According to a survey commissioned by FollowAnalytics and Gigaom Research, and performed by Survata Research Partners, 64% of the 450 mobile marketers surveyed across enterprise brands said that their top priority for mobile apps is to enhance the customer experience and drive customer loyalty. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study was commissioned to better understand the priorities and needs of marketers across some of the world's leading brands as they transition to a mobile-first and omnichannel world where there is dramatic increase in the usage of mobile devices, but customers also expect to have a consistent experience across all of a company's marketing channels.

The most savvy omnichannel practitioners are even connecting brick and mortar experiences with digital and mobile. Realising the power of the smartphone to inform in-store purchase decisions, retailers have designed tools into their apps like barcode price scanners and beacon-powered notifications to assist buyers and create better shopping experiences that drive return visits.

"This is a significant shift from 24 months ago when mobile apps from this class of enterprise brands were primarily for sharing information or driving commerce transactions. The survey validates what we have been seeing - there is a new focus on customer lifetime value for the next generation of mobile apps," Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association said.

A key finding of the research is that 97% of marketers surveyed said that to deliver a great customer experience, it is "extremely or somewhat important" to share mobile CRM data with existing marketing systems that are either home-grown or purchased from vendors such as Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, and SAP.

Furthermore, these marketers outlined the top 3 benefits of this kind of data sharing, which are: 1) increased customer loyalty, 2) an enriched customer experience by using contextual (mobile) information and 3) optimization of the customer journey.

"According to our research," said Ed Simnett at GigaOm, "these are becoming critical KPIs that CMOs and marketing executives need to measure for their brands going forward."

The survey also outlined a key challenge that these marketers face. A majority, or 53%, believe there is too much dependence on IT and complex coding to make mobile connect with existing marketing systems, pointing to the need and opportunity for new pure-play mobile engagement solutions that make it easier to connect and automate highly personalised 1:1 mobile moments.

Findings from a recent Forrester Research report underscored the need for these solutions. According to the report for B2C Marketing Professionals, Vendor Landscape: Mobile Engagement Automation Solutions by Jennifer Wise and Julie A. Ask, analysts for Forrester Research, when mobile moments happen in an instant and the experience needs to be rapid, speed is king. Mobile engagement platforms automate mobile moments' identification and delivery to keep pace with consumer expectations.

The FollowAnalytics survey concludes by recommending that brands which want to realise ROI from their mobile apps should consider adopting mobile app strategies that focus on long-term customer value, using an omnichannel approach to guarantee personalised 1-to-1 customer journeys, and connecting all customer data into a single system of record that flows bi-directionally into all channel management tools.