With the mobile device being so important to consumers, businesses will have to find ways to connect with them on smartphones and tablets. A mobile strategy can help companies of all sizes reach and engage more customers giving them an edge against competitors that are slow to adopt.
As you get ready to develop your mobile strategy, consider the 7 key components of a mobile strategy that will drive results.
1. Start With Strategy & Planning
Most businesses jump right to tactics, which is the biggest and most common mistake when it comes to businesses diving into mobile marketing.
It’s new, constantly changing and very easy to feel the need to just roll up your sleeves and start tinkering because you don’t want to miss the opportunity.
As a warm reminder—if you skip the strategy and planning phase you will be setting yourself up for failure later. The strategy and planning phase sets the tone for your future mobile initiatives and allows you to move forward making sure that the campaigns you implement align with your business goals.
In this phase we’ll be:
Identifying goals and objectives
Exploring our customers mobile behaviors
Identifying goals and objectives
Many people lump goals and objectives into the same bucket but they are different and it’s important to know the difference between the two.
Your goals are broad statements that the business hopes to achieve and they are qualitative. Goals are what drive your strategic planning and preparation.
Your goals are supported by measurable objectives. These are the most critical component of the strategic plan as they answer the question “how much?” and “by when?”
Objectives are quantifiable. So when planning your mobile objectives, start the objective with the word “increase” or “decrease”. For example, “Increase our mobile database by 20% by activating our existing media channels with our mobile call-to-action”.
Once the goals and objectives are defined you can identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used as a measurement of success.
Don’t go overboard here and pick 20 KPI’s. With the example above, our KPI’s might be database growth and database growth by channel.
Explore your customers mobile behavior
It’s also important to understand how your customers use their mobile phone. While most adults in the U.S. have adopted a smartphone now, there are many ways you may engage with your customer via mobile.
Does your customer play games? What apps do they use most? Do they check their email on their phone? Are they tablet users? Do they text their friends?
The answers to these questions may have you starting with one mobile tactic over another when the time is right.
The next part of the strategy is determining your capabilities. This is where we start to understand the tactics we can implement to reach our mobile objectives.
You’ll want to do an assessment of the tools and assets you currently have in place. For example, you want to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. You’ll want to make sure the email service provider you use offers up mobile responsive email templates.
Does your business have a smartphone app? If so, are you capable of sending push notifications.
Once you take an inventory of your current capabilities you can identify what else you may need. You may need an SMS service provider or a mobile advertising platform that allows for geo-targeted advertisements.
This is also the time you’ll want to review any new technologies. As we mentioned earlier, mobile technology is constantly evolving. This is why your strategy should never be dependent on a specific technology and should be tech agnostic. New tools will continue to present themselves and you’ll have to assess if they can help you meet the previously defined mobile objectives.
3. Creating the Playbook
This component might be the most important. Your playbook is the document that will drive your team and strategy forward.
Your playbook should include 3,6,12 month road maps for what campaigns launch and on what dates. The playbook will layout your messaging calendar and tactical road maps that identify key integration dates and timelines. It should also determine key responsibilities from your internal team and external partners. Who does what and when should they have it done by?
Ideally, your playbook is being updated and optimized every 90 days to accommodate your learnings.
4. Understanding the Vendor Ecosystem
Depending on the type of mobile tactics you’re going to deploy, understanding the mobile vendor ecosystem is important.
For example, If you’re leveraging SMS (text) messaging you’ll want to have an agency or platform provider that is connected to a Tier 1 or 2 aggregator that gives you access to the wireless carriers.
In most cases you won’t be able to execute everything on your own. At the very least you should work with an experienced mobile marketer so they can guide you and identify the right types of partners you should and shouldn’t be working with.
Your partner may offer just the technology or technology with a service. Understand what each partner brings to the table and where that supports your goals and objectives.
You’re not superman. You will need help or guidance.
5. Consumer Privacy
The mobile industry is regulated and monitored by a number of associations and government organizations such as the FCC whom enforce things like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Depending on the mobile tactics you’re adopting, you’ll want to work with experienced partners that understand the ever changing consumer privacy landscape.
You should always consult your own legal team of course but having a partner that is on top of the mobile marketing guidelines, best practices and laws will make sure you’re setting a solid foundation to build upon.
6. Roll Out and Production
This is when you and your team start taking action.
Campaigns are going live and your focused on the customer journey through your new mobile marketing lens.
Acquisition: Where are you integrating your mobile CTA to engage prospects?
Engagement: How will you create a great first impression that gets your customer to take action.
Conversion: What do you want your new mobile users to do once they’ve engaged? Do you want them Shop online or visit your store?
Retention: What does your messaging calendar look like that will retain these new members and even encourage them to become advocates?
7. Connected CRM
The last component of driving results with your new mobile initiatives is often the most challenging for businesses. Heck, it’s even hard for some of the top brands.
There is a reason why it comes last as it may not be something you accomplish in the early stages of your mobile programs. One of the most powerful aspects of mobile is the way it can thread many of your marketing communications together from one channel to another. Many retailers look at mobile as the catalyst of the omni-channel experience.
One of the most important things to understand is to how you can use mobile engagements to capture more data about your customers to create a more complete customer profile.
For example: If you’re using direct mail, you can add a mobile CTA that captures phone number. From that point, one of your upcoming messages can drive your new subscriber to a mobile optimized form where they enter their name and email to get a time sensitive coupon.
Something like SMS just turned that non interactive direct mail piece into an interactive measurable piece of media and then allowed you to obtain more customer data while driving a potential redemption online or in-store.
The Future of Your Marketing Strategy
We’re at a point as business owners and marketers that we have no say in how, when, where and on what device our customers choose to engage with us. We do, however, have a chance to make that the best possible experience possible no matter what device they choose.
With more and more people reaching to their smartphone as their first screen, strategies that don’t perform well on mobile devices won’t perform well at all.