Uber’s CEO elaborates further in BusinessInsider as to why they’re developing self-driving cars. Alphabet (formerly Google) is leading the way in self-driving car testing, and today it was even announced that autonomous cars could be considereddrivers.” Meanwhile, GM is close behind with its recent $500 million investmentin the development of an autonomous fleet utilizing Lyft’s platform exclusively.

Silicon Valley tech companies like Uber, Google, Tesla, and Apple are heavily investing in these autonomous cars, leading with a technology approach rather than with a traditional Motor City approach. Meanwhile, Detroit and other car manufacturers are opening up labs and innovation centers in Silicon Valley as they, too, strive to integrate tech.

We’re releasing this research-based infographic to the public, with a detailed report available to Crowd Companies members that further explores the industrial impacts of self-driving cars. In our research, we continually seek answers to two key questions:

  1. What role do humans play when robots do it better?
  2. What are the business strategies required to compete in the autonomous world?

At Crowd Companies, an innovation council, we recently hosted an event in Silicon Valley for our corporate members where we toured Stanford’s mobility lab, to see these vehicles first hand. Then, we held a panel of experts and council members responded to the impacts that are looming on the horizon from this next set of technologies. Brace yourself …more changes are coming soon.

Tagged , , , , ,’s IoT Cloud Will Paint 360-Degree View of Customers with Big Data Analytics

All the data generated by connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) has been somewhat ambiguous and invisible to businesses. We all know that the IoT offers huge potential for data collection and analysis to improve customer experiences, but the how behind it has been somewhat elusive without a data scientists on staff and a hefty development budget to boot. This presents a problem, as McKinsey reports IoT applications could have a potential economic impact of $11.1 trillion per year by 2025 – an amount only reachable if companies can begin to make sense of the IoT’s constant data stream.

Last week, (SFDC) announced its plans to help customers intake, analyze, and act on both IoT data coming from the wearables around us but also sales and service data already in SFDC’s CRM tools. The product, IoT Cloud, “will ingest, filter and transform the data and then tie it back to the Salesforce platform where users can work with the data to understand their customers better,” according to early reports from TechCrunch. It’s powered by SFDC’s new operating system, Thunder, and built on four existing open-source big data analytics platforms, which you can read more about here.

Salesforce IoT cloud

Salesforce’s IoT Cloud seamlessly connects to its other service, analytics, and sales CRM products to offer a complete customer view.

The significance of SFDC’s investment in the IoT can’t be ignored. SFDC is banking on the prediction that data gathered from the millions of sensors around us, about our behaviors and preferences, will someday be equally as important (if not more so) than existing data about our actions within sales, service, and digital analytics software. In other words: someday, our devices may know more about us than we do, and businesses will be able to offer predictive products and services with the help of products like SFDC IoT Cloud.

I find this proposition both exciting (because, hey, who doesn’t want more relevant, real-time problem solving?), and also anxiety-inducing (because my connected products are basically making decisions on my behalf).

SFDC IoT Cloud will also begin to solve the current problem of interoperability between connected devices. Today, the most likely scenario is that our devices transmit data to the cloud, but the “cloud” isn’t a single repository. Rather, data exists in multiple silos, with no connection, limiting the ability for us or businesses to analyze it and trigger future actions accordingly. However, if smart products (for the consumer or corporate sector) can transmit their data to the same place, and SFDC is doing the heavy lifting in hardware configuration and software analytics, we can begin to break big data into smaller, more actionable pieces.

IoT Cloud is especially attractive to current SFDC customers. Now, they can begin to paint a truly 360-degree picture of their customers by accessing data points about actions that typically don’t occur within the traditional purchase funnel. IoT Cloud has vast applications for the B2B sector as well, with companies like Cisco already using it in conjunction with SFDC Wave Analytics and Service Cloud to monitor all equipment, including routers, switches and networkers. Then, as SFDC demonstrated at Dreamforce, Cisco customer service reps are notified if a switch within the network is causing serious problems and needs servicing.  

