In an increasingly digitalized world where even ordinary kitchen appliances are becoming “smart”, companies cannot afford to lag behind in mobile technology. With a mobile first strategy for building and developing a mobile application for your business, you will not only stand out but also gain a valuable competitive advantage in the long run. This is not just a baseline plan that can be drawn up in an hour or two, but an important continuation of the company’s overall strategy. Here are the steps you need to follow to build your mobile application strategy.
1. Preliminary analysis and evaluation
The mobile application is not an isolated tool that your company will use. It must be built in the context of the organization and the external environment in which it operates. For the initial analysis, it is necessary to attract specialists from all departments of the company, including marketing, financial, and business development.
(A). General guidelines
First of all, you should take into account the mobile first strategy of your company, the main indicators for its performance and the main goals you have set for the next five years. This will ensure that the strategy for the mobile application will be an integral part of that of the company and will help to achieve the set levels of revenue and profits for the coming years.
(B). Starting point
Another important aspect is not to look at mobile strategy as a complement to the online strategy of the company. Users expect a mobile app to offer much more than a website, as they have a much closer connection to the applications – they install them on their smart devices, set them up, and receive notifications. Track the path of your customers to find out where in it the mobile application will be a useful tool through which they can communicate with you. Thus, it can fill gaps in communication and make it more effective. The ideal mobile application offers everything that the company’s website already has, and more.
The right view of the role of the application is fundamental for building a working mobile strategy. The mobile application is not just a communication channel, but a connection point between the consumer and the company. It should not only serve to convey messages but be a tool through which the company helps its customers achieve their goals.
(C). Competitive analysis
It is of great importance for the company’s mobile application strategy. Through it, you need to find out what your competitors are doing well and what they are not, and what they are not doing at all so that you can determine how to position yourself in the market. This approach will allow you to find an undeveloped niche, even with a high level of competition.
(D). SWOT analysis
Next comes the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the business and the opportunities and threats existing in its external environment, which are expected to have an effect on the construction, operation, and development of the mobile application. Internal factors to focus on include business processes, technology infrastructure, pricing, purchasing power, and brand reputation. The main external factors on which the analysis should be based are market trends, directions of technological development, and changes in the lifestyle of consumers.
2. Defining the strategy
At this stage you need to focus on generating an idea, planning the resources for the implementation of the strategy, and determining the set of technologies that you will use to implement it. Let’s look at the main points in detail.
(A). Leading idea
What does your mobile app need to be successful? The idea must be clear, original, inspiring, and feasible in terms of available resources and the time you have to implement. Also, there must be a long-term horizon that is realistic. Place the user in the center, determining what will be most useful to him.
(B). Build a mobile roadmap
Once you have an idea, you need to break it down into components to work on. In the software field, this is called a roadmap – a visual presentation of the work that needs to be done. Simply put, this is the schedule you need to follow. Flexibility is useful, but you have to stick to it at least eighty percent.
(C). Defining resources and budget
Determine the capital and operating costs for the mobile application. Given that the costs will be highest in the first year when the application is built and launched, it is best to create a multi-year budget. The budget will largely determine how quickly you will have the finished product.
(D). Specifying the technological needs
You need to determine what technologies you will need for the implementation and operation of the mobile application. Focus on the following leading categories:
– Presentation – It is good to define the technical requirements for the application such as uptime and screen loading speed.
– Management- Consider integrating the application with software systems you already use, such as CRM.
– Security – This should be a top priority in any technology project.
– Support – You can leave this in the hands of the mobile application developer.
(E). Flexible methodology
It is fundamental in the development of modern software solutions. It first creates a useful product that meets consumer demand, leaving maximum room for optimization and development in the future. This is the best way for a mobile application to have a long useful life in today’s dynamic environment.
3. Creating a strategy for the project for the development and implementation of the application
While the previous two stages of building a mobile strategy hiring a digital strategy consultant is a huge plus, here it becomes more than desirable, especially when the company has no experience in this field. This can be a specialist or a company that has a significant number of mobile application development projects behind it. The project implementation strategy should be based on the following supporting components.
(A). User scenario
It should explain what the user will do with the mobile application. Here is the time to detail the idea and to determine how it will be developed in practice through the functionalities of the application. You need to focus on what specific solution to a problem you will offer.
(B). Finding the target audience
This is necessary to refine the functionalities and create the user experience that the application will offer. Usually, the target audience of a mobile application is very diverse, so the most effective solution is to build user personas, each of which meets the characteristics of a particular group. The goal is to get to know future users as best you can to give them what they want.
(C). Identify key performance indicators
This step is vital to the success of the mobile application strategy. The key performance indicators can be divided into two groups:
– Market share
– Reduction of marketing and customer service costs
Indicators for the mobile application:
– Number of new users
– Number of active users
– Level of usage
– Length of the user session
– Level of commitment
– Value of the users for the company – Here it is determined whether the customers who use the mobile application buy more, whether they are more loyal and so on.
(D). Hybrid or native mobile application
This is an important question to answer, for which you can use a detailed comparison of the two options. Experts recommend the development of a native application, as it offers the best possible user experience, full integration with the functionalities of smart devices, such as GPS, calendar, and so on, and a high level of security. It will also have the necessary flexibility for long-term development.
(E). Choosing a mobile platform
The main competitors here are Android and iOS. The market share of mobile devices using the Android operating system in the Global market is over 75% according to the latest data. On the other hand, research shows that users of iOS-based smart devices (iPhone and iPad) spend more money on their mobile apps for subscriptions, purchases, and so on. A more detailed study of your target audience will help you make a final decision. For many companies, the most profitable strategy is to create a native mobile app for both Android and iOS.
(F). Hiring a developer
If you are already working with a mobile application development company that consults you, you can trust the same team for the implementation of the project and your strategy as a whole. This would save you time and effort. It is important to establish an excellent level of communication with the developer. Remember that you have a decisive voice on issues such as the inclusion of functionalities and ways to test the interactive prototype.
(G). Development and implementation of a marketing plan
It is recommended to prepare this plan at the earliest possible stage and start its implementation while the mobile application is being built. The idea is to create excitement and engagement in potential users. There are various marketing techniques for this, such as the creation of a blog that monitors the development of the application.
(H). Application management
You need to have clear tactics for the content of your mobile application, for the personalization of the user experience and for the integration of the application with other points of communication with your customers. You also need to identify the tools you will use to analyze the effectiveness of the application. Another important aspect is to establish the mode of support that is usually provided by the developer.
If you are already thinking about the strategy for a mobile application for your company, contact our experienced team for consultation and project implementation by making an inquiry now.