image005pf8I’m interested in sharing some thoughts on how you decide on what you need to be doing to ensure you integrate mobile successfully into your business to meet your growth, retention and revenue goals.
It can be easy to be seduced by the glamour and glitz of new technology to create or integrate something whizz-bang mobile into your plans but, and this is the killer question, by doing so is it the most effective solution to achieve your goals?
I’m a believer in doing the right thing rather than following the herd. As an example, we were approached by a financial service provider to build them an iPhone Application. They were looking for a way that Mobile could enhance their CRM and reduce a number of their engagement costs. After spending time with them and really getting under the skin of what they were looking for, we recommended an SMS solution.  It’s still working wonders, it continues to tick all the success solution boxes and they haven’t mentioned the App word to us since.
Sometimes the answer can be the simplest, or dare I say the more “boring” solution. For instance Augmented Reality and QR codes are great mobile tools but I’d say only use them when there is a real business reason to use them.
So how do you decide on what to do and when?  We tend to follow a six-step process that works for us:
1. Start with your Business objectives. What are you’re goals for the year, what do you need to implement to achieve these objectives?
2. Once you’ve refreshed yourself with the core objectives you need to get your head into whether or not there could be a Role for mobile in helping to deliver them. I use the word “not” flippantly as in most cases there should be.  This role could be many things such as to reduce costs, support the marketing, or to allow customers to shop with you whilst out of home.
3. The next step is to then nail your mobile strategy. What do you have to put in place to deliver on your role and achieve your objectives?  How will you use mobile, when will you go to market, who will you targeting? What do you need to build, what tools should you use, should you employ an agency? Defining your Mobile strategy, and getting it right, is key to the overall success.
4. Now’s the time to look at what you should put into Development.  Are you building Apps and/or M-sites, do you need to integrate an SMS tool, are you implementing QR codes throughout your business (and need to have them printed on all your packaging)? Macro decisions such as what you are implementing are then followed through to micro decisions i.e. building for IOS /Android or doing it all in HTML5.
5. Once you’ve decided on what you are implementing and how, you need to get in place your Delivery strategy.  How are you going to tell your customers or new audiences that you are mobile?  What’s your mobile marketing plan should you be using banner advertising, Rich media ad units, Mobile pay per click search? Do you put your SMS shortcode on all your in-store literature? Is there a link to the app store off your website?
6. Finally, and once your mobile activity are up and running, you need to know what’s working, how your customers are reacting to it and what needs to be better. The Insight stage is vital for continuation and future success. Analysis of usage, understanding of the effect on the brand or what impact on sales are all things you should try and establish. And once you know the answers then feed back into the business objectives and start the process all over again.
Of course there are a lot more considerations to think through, but it’s just a snapshot of what you nee to be thinking about.  However if you start with the above process you will have given yourself and your business the best chance of mobile success. Good luck with your exciting ride.