This year, consumers are spending more time on mobile devices and downloading more apps than ever before. The emergence of 5G networks is set to launch even greater strides in the world of mobile. Between COVID lockdowns and working from home, businesses have been forced to rethink their mobile strategies, along with how they connect with employees and customers alike. While some businesses opt to provide work phones, tablets and laptops for their employees, others adopt BYOD (bring your own device) policies or simply leave mobile devices and personal computers unregulated.
Though many platforms and innovations continue to be developed, mobile still plays a significant role in the use of technology. Businesses utilize mobile devices in a variety of ways, making it essential to focus on an optimized mobile approach. Here’s how you can design an effective mobile strategy for your business.
What is a Mobile Strategy?
A successful mobile strategy outlines the use of mobile devices for your business. Mobile devices are one part of your larger digital strategy and overall enterprise strategy. The benefits of a well thought out strategy can help your business to pull in new customers/clients, save money and improve efficiency.
When developing a mobile strategy, your business may start out with simple goals such as optimizing your company website for mobile devices and establishing BYOD guidelines. However, some companies decide that they want to take their digital strategy to the next level by developing a custom mobile application. If you are considering integrating a mobile app into your current mobile strategy, we’ll walk you through the process of developing a mobile app for your business.
Identifying Your Target Users on Mobile Devices
One of the first things you will want to do is to identify your target user. Are you a B2B or B2C business? Would you like your mobile app to assist your internal teams or provide value to your customers? Your type of business, industry, products and services will guide the development of your mobile strategy. Here are a few examples:
Mobile Strategies for B2B businesses – Companies that work in supply chain management and third-party logistics (3PLs) utilize mobile enterprise platforms to track inventory and shipping. External facing apps can also provide a central way for businesses to manage their accounts and orders. Other businesses have developed mobile apps to help emerging companies and startups gain access to capital. If your customers are generally other businesses, you will want to narrow your focus and identify the specific type of user that would interact with your enterprise app to inform the features that you will include.
Mobile Strategies for B2C businesses – B2C businesses often leverage mobile apps and mobile technology to connect with their customers. This additional touchpoint may provide customers the benefits of online shopping through a retail product ordering platform, customer support, a store locator feature and even rewards and promotions. For companies that provide scheduled services to customers, their mobile app and enterprise platform can serve as a central location for booking appointments, managing services and making payments. Optimizing the exchange of goods and services is just one of the many benefits of an effective mobile strategy.
Internal Mobile Strategies – Perhaps you are looking for an internal CRM or ERP system that can be accessed using a mobile device. An internal mobile app often includes features and functionalities focused on internal communications, project management, progress tracking, customer management, HR capabilities and more.
Additionally, mobile apps can provide employees with digital tools, company resources, assets and access to data and data insights. Companies that support sales reps will often develop mobile apps or tablet applications that employees can use out in the field. These mobile platforms provide access to company data and project files in real time, to help employees get the job done.
Once you have narrowed down your target user, you can then shift focus to their needs and the functionalities you would want to include in your mobile platform. But before you get too granular, you must first establish a goal for your mobile strategy.
Define Your Goals for Mobile
Taking the information and research from the previous step, you can then hone in on the goal of your mobile strategy. Should your mobile app be designed to provide your employees with better access to company resources? Will it help you leverage your data more effectively?
This is where the needs and pain points of your target user group will come into play. Once you determine the main purpose of your mobile strategy, you can then move on to defining the specifics of your mobile platform. Throughout the process, it is important to keep sight of your overarching goal and use it as a reference point to measure progress and keep the project on track. Additionally, your goal will help you determine whether your project was successful.
Determine App Requirements and Calculate Your Expected ROI
If the development of your mobile strategy leads to the creation of a mobile app — or custom platform with a mobile component — this is where you will define the app requirements. A requirements document serves as the guidelines for development and lists the requirements and intended app features while helping to keep track of the resources, project scope and development timeline.
In order to develop an effective mobile strategy for your business, you will also need to calculate an expected ROI. This will force you to make an accurate assessment of your mobile app budget and ensure that your goals align with your capabilities. Additionally, it will help provide justification for the project to achieve leadership and company buy-in.
Leverage Innovative Technology in Your Enterprise Mobile App
Businesses often get trapped in the day to day monotony of utilizing legacy systems. Rather than having a system that meets their needs, it is common for companies to piece together disparate systems and try to optimize the benefits of each. However, having a central platform that meets your needs will be more effective than dealing with disparate platforms and data silos.
Integrations are essential to an effective mobile strategy. This is also a good opportunity to evaluate which current technologies should be leveraged in your mobile platform. Whether you choose Augmented Reality (AR), machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), biometric capabilities or even blockchain, there are many technological advancements at your disposal. Be sure to evaluate which functionalities and capabilities will best serve your business in the years to come.
Mobile App Hosting
Once you outline your mobile app requirements, you’ll work with a development company to actually build and develop your application. One consideration that will affect your mobile strategy is where you will host the app after development. For public facing apps, companies will usually opt to host their app through the Google Play Store and the Apple App store. For internal apps or enterprise apps that are not intended for the general public, private app store hosting or Apple Business Manager allows businesses to make their apps privately available for download. If this option is chosen, a custom link can be sent to users in order to download the app.
Launching Your Mobile Strategy
Businesses utilize mobile apps in a variety of ways, from providing employees with company resources to connecting with their customers and optimizing their services. If you are interested in developing a mobile app as part of your mobile strategy, the team at 7T is ready to help.
We specialize in mobile app and custom software development, providing UI/UX design, app development, comprehensive testing, analytics and maintenance services. 7T takes a Business First approach with our clients, taking time to learn your business so that we can craft an effective, customized strategy that meets your exact needs. To learn more, visit our mobile strategies page. If you are ready to discuss your development project, fill out the form below or reach out to 7T today.