MOBGEN spreads its wings and starts business development in the UK!
After opening an office in Malaga, Spain earlier this year, Amsterdam agency MOBGEN plans to conquer the UK. Londoner Sam Contractor is exploring the UK market and has started the business development for MOBGEN UK.
To give you a little taste of Sam’s plans, here’s an interview with him about the developments on the UK mobile market.
Q. What does the mobile market in the UK look like at the moment?
2015 has seen a shift in smartphone use in the UK. 33% of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online vs 30% using laptops. This marks a significant change from 2014 where this was 22% smartphone vs 40% laptop, and is likely driven by faster connectivity with 4G and increasingly powerful smartphones. Unsurprisingly, 90% of 16-24 year olds have a smartphone whilst it is 50% for 55-64 year olds, doubling since 2012. Ofcom 2015.
The UK is a sophisticated market from the standpoint of both business and technology. London has a strong standing and heritage in financial services and is renowned for being one of the fashion capitals of the world. London serves as the headquarters for many of MOBGEN’s ‘sweet spot’ target global brands in financial services, retail, travel, and automotive; 40% of the largest companies have European or global headquarters in London.
The UK has an array of digital service companies, such as boutique strategy and ideation houses that focus on value propositions or customer experience. These, however, do not deliver on technology. There are digital agencies that focus on web campaigns, SEO, and advertising, and some of these will have mobile teams. There are also large technology and consultancy players with mobile departments.
On the other hand, MOBGEN has a pure focus on creating mobile solutions that aim to drive loyalty with consumers and global brands, or create a significant aid for employees in their daily work. Six years of working with global brands like Shell, ABN Amro, Inditex, Jumbo supermarkets (to name a few) on mobile propositions help MOBGEN bring mobile thought leadership to new clients.
The MOBGEN Lab will also play a key role in the UK development as a way for clients to understand disruptive technologies and have the opportunity to ideate with us in an innovative environment.
Q. With a new office in London being currently under development, what are the areas you and your team have been focusing on?
Across the four verticals, there are excellent growth opportunities available:
For airlines – effective designs in the BA and Easyjet apps give customers easy access to bookings, loyalty, and viewing boarding passes. But what about extending the relationship into other services like cross-selling travel-related services, or in-flight entertainment, and using your mobile as the hub for this?
In retail, at least in fashion, many focus on mobile optimised sites. I’m excited by the prospect of brands being able to get to know their customers more and use social networks more effectively through mobile platforms.
For hotels – we’re already seeing check-in and room keys within apps by Hilton and others. Marriott has created a way for customers to create requests and ‘whatsapp’ style communication between customers and staff. But what other content and features could be deployed effectively to customers to enhance the experience?
For private banking, it has taken them some time to embrace mobile. There’s a mix of transactional and portfolio apps from some of the main players and independents. For instance, the oldest independent bank in the UK, Hoare, will release an app in 2016. But what’s next to grow adoption, help clients take further advantage of this platform, and drive loyalty?
For London, we are currently identifying key global brands to partner with to create loyal customers with mobile and creative technology. This will span early adopters that first created mobile apps for end-users that may be coming to their end of life. They will now need to be revitalised and rethought with the newest technologies and expectations of the customer. This will also include brands that may be investing in mobile optimised sites instead of mobile apps. And of course, there are some brands that have neither an app or an optimised site…
Q. What developments do you see at the mobile UK market, and what opportunities do you see?
An exciting future! Customers and employees will experience brands through different channels and forms with mobile being the current target device for this and primary digital channel. Global brands should continue to challenge themselves to ensure true user centricity. It’s key to spend time in the mobile strategy to redraw the customer or employee journey, understand personas, and articulate the essence of the brand in the design to drive loyalty.
Apps that enhance the employee experience at work will continue to grow in popularity, whilst customer facing apps remain an important priority. The effectiveness and opportunities for these to work in parallel with employee apps will drive value for brands.
Keep your eyes peeled for exciting times ahead!
MOBGEN delivers mobile platforms that strengthen the relationship between customers and brands or companies and employees. They aim to make mobile interaction easy, engaging and rewarding, so that users become loyal and life-long brand-ambassadors.
With more than 100 mobile specialists working from 4 locations, Amsterdam, London, Singapore and A Coruña, MOBGEN offers the following services: Mobile strategy, UI/UX design, usability testing, system architecture & integration, mobile portal development (native, hybrid, html5), quality assurance and run, maintain and analytics of mobile platforms.