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Thinking About A Mobile App? This will help you decide.

Do you believe that 83% of all online adults now own a smartphone? According to a recent survey of 170,000 adult internet users in 32 markets conducted by GlobalWebIndex, that is currently the case. The survey also found that “75% percent of smartphone users are accessing mobile internet services on their smartphones.”

In other words, if your business isn’t ready for mobile device users, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach your target audience and increase revenue.

But, how exactly do you get the most out of mobile internet users? The best way is by implementing a mobile strategy for your business. And here are seven strategies you need to launch ASAP.

1. Define Your Objectives

Before you can begin to implement any sort of mobile strategy for your business, you should take a step back and discover what your objectives really are. After all, without defining your objectives, how can you proceed with any sort of mobile strategy.

Kevin Conway suggests you ask the following questions on the CenturyLink Blog:

  • What are the company's corporate objectives?

  • How can mobile initiatives help the company map to and achieve the corporate objectives?

  • Is there a corporate mobile strategy?

  • If so, who in the organization owns the mobile strategy? If not, who will own the mobile strategy?

  • What is the company looking to implement for consumers in m-commerce and mobile interactive marketing?

  • What is the company looking to implement for employees in mobile in enterprise applications?

  • What is the consumer and employee experience that the company wishes to create with a mobile strategy? Are these different? If so, how and why?

  • What do the consumer and employee mobile demographics look like?

After you answer these vital questions, you’ll be able to define your mobile strategy so that you can put an effective plan into action.

2. Select the Right Mobile Environment

One of the biggest decisions that you will have to make is selecting the right mobile environment to reach your targeted audience. This is usually one of two options: a mobile site or a mobile application.

Oracle has a pretty clean explanation of each mobile environment that goes as follows:

  • Mobile sites appear inside the browser on any internet-enabled mobile device. For example, the Apple iPhone uses the Safari browser. The advantage of mobile sites is that 99 percent of web-enabled devices can access them. Mobile sites do not require the user to download anything, and if set up properly, they can detect the user’s device and automatically format the content for optimal viewing on that platform. With the advent and adoption of HTML5, mobile Web sites will have more-app like capabilities.

  • Mobile applications require a device-specific download from a marketplace, such as the Apple App Store or the Android Market. Because applications leverage native capabilities, they provide enhanced functionality such as GPS-enabled location services, scanning, and the ability to cache content for offline usage. Separate applications have to be built for each mobile platform, so you need to prioritize build-outs based on the device usage of your audience and the greater market.

Both Oracle and KISSMetrics recommend you build an app and mobile site if you have the resources. Remember, apps and mobile sites “serve different purposes, and they address different audiences: while mobile apps are for loyal customers who need a faster and easier way to interact with brands, mobile sites simplify the shopping experience and provide specific on-the-go services, basic information, and contact details.”

No matter if your use both an app or mobile site - or both - make sure that you invest in UX design. This means your mobile site “makes information clearer to understand, data easier to consume, and adoption simple” and that your app works properly.

3. Integrate With Social Media

You are already aware that social media platforms are a great place to listen and monitor your audience. They’re also pretty good at helping you engage with your audience. And, social media is also being used consumers to conduct research on a product prior to making a purchase - 71% of consumers will make a purchase after reading a referral on social media.

This means your mobile strategy should integrate with your social media platforms. This includes sharing reviews, having social sharing buttons and creating content that is both engaging for your audience and promoted through social media ads.

4. Take Advantage of the Multi-Screen/Multi-Device Opportunity

According to KISSMetrics, “over 40% of smartphone users watch TV while browsing a smartphone.” Furthermore, McKinsey & Company found that users with more devices spend more time online - users with a PC, tablet, and smartphone spend 223 minutes online per day - which is twice as long as users with just a PC and smartphone.

Because of this, you should create campaigns for different devices, as well as adjust “your marketing campaigns by device, location, and time of day.” By doing so, you’ll be able to “deliver relevant content to different segments of your audience, thus maximizing ROI.”

5. Send Out Timely Alerts and Notifications

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, “67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.” With that amount of people frequently checking their smartphones, you would be foolish not to send out timely alerts and notifications to your audience such as coupons, discounts, or savings just for opting-in.

However, you want to make sure that you don’t alienate or annoy your customers. For example, you want to make sure you provide an easy way to opt out and don't send notifications at inappropriate times, like first thing in the morning. That’s why it’s important for you to know the time and location of your audience, so you can send out those timely alerts or notifications.

6. Use Location Based Ads

Did you know that “69% of Google searches were found to involve a specific location?” If that wasn’t impressive, also consider that “20% of searches are completed to find local information, and 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.” On top of that, brands have experience “as much as a 20% increase in conversion when adding location data to their ad data.”

By using a geo-location / beacon service, you can generate location-based ads that can send out targeted messages to specific members of your audience.

7. Optimize Your Text Messages

Email marketing is a thing of the past (sorry). In fact, according to Forbes, text message marketing (SMS) the most effective marketing channel - however, it’s also the most difficult to perfect. That’s why when you launch a text marketing campaign, you need to consider multiple devices. Campaign Monitor has found that “94% of opens now happen on mobile devices.” However, click-throughs from a mobile device are not as high (47%). The good news? “Mobile readers who see the same campaign a second time are 72% more likely to click-through.”

However, emails are still a good way to keep your audience updated through newsletters and to offer them discounts or coupons. While these are effective tactics, they won’t reach the Millennials unless your emails are optimized for mobile. Marketing Profs recommends emails should be easy to click (40-50 pixels), contain short subject lines, be under 20kb, and have a screen width of 300-400px.

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