Although IoT cloud won’t be available until 2016, it’s certain that competition is taking note and will follow suit (perhaps another announcement will come from Oracle at OpenWorld this year?). Brands are smart to prepare now for the onslaught of even more customer data that will soon be readily accessible through the IoT Cloud. Once consumers experience ultimate personalization and predictive servicing, expectations will shift for all other brand interactions. And, it will be impossible to imagine life (interacting with “archaic” companies) any other way.

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Stripe’s In-App Commerce API “Relay” Improves Mobile CX, with Attribution Bonus for Marketers

Mobile commerce – when we shop on our smartphones and tablets – now accounts for 34% of sales globally, and during 2014, shopping app usage grew faster than any other category of applications. It benefits retailers to plan strategies around mobile commerce, aka “m-commerce” now, as consumers are increasingly turning to their devices to complete transactions.

However, it isn’t all roses and butterflies for customers looking to shop on their mobile phones. I recently covered a Jumio and Harris Interactive study that reports 56% of mobile users have abandoned a transaction on their devices. Why? There are simply too many user experience hoops, such as sign-ups, shopping carts, and page loads, to jump through to complete a purchase easily and efficiently. Poor mobile experience design is a huge hurdle to overcome, and fickle customers will jump ship at the first sign of time-wasting obstacles.

San Francisco startup Stripe released a set of tools last week aimed to make the m-commerce process smoother for customers looking to complete purchases within the app of origin. The API, labeled “Relay,” lets developers add payment functionality within the applications they develop, in turn allowing users to stay inside the app to buy rather than hopping to a mobile website or, worse, another channel to convert.

Take a look below at how Warby Parker has used Relay’s functionality within Twitter (one of Stripe’s initial partners) to more easily move customers along the purchase funnel within their tweets. This functionality displays and works seamlessly when users use Twitter’s native app to browse Warby Parker tweets on their smartphones.

warby parker tweet buy button

Warby Parker and Twitter using Stripe’s Relay API for easy in-app purchasing.

According to Stripe, mobile devices account for 60% of browsing traffic for shopping sites but only 15% of purchases. Their hope is that relay will help increase conversions by reducing friction in the mobile customer purchase process. Some companies, including Levi’s, Oakley, and Ted Baker, are even linking Relay to their existing e-commerce systems to create better mobile experiences.

Relay offers another, perhaps unintended, benefit to brands that are developing mobile strategies, though. That benefit lies in mobile attribution.

Proving the value of mobile and securing related resources from the c-suite has long been a challenge for marketing, e-commerce, digital, and IT strategists. My research on mobile customer experience design and digital transformation has uncovered how difficult it can be for internal change agents to make the case for mobile investment when little support is received from digital leaders. Can’t show me the ROI? Can’t provide you with funding for your program.

Tools like Relay could have a significant impact in helping mobile strategists prove the impact of mobile programs that are in their infancy, positioning them to receive the support needed to grow into larger, enterprise-wide digital transformation efforts that focus on improving all aspects of the digital customer experience. Before, customers would often begin their purchase process within a retailer’s app, but convert elsewhere, making it difficult to justify or prove mobile’s crucial role in the customer journey.

Now, with in-app payment being made simpler, that direct commerce attribution from mobile is easier to prove to executives who require results. It’s a win-win-win for developers, consumers, and marketers alike.

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Leaders Seeking IoT Inspiration Must Look to Other Industries for Growth

History has a tendency to repeat itself. We can all remember when social media was a fledgling marketing tactic, and companies experimented and tested their way to the maturity of today’s advanced social engagement programs. In my past research on digital transformation and mobile customer experience design, I saw brands traverse the same journey as they did in social – learning from one another, borrowing strategies, and cobbling together programs, campaigns, and internal infrastructures on their way to maturation.

And now, the world of wearables, connected devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is at the start of that same journey.

