Integrating Mobile Strategy With Business Operations

Many businesses may make the mistake of pushing an app into the marketplace to try to adapt it to their strategy. Just "releasing an app" does not qualify as sound strategy in a world where most potential customers have at least one smart device. Savvy enterprises will instead develop a mobile strategy to accommodate their business. They accomplish this by making a convenient, relevant, and fun application built from the ground-up to intersect with their business goals. Finally, solid marketing will cement the application's place into customers' consciousness.

The most vital mobile strategy theme is convenience. A convenient app recognizes that customers view their time as a precious resource. Customers choose a mobile app when it allows them to achieve a goal faster and easier than before. Furthermore, mobile strategy must balance the app's ease of use against number of features. If users must navigate through a flurry of buttons, logins, and ads to finally arrive at the core feature, they will abandon the app. Users are constantly multitasking-managing emails, commuting, texting, etc.-they won't appreciate an app with a bloated or complicated interface.

Context is another key. A mobile strategy understands its users' behavioral patterns, location, and characteristics. This is also known as user context. As mobile technology has matured, it has become a device capable of achieving tasks like refilling prescriptions, shopping, navigation, etc. while on the move. As users proceed with these tasks, useful information such as their location and habits becomes available to those designing a mobile strategy. For example, if an app's target users heavily use hotels, information regarding their price preferences and preferred activities can impact the application's development in a significant way. The app may present unobtrusive suggestions for dining, drinking, and entertainment that align with each user's context.

The oft-overlooked final component of a successful marketing strategy is its fun factor. Basic utility will win over many customers, but an attractive user interface and sleek presentation will compete against similar apps that stumble on fun. In the end, the app must not only meet the users' needs, but also make it an enjoyable experience that they will wish to repeat, tell their friends about, and possibly augment with upgrades.

Strong mobile strategy finds a way to "get the word out" about the new app. Incentives often function as the most efficient means of doing marketing the new software. If a clothing retailer wishes to feature their new app, then offering a discount to those using the app will naturally encourage its adoption. In any industry, the app developer and its stakeholders should work together to agree on pertinent incentives and the best means of presenting them to the customer base.

Sound mobile strategy goes beyond releasing an app and pushing for its adoption; it tailors the app's functionality to the business's existing operational strategy. It must make a concerted effort to consider elements of convenience, user context, fun, and marketing throughout the development effort. As users turn to their smart devices for more and more tasks previously left to PCs or interpersonal transactions, demand for apps that make their lives easier will continue to accelerate.


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