When I started working in digital marketing in the mid-nineties, the world was just learning about the internet. Only 14% of Americans used the internet, and less than one percent of the world’s population was online. Back then, business leaders were asking whether they were ready for an online marketing strategy.

Now, it’s all about mobile.

Smartphone usage rose 394% between December 2010 and December 2014. Americans now spend 60% of their digital media time on smartphones and tablets. With such astronomical usage figures, can you afford to neglect your mobile presence?

The answer is “no.”

And yet, according to Forrester, many brands will still underinvest in mobile.

Your brand needs a strategy to help ensure you aren’t one of the under-investors.

To start on the right foot, there are several key facets of creating your mobile strategy to help ensure your brand doesn’t lag behind others in creating an outstanding mobile experience for your consumers.

 

The questions are as follows:

  • Who’s your audience?
  • What are your business objectives?
  • What should your mobile strategy look like?
  • Where do we start?

The answers to those questions will guide your  planning and progress as you help your brand take the next step (or its first steps) towards building its mobile ecosystem.

 

Who’s Your Audience?

Over 85% of Generation Y owns smartphones, and one in five rely exclusively on mobile devices for internet browsing. So if your marketing strategy is geared toward Millennials, for example, you need to embrace a mobile-focused strategy.

Many digital agencies start with the desktop experience and then move to mobile. However, with more and more people accessing the internet via handheld portable devices, that approach no longer delivers as many returns as it did before.

With three-quarters of Millennials doing online research before buying products, they won’t be interested in websites that aren’t optimized for mobile. And losing out now could mean watching your competitors profit for years to come because Millennials also tend to be brand-loyal.

 

What Are Your Business Objectives?

Once you’ve determined and evaluated your target audience, the second step towards establishing your mobile strategy is to consider your business objectives. Are you looking to raise awareness or convince potential customers that they need the solution you’re offering? Or, are you targeting people who are already prepared to make a purchase?

Between your business objectives and your audience objectives, you need to craft a strategy around how mobile will best suit your needs and satisfy your users in their customer journeys.

What Should Your Mobile Strategy Look Like?

To establish our clients’ needs, we ask them to show us what they like about their desktop sites. Often, they’ll point to pages that are clean, scannable, and have few words.

Attributes like these are perfect for mobile properties, due to the screen limitations they present. A mobile-first approach therefore focuses more on the visual and functional layout of a page, rather than the words on it.  On mobile, users aren’t usually seeking pages of writing that they have to read; they’d prefer a cleaner, more succinct overall design execution. Most just want to scan short amounts of content and be able to quickly and easily locate what they’re looking for and be able to take the action they’d like within a few taps of opening the app or powering up the device.

Keeping this in mind and meshing those concepts with what you already like about your existing properties creates an excellent starting point for the direction of your mobile-optimized properties.

 

Where Do We Start?

Some brands think mobile is all about native applications. Native applications are great, but they’re only one aspect of a complete mobile solution. The other aspect is your website, which is still the primary marketing hub for branding and sales activities. And one key question to ask of your website: Is it optimized for mobile browsing?

Not long ago, businesses had desktop sites and mobile versions with an “m.” in the URL. Now, we have mobile-responsive web design, making the differences between mobile and desktop experiences indiscernible for users. Continued progress along these lines is the future of website development.

Depending on the size of your business, it can take up to nine months to produce a mobile-responsive website. We often adopt a phased approach, which we begin by asking which pages support the content that most effectively meets your business objectives. Those pages are the most important ones on a website, so it’s best to start with here and gradually work towards a total website redesign.

Moving Toward the App

Back in the day when the internet was still in its early stages, you could afford to not be online. But today, with over 40% using the internet globally and 84% of people in the US are connected, you can’t afford NOT to be not only online, but also mobile.

A digital presence is imperative and the time for developing and implementing your mobile strategy is now.

 

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