It’s a journey of many roads and moving pieces, with companies struggling to create seamlessly relevant customer experiences (CX) on new channels while still maintaining engagement on their tried-and-true media. It’s a journey that requires a willingness to fail, and fail again, until the right solution is pieced together. It’s a journey that forces industries and competitors to work together, looking to one another for inspiration, as the leaders in this space are all but determined, and innovation can come from the unlikeliest of sources.

I was reminded of this pattern in CX evolution around new technologies when reading a slew of news stories involving disparate industries working in parallel to solve similar problems – yet each unaware of the innovation transpiring next door. In my work, I’m often asked by clients to find similar examples of companies within their industry that have created successful IoT, mobile, social, et. al., programs. What I find most often, though, is that the most creative solutions and experiences depend on specific leaders and teams, regardless of vertical. It is extremely rare for one industry to excel far-and-above another when it comes to adopting a new technology to engage with customers.

This is especially true if an industry is bogged down with additional regulations or bureaucracy (ie. banking and pharmaceuticals), or if it’s funded less than another sector (ie. government and nonprofit).

For example, it was recently reported that the Department of Defense (DoD) is kicking off a new partnership with many tech giants including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Boeing, to bring wearable technologies to soldiers in combat. The goal is to create wearable devices, as part of soldiers’ uniforms, to monitor vital signs without restricting range of motion or becoming a distraction during combat. The partnership will likely spend years developing these technologies – technologies, that, already exist in another industry: professional sports.

NFL wearable sensor

Two sensors will be embedded in NFL uniforms, beneath the shoulder pads. [Credit:]

This season, NFL players will be wearing sensors beneath their shoulder pads (see photo above) that will track where they are on the field, their speed, distance traveled and acceleration more accurately than ever before. I’ve also written about Reebok’s Checklight over at MobileFOMO – a device that sits under NFL athlete helmets and emits a colored alert light when a significant hit is suffered. Both of these technologies are tested and proven to work under duress. It would serve the DoD well to examine the use of wearables for tracking vitals and location within other relevant industries before blazing an entirely new path (perhaps even the fashion industry). As the adage goes, “there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.”

There are countless other examples where innovation is happening in one industry that, with a little creativity, could be applied to solve another industry’s problems – all with less time in research and development and, therefore, less resources invested. I’ll be chronicling other opportunities for collaboration and cross-vertical learning here at WearableFOMO in the future as I analyze them. In the meantime, I advise strategists to take a look outside of their own company, competitive set, and industry to find the real magic. If history repeats itself, IoT adoption will surely follow suit of its tech predecessors in its evolution.

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Apple Doubles Down on “Mobile” Experience Design for All Devices

With its highly anticipated product announcements Wednesday morning in San Francisco, Apple reinforced its focus on creating a seamless, cross-device experience that truly puts mobile functionality first. From a new-and-enlarged iPad Pro to slick enhancements to the Apple TV experience, it’s clear that Apple is dedicated to keeping users on its devices throughout their customer journey by never veering from an intuitively mobile (and, familiar) experience design.

Let’s take a closer look at the event’s three major updates: iPad Pro, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and the Apple TV upgrade.

iPad Pro

Apple’s iPad Pro is basically a souped-up iPad that nears laptop operating power and functionality. Starting at $799, it features a 12.9” (!) screen, allowing enough room to display two apps at once and truly multitask. Multitasking becomes even easier for customers that also purchase the newly unveiled Apple Pencil – a high-sensitivity stylus for $99.

ipad pro

[Credit: Apple]

Mobile users have long cited their devices’ small screens as a reason for turning to desktops to perform everyday tasks, from shopping online to ordering takeout. Apple’s unveiling of the iPad Pro shows they’ve got a pulse on consumer needs around mobile devices and are filling the gap accordingly. As PC sales are already on the decline and tablet sales have plateaued, it’s likely that hardware like the iPad Pro will jump-start another round of laptop cannibalization. Interesting product to launch though, as Apple’s MacBook sales are still steadily growing. The iPad Pro could steal share from the company’s own competitive product set.

