Do I Need a Mobile Strategy?

A marketer should never ask this question.

Marketers do not need mobile strategies and instead should be thinking about how to achieve business goals for their brands.  The challenge is in clearly defining the goal and determining the most efficient and effective way to reach the goal.

There are a number of mobile strategies available to firms including the mobile web, mobile apps, gaming, mobile display ads and even email.  However, the use of these strategies is strictly dependent on basic marketing strategy.

A strong strategy must be planned and managed to generate positive outcomes.  Before committing time and dollars to a mobile media strategy consider the reasons why you want to use mobile.  Do you want to increase sales, engage customers, rank higher on search engines, communicate with people or make them take action?  If so begin with these goals and then determine the best way to achieve them.  Your most efficient means of achieving the goal may be mobile or may not be mobile, but don’t fall in love with the strategy – stick to the objective.

Some firms such as Disney have executed mobile strategies without a clear path to achieving the goal.  On November 17th, 2013 the New York Times reported a story titled “Disney Struggles to Make its Free Gaming Apps Pay.”  Disney introduced a new version of the popular Where’s My Water? mobile game.  The game was free to download and was intended to make money by encouraging players to pay after completing a number of levels.  But, kids who played did not pay when they advanced in the game.  Had the company clearly indicated that the goal of the game was to generate revenue, the company may have charged money for the game before download, designed the pay wall differently or chosen to include advertising.

The lesson is don’t start with the mobile execution. Start your thinking with the goal. If your goal is engagement, maybe you need social media.  If your goal is to reach people while they are shopping you may need mobile advertising.  If the goal is to sell product you may need a promotion.  The point is that the strategy is dependent on the goal not the other way around.

Start with your goal, determine the customer base, consider the lifestyles and habits of your customers and reach them with well conceived strategies that are platform neutral.

Here is a link to the New York Times article on Disney’s Gaming Apps.

mobile game

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