American Marketer


Developing and deploying a mobile presence

August 7, 2013

Jen O’Brien is integration director at Manifest Digital



By Jen O’Brien

This is the final article in a series geared toward decision-makers who are currently exploring or are in the midst of developing a mobile presence. My goal is to provide best practices in designing and developing a successful mobile presence. I am focused on the how of this endeavor – the process to use and decisions to make along the way.

Following these guidelines will help you build a successful mobile business solution by asking smart questions and making strategic choices.

Recap of previous articles

In the first article titled “Envisioning a mobile presence,” we covered identifying key goals and objectives, defining your audience and their needs, determining how you will measure success, and agreeing upon business requirements and achievement timeline.

In our second article titled "Designing a mobile presence," we discussed defining required features and functions, designing the interaction experience, articulating your content strategy, and providing guidance for and designing the creative experience.

Now we are ready to take a look at developing and deploying a mobile presence.

End goals

At the end of the develop and deploy phase, you should be able to answer:

• Can my audience successfully interact with the experience as I expect?

• Does the experience perform as expected on the devices I want to support?

• How will I extend success measurement?

• How will I extend my content strategy?

• How will I deliver on my road map over time?

Audience interaction

During development, we often prototype the end result, and test this with the representative audience iteratively to ensure we are on the right track.

We ensure that the audience interacts with the experience as we expect. When unexpected results occur, we employ user research to delve into why this is the case.

We use the findings – either during the initial development cycle or for future releases – to refine the experience and better meet needs and expectations.

Experience performance

When developing a mobile experience, it is important to develop for all devices you intend to support.

Further, have all devices you intend to support available throughout the development and testing components of your effort, to ensure the experience performs as you expect. It is best to use the actual devices rather than emulators to be certain the experience performs properly.

Success measurement and content strategy extension

Using the success criteria we determined at the outset, we measure how well the experience is meeting expectations in the real world upon launch.

We often trend this analysis over time, to understand whether success is sustained, and experience improved.

Revisit and refine success metrics as needed to ensure they continue to align with your business goals and objectives.

Continuous analysis and improvement, and providing this information for key decision makers, means that budget and resources will be employed thoughtfully to your mobile presence.

Revisit your content strategy regularly as well, and regularly refine it to meet your audience’s changing needs.

Continuously check for information relevance, and extend breadth and depth of content as required to optimize your mobile presence.

Roadmap delivery

Post-launch, it is important to continuously refine and iterate, regularly releasing additional or improved features, functionality and content.

Rely on customer feedback, user research and continuous alignment with business goals to confirm the relevance of your roadmap.

Revisit the roadmap at least yearly, and ideally quarterly, and refine it as needed to ensure it remains strategic and visionary.

WE BELIEVE it is important to thoughtfully approach these efforts.

With process and planning, marketers be more efficient and successful with their mobile presence and reach.

Jen O’Brien is integration director at Manifest Digital, Chicago. Reach her at