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

The most interesting update to the iPhone 6s and its larger 6s Plus counterpart is the inclusion of 3D touch, tactile in-screen technology that sense fingertip pressure and gives touch feedback to users. Pretty nifty! The goal of 3D touch technology is to change the way users interact with multiple applications at once. For example, if you want a sneak peek at one piece of information within an app (ie. a location), you can simply hold pressure for a moment in App 1 to be given the preview you need in App 2, without going through all the load times (see image below). It reminds me of the “Quick Look” functionality for products on many e-commerce websites.

iphone 6s 6s plus 3d touch

[Credit: TechCrunch]

Why is this update critical to mobile experience design? It gets at the root of how we’re beginning to use our applications. We’re looking for succinct experiences that solve very specific needs, often using multiple apps to achieve one result. In addition to 3D touch, the new iPhones will also sport a 12MP back/5MP front camera, new metallic color options, and a welcomed payment plan to upgrade your smartphone annually.

Apple TV upgrade

The new-and-improved Apple TV touts its own App Store, a retooled OS, and a multi-touch remote. Watching the demo actually made me reconsider my decision not to purchase one this year, as its interface navigation mirrors the native experience of Apple’s other mobile devices seamlessly. Add to that its integration with a Siri on steroids who can locate any TV episode (or part within), movie, or app with few hints to what you’re looking for. Never again will you have to search through Law and Order: SVU episodes for “that one guest starring Patricia Arquette.”

The remote itself has a glass touchpad on top, encouraging users to swipe through apps and entertainment icons for browsing and selection – just as you would on an iPad or iPhone. The mirrored functionality in navigation, as well as connected social TV apps from the likes of MLB, is the bridge needed to keep the TV alive within our homes. When faced with unlimited entertainment options on our in-palm devices, who wants to turn to an archaic TV and, most likely, fractured experience? Apple new TV box solves that problem.

Today’s event featured a few other updates too, like a reminder of Apple Watch’s upcoming OS2 launch and a new iPad mini, but those upgrades were inconsequential within the larger picture of Apple’s commitment to seamless mobile experience design. I was a bit disappointed to see such little unveiled in terms of Apple Watch upgrades though, as I believe Apple is just skimming the surface of what it could do for wearable experiences within our connected lives. My colleague and Circle Click CEO Anne Ward was also hoping for an “Apple Home” announcement today as a platform for our personal IoT, but alas, that too was missing.

For now though, it’s encouraging to see such a large hardware player like Apple pushing the industry forward in its approach to mobile-first experience design. I’m excited to see what brands will build on its foundation.

This post originally appeared on 

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IoT Retail Market Projected to Expand Fourfold, Includes Hardware and Beacon Spend

Mastering IoT in retail is a complicated puzzle, often requiring not only hardware and/or beacon installation, but also software data kits (SDK), data analytics, and customer permissions. Although the challenges are aplenty, they’re not insurmountable. At least that’s what Juniper Research is banking on in its recent predictions for a booming IoT retail market.

According to its report, The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2015-2020, by 2020, retailers will spend $2.5 billion in hardware and installation costs to capitalize on the IoT, a 4x increase over its estimated $670 million spend in 2015. Their estimate includes both beacons and RFID tag costs. Retail’s commitment to IoT innovation will contribute to the growth of non-consumer IoT device share too, with Juniper Research also projecting 70% of IoT devices to be commercial in nature by 2020.

It’s no secret that retailers are facing a hefty price tag when looking to create programs centered on wearable technologies, connected devices, and in-store GPS and NFC technologies. But, the potential benefits are vast and yet untapped by many marketers:

  • Provide consumers contextually relevant information and promotions, based on their location in-store and (if connected to a predictive analytics strategy and software) past purchase behavior. This contributes to a more relevant and valuable customer experience for shoppers.
  • Enhanced visibility of highly trafficked, and avoided, areas of the store, useful for mapping end-cap promotions, signage, and staffing during heavy sales periods. The latter contributes to richer customer service programs that benefit shoppers while deploying the most cost-efficient amount of resources.
  • Real-time, “smart” inventory tracking and even dynamic pricing based on stock levels and online pricing, as reported by Juniper Research. We’ve written about RFID’s potential in a similar context within healthcare environments, too. Target and Zara have been experimenting with RFID technology over the past year.
  • Additional data collection to provide a 360-degree view of customer behavior, linking online and offline paths to purchase by connecting consumer data via unique identifier. This is a bit more advanced, but possible using customer log-in or loyalty data.

