Mobile is critical to your business

It goes without saying that mobile is changing the way people do business. The best organizations (but very few) see mobile as a critical business function. A core part the organizational strategy that can either help them succeed or fail.

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Unfortunately, the concept of mobile is often approached as tactical decision. A decision based on current knowledge, the “cool” factor or because everyone else is doing it.

To be successful today, it is imperative to understand that mobile needs a strategy. A strategy of engagement with customers or employees to increase sales, visibility of your organization or improve efficiency’s.

With mobile, there are many directions an organization can go. Which platform will we use (Apple, Android, Windows, All)?  Native or not?  Responsive or not? Etc…etc..etc.. The tactical list goes on and on. All of these decisions have impact on your business  but none of them really matter unless you know where you want to go.

To develop a mobile strategy, it is my belief that all of this boils down to a few essential but familiar elements:

1)      Why
2)      Who
3)      What
4)      How

As you answer each one of these, it will inform the others, building a stronger strategic effort.

Why

This is defining a reason for doing something? Increasing revenue, have deeper engagement, improving internal operations. Whatever the reason,  it must align to the goals of the organization.. it is the why we are doing something.

Who

This is your target audience. The people whom you’re trying to engage with. It is very important to understand this group of people and how they interact in their mobile world. If we are talking about employees they may have company owned devices (which are highly predictable)… or are we going after women, men.. teens.. etc.

This maybe a surprise to many but people normally associate “new” or trendy things with teens. But the reality is with mobile, people between the ages of 35-44 own more smart devices than any other group. But this is just the surface. To define who… you must understand your audience.

What

This is getting into the tactical side of things. Based on the “why” we are doing something and “who” we are doing it for defines what platform, what language, what approach we take.

If the goal is to increase revenue and your audience is women between a certain age group, you may be looking at a target market of iPhone users..

The next question is more important than the device, it is the experience. Do my users need an experience that requires more advanced technology? That may indicate you need a native application or maybe it is more informative and calls for a responsive website design. These are just some of the things you need to tackle to answer the “what”.

How

For me, this about measurement. There is no point in developing a strategy unless you can understand if it is working or not. Are you meeting the goals you set out in the beginning? What is your return on this investment? How are we doing?

Because I have a background in the startup world.. I am a huge believer in being ready to pivot. When you answer some of these question and the results you see are not what you expected… learn, adjust and execute again.

Mobile is essential to your business and it is not a matter if your organization is going to have a mobile strategy, it is when.

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