American Marketer


Key factors to consider in mobile strategy goals

February 13, 2013

Tarun Nimmagadda is chief operating officer of Mutual Mobile


By Tarun Nimmagadda

“If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy.”

- Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google

You may not need me to tell you this, but the ever-expanding mobile landscape shows no signs of slowing down. According to Ericsson, there will be 5 billion mobile users by 2016.

Noted mobile strategist Karen McGuane estimates that by 2013, the primary way people will access the Internet will be via mobile devices. The enterprise that chooses to ignore mobile strategy risks missing out on substantial opportunities to create efficiencies and tap new sources of revenue.

Thinking beyond the app
Mobility is the future, but currently mobile already plays a critical role in everything from employee productivity to sales enablement and brand awareness, influencing how teams are organized, investments are made and revenue is captured.

Whether you are considering mobile for the first time or thinking about ways to take your mobile marketing efforts to the next level, you will want to develop and implement an extensible mobile strategy that drives awareness, engagement and ROI so you can prioritize what you do today, tomorrow and a year from now.

While mobile applications can play an important role for your enterprise, an app is no substitute for a mobile strategy.

In 2012, the lion’s share of companies chose to invest in building apps rather than comprehensive programs informed by strategic plans.

As a result, according to a recent global study by Deloitte, nearly 80 percent of all branded apps fail to achieve 1,000 downloads, let alone meet defined success metrics — largely because they either do not break through or they do not add value.

Needless to say, the novelty of making a mobile app because everyone else is doing it just will not cut it in 2013.

Adjusting your mobile POV: 2013 and beyond
Mobile is transforming the way we interact in real life as well as online and, in doing so, is helping to realize the Internet’s full potential as a network that connects people, places and brands to each other.

As you assemble the goals for your mobile strategy, be sure to map them back to your digital strategy within a mobile context.

It is also incredibly important to remember that as devices proliferate, the mobile landscape is becoming incredibly complex.

Users jump from device to device fluidly, and they expect seamless digital experiences — delivering anything less hurts brand perception.

Some key considerations you will want to factor into your mobile strategy goals:

Overall business strategy. Company-level priorities are set each year as part of annual planning. Align with your corporate strategy team on business-level objectives to inform your mobile priorities.

User needs and expectations. Always remember that smartphone owners use their devices in a wide variety of different situations and locations. Obtain a deep understanding of your users, and develop your use cases accordingly to meet their needs.

Current mobile best practices. Taps and clicks are two very different actions. Mobile best practice are tactile and involve unique heuristics that touch upon the very nature of mobile behavior. Tap into them.

Clear ownership, cross-disciplinary participation. Your mobile strategy should be shaped by experts who understand how mobile experiences affect the brand experience, and how to work with stakeholders across a given project to bring it to life.

Once you have identified your key focus areas, you will need to create and implement a plan of action. There are five steps your enterprise must take to make sure you are headed toward mobile success.

1. Assessing mobile maturity
Audit your digital presence and take stock of your current mobile situation. Doing this will enable you to see where you need to optimize your existing experiences for mobile and where you need to build new experiences.

2. Gathering experts and assets
Collect your subject matter experts, gather your current assets and share knowledge with your mobile partner. To do so may seem difficult in the moment, but the results will be well worth your effort in the long run.

3. Evaluating and prioritizing
Collaborate with your partner to align business goals with user needs. Evaluate which current or upcoming mobile projects will help address your strategic focus areas. Then organize which projects you will take first depending on priority and context.

4. Defining and disseminating

Create a 12-18 month roadmap of mobile projects and mobile governance guidelines. Share these materials within your organization across executives, team leads and implementation teams. Educate your workforce and empower them to make integral contributions to your mobile experience.

5. Maintaining and optimizing
Putting proper guidelines and best practice in place is just the beginning. Measure engagement, implement updates and improve the mobile experience on an ongoing basis to keep systems fully functioning and users 100 percent satisfied.

MOBILE IS NOT going away anytime soon. Consumers rely on mobile devices now more than ever.

To this end, a strong mobile strategy can deliver value on an ongoing basis and deepen engagement with your brand, driving impressive results.

Tarun Nimmagadda is chief operating officer of Mutual Mobile, Austin, TX. Reach him at