One company attempting to ease the hardware + software burden for retailers is Estimote. They’ve recently launched a new indoor location system that uses what they’ve dubbed “Nearables” paired with standard beacon technology and app install to triangulate the location of in-store shoppers (see image below).

estimote nearable beacon

Estimote’s in-store “Nearable” beacons work with its app to triangulate customer location.

Marketers simply stick Nearables on various structures within the store and, when users have the app running in the forefront (background capabilities are in the works), retailers are privy to a world of data on foot traffic uploaded to the cloud for analysis. Nearables can also be tracked on the app, allowing users to search out specific departments, promotions, and products with ease. Users can track other friends using the app, too.

Estimote’s Nearables and associated data emporium signal the continued evolution and convergence of IoT, mobile, location intelligence, and real-time marketing – all of which are necessary pieces to complete the data science puzzle and deliver contextually relevant experiences. All the while, these solutions hinge on one important requirement: customer installation of applications and a willingness to dispense data for commercial use. Evolution must occur in data privacy standards in tandem with technological advancements, or we’re left with plenty of bright, shiny objects, but no one to use them.

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Google Raises Expectations for Mobile-Friendly Sites with App Install Interstitial Ad Penalty

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015, otherwise known as “Mobilegeddon,” was a day of importance to website operators worldwide, as it was Google’s deadline for getting all sites up-to-speed with mobile optimization requirements. For those sites that didn’t make the deadline, they were faced with demerits from Google’s search algorithm which now docks mobile-unfriendly sites in search result placement. Large text, easy to click links, user-friendly navigation, and responsive design elements became paramount in mobile site development for businesses of all sizes.

Now, Google is set to strike again. As of November 1, 2015, the search giant will double-down on its push for better mobile customer experiences, this time with a focus on interstitial ads promoting app installation that stand as a barrier between mobile search results and the desired web content.

In an official statement this week, Google announced this impending update to its Mobile-Friendly Test:

“After November 1, mobile web pages that show an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page will no longer be considered mobile-friendly.

Rather than push users to an app install via interstitial ad, Google recommends using a less intrusive banner ad (see Fig. 1 below). This serves the purpose of driving app installs while still maintaining a desired customer experience for mobile users in search of information, not an interrupted journey. And, as reported by Business Insider, this shouldn’t affect the $4.6 billion mobile app interstitial advertising revenue market either, as the majority of these interstitials come directly from publishers promoting their own apps, not an outside ad spend budget.

Figure 1. Mobile interstitial app install ads vs. Banner app install ads

google interstitial mobile ad ban

Left pair showcases an interstitial ad, prompting app download. The right pair showcases a smaller banner ad inciting app download, contributing to a better mobile user experience. [Image Credit: Google]

With 60% of its search traffic driven from mobile devices, it serves Google well to focus on maintaining and creating optimal search experiences on smartphones and tablets. By continually upping its standards of what defines a mobile-friendly experience, Google is also raising the bar for foundational CX requirements across all industries. Digital, mobile, marketing, and customer experience strategists should already be delivering responsive, intuitive, and native mobile experiences, but a little push from Google doesn’t hurt in providing incentive in boosted SEO.

The purview of these additional requirements added to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test are not aimed to burden developers, but rather decrease user frustration in achieving the desired result from their actions. Plain and simple: Don’t be the interruption between steps of mobile conversion. Deliver what’s expected, or design your journey to achieve different results. There’s a reason why users are turning to a mobile web search vs. your app in the first place.

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