“A Mobile Strategy?! Can’t I just make a mobile app that the masses will flock to?” If only it were that simple where any mobile app or mobile site we create would reach their audience as intended. When helping our clients develop a mobile strategy, we like for them to consider a few things before committing to their grand “idealistic” mobile scheme.
1. Identify your Content and Audience
Who is your audience and what relevant content do you intend for them to access via their mobile device? This is very important, as you do not want to be intrusive or inundate your clients and consumers with data that is not relevant. The goal is to maintain the current experience they have with your company whether on your website or at your physical location. Texting them daily deals can be beneficial, but sending them a text for every action within your SMS service can create a frustrated consumer.
Is your content dynamic or static information? Understanding how you want to present your content will help determine if you need the features of a “Native App” or just a mobile-optimized website. ComScore reported in December 2011, that as of November, market share looked like this among the top three smart-phones:
Google (Android) 46.9%
Apple (iOS) 28.7%
RIM (Blackberry) 16.6%
Google and Apple were the only platforms that gained since earlier in the year (Google gained 3.1% which is the same amount RIM lost). So when considering a native app, know that you limit your market exposure and that the market share for that device will fluctuate.
2. Determine how Mobile will Integrate with Current Marketing
If your current marketing is working within its medium and reaching its audience effectively, there is no need to bulldoze it for your mobile strategy. Instead, integrate it within your mobile strategy. This seems basic but we have experienced skepticism from marketing departments that collateral they have developed over many years will go to waste, when that’s simply not the case. Mobile platforms can provide another medium to reach your audience and even provide an engaging forum for more direct marketing and direct client and consumer feedback. If you have spent years building a custom website with its own CMS, CRM and e-commerce platform, your mobile strategy should work cooperatively with that instead of combatively. If you decided that your content should be more dynamic for your mobile strategy, new marketing collateral can be and should be developed to be specific to the mobile platform and device real estate you believe your audience should be reach on.
3. Be Realistic about your Budget
If you have spent time with the first two considerations, you probably have a good idea of the overall cost of your mobile strategy. So, is that strategy within your budget and can you envision the ROI to commit that investment? To help outline the differences for this blog post, consider it will cost you slightly less to build a mobile-optimized website than a Native App for a single mobile OS (iOS, Android, or RIM), and you will reach four to five more as many people with a mobile site in comparison to a Native App. So in dollars per user reached, your ROI with a mobile site can be more attainable.
So why develop a Native App you ask? Some mobile strategies have identified their content and audience with a strategy of dynamic user engagement. Perhaps your strategy involves an e-learning or a gaming app. Deciding to go Native can be all the difference in making sure the engagement level is present to bring the user in and keep them coming back. The overall mobile strategy goal may be user education, social interaction, or consumer confidence. The ROI could then be measured in number of users, social media “likes” or more traffic to your current websites or physical locations. But keep in mind that your reach to the market is only as big as the market share of the OS you have chosen. If you chose to create Native Apps for each of the three top platforms, your time investment reflects the cost and your mobile development costs triple, if not more.
Axcept Media is working hard with its clients to help identify their mobile objectives and create a strategy that fits within their current communications, marketing and sales processes. The goal is to build a mobile strategy that integrates with the framework of their current web and marketing collateral for a cohesive and cooperative user experience. Let your mobile strategy be the accelerant to your overall 2012 marketing initiatives. Engage, Educate, and Motivate!