Mobile is quickly becoming the preferred way consumers interact with brands. As being able to access information, make decisions and complete purchases is possible anywhere, anytime, through mobile; apps have become the dominant touch point for interaction with consumers. Gartner has predicted that by 2016 mobile app use will surpass the use of internet domain names altogether.

As we see the swift shift in consumer expectations for mobile, brands have been quick to change their approach to mobile app development. Gone are the days when an app was developed as an afterthought, or merely to try encourage some visibility on a consumer’s mobile device. Apps are no longer seen as standalone entities, but rather, as essential parts of marketing and business strategies. Apps are instrumental in building closer relationships with consumers, acting as key business drivers or providing visibility to partners or channels.

So dramatic is the influence of mobile strategy on consumers, sometimes an app could be the key factor in decision making. This is particularly true of products or services that provide a standard offering across a sector. Take banking for example, most high street banks provide their customers with an app to manage their accounts and complete simple transactions with. However, not all brands have concentrated on optimising the experience for their customers and delivering the desired functionality. As a result, many mobile savvy consumers may make the decision to move banks, to have access to a competitor’s banking app.

Developing your brand’s mobile strategy, to form part of the overall marketing strategy, should chiefly, as ever, be built around the end consumer. However, much about the ever changing mobile landscape does present marketers with a lot of unknowns, so here are a few tips for building a market-leading mobile strategy:

1. How mobile is your brand today?
Fully review any existing mobile apps or mobile presence your brand has already established. Make sure to use any analytics you have access to, to understand how your consumers operate on mobile – this can be as simple as looking at what are the most popular devices visitors access your website via. Analytics should be used consistently, after developing an app, to measure performance and to make improvements based on findings.

2. How can mobile enablement transform your brand?
Explore the various roles mobile might play across the business and what real value can be delivered to your customer through mobile; with particular emphasis on potential enhancements to the positioning, capabilities or experience. It is important to consider your brand throughout this process, by developing guidelines and framework for your brand on apps. This will provide consistency for your brand, across all apps delivered.

3. Define objectives and KPIs
Prioritise business objectives with reflection on commercial drivers, brand positioning and offering. Then clearly define how you will measure the success of your mobile strategy and individual apps.

4. Define an opportunity map
Prioritise all the opportunities your team has identified for mobile, to build a roadmap for rolling out your mobile strategy. Apps should be prioritised based on company wide strategy, based on understanding simplicity vs value.

5. Start the development process
After identifying the app that will provide the most amount of business value, you need to start the process off with establishing solid foundations ahead of progressing with design and development.


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