Two Simple Steps to a Rock-Solid Mobile Strategy

March 10, 2017

There are very few limits on what an app can do these days, but a mobile strategy needs to stay focused on the task at hand: making your customers’ lives easier or more pleasurable in some discernible way.

The opportunities for growth in the mobile arena are unquestionable – mobile devices, specifically smartphones, are increasingly becoming consumers’ most effective path to customer engagement. Digital media time in the US has grown by more than 50% over the past three years, of which 90% is directly attributed to mobile usage, and the number of mobile users officially surpassed desktop users way back in 2014.

But having a mobile app simply for the sake of having one is not a strategy. Taking such an approach, even if you can get it approved by the C-suite, will likely result in an app that is just as directionless as the plan. Instead, start with the following two foundational elements and allow them to provided the basis for the rest of your mobile strategy.

Mobile Strategy Foundation

#1 Keep it Customer-centric

The key is to identify an issue or opportunity and then build a holistic mobile plan around that. Take a
step back and think about your current business challenges with these questions in mind:

  • What do you need or want to improve when it comes to interacting with current or potential customers?
  • Are there any internal pain points or inefficiencies that could be alleviated or resolved by mobile?
    What are your customers asking for that mobile might be able to deliver better and faster?
  • Is there anywhere in your funnel where a mobile component or developing mobile trend would speed or improve conversion?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a pretty clear picture of whether your primary objective is to increase revenue and customer engagement, promote brand awareness, drive internal productivity, or all of the above.

Case Study: Starbucks was the first in its industry to offer mobile ordering, gaining more than 6 million transactions a week. That’s more than $30 million in business over the course of a year. In late 2015, they rolled out mobile pay for the US, UK and Canada. The motivation? Making it as fast and as easy as possible for their customers to complete a purchase.

#2 Include Metrics

Gaining buy-in from corporate leadership can be challenging. However, companies that have a mobile initiative backed by top-tier decision makers are much more likely to succeed according to recent research. Those teams with solid support up the corporate ladder are nearly 15% more likely to report mobile initiatives with very profitable ROI. Getting this support means providing metrics.

Build a persuasive data set around the mobile opportunities you’ve identified. A solid mobile strategy should include a substantial amount of market research on the items you’ve identified as priorities for your company. Include outward-facing market landscape intelligence on app usage based specifically on the type of app you’re launching. For an mCommerce app, for example, that might be mobile shopping, customer engagement data, etc.

Establish up front what data or metrics will best track success for you. Including KPIs that will help guide strategic development can be incredibly persuasive when it comes to selling the C-suite on your mobile strategy—not to mention keeping you on track as you begin to implement that strategy. Keep it to just a handful of important data points that will act as a feedback loop for the deployed mobile efforts.

For instance, number of impressions, number of shares on social media, and checkout completion rate are all common mobile KPIs. Decide what data points are most indicative of success for you and add them to your strategy up front.

Putting it all Together

Building a mobile app strategy may seem overwhelming at first, but if you think carefully about where you are and where you want to go, the rest will follow naturally. Take time to answer the big questions – how to solve customer issues, what features your customers need, and how a mobile app can help ease those pain points. Next, build your strategy on a great foundation that’s centered on customer needs and data. It’s as simple as that.

Find out more about how successful businesses are creating their mobile strategies in our latest eBook.

–Drew Johnson, co-CEO, App Partner