This month's column contributed by Chris Jackson, associate consultant.

There is a lot of hype these days regarding the future of wireless Internet access, and a proliferation of mobile targeting technology has emerged. However, many organizations are forgetting that, like any other customer relationship management (CRM) initiative, wireless should be about the consumer experience. In order to deliver real value with wireless devices, companies must better understand how customers want to interact with their wireless devices and what benefits they want to receive from them. It is a mistake to assume that the customer's experience with mobile devices will simply mimic a scaled-down version of the traditional Internet experience provided by desktop computers. Surfing for hours to find information, browsing through online catalogs of merchandise conducting research for a paper and reading the Wall Street Journal do not lend themselves to a fulfilling user experience on a one-and-a-half by one inch mobile phone screen or even a two- and-a-half by two inch personal digital assistant (PDA) screen. Wireless devices provide the value of mobility, convenience and instant access and let you stay in touch while you are doing something else. Indeed, mobile devices offer the opportunity to create new experiences, and mobile CRM (or mCRM) will play a key role in defining the consumer wireless services evolution. However, evolution occurs gradually, not overnight.

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