Creating a Mobile Strategy

In my previous post I mentioned that brands who do not consider mobility an integral part of their business strategy may experience limited benefits  from building mobile applications as opposed to brands who focus on developing a mobile strategy which ties back to business goals. A mobile strategy should provide a framework to help brands identify development, cross-platform, monetization, promotional and globalization strategies prior to developing mobile applications.

A mobile strategy provides the framework, vision and guidance on which mobile applications will be built. When creating a mobile strategy be sure to address the following:

1. Key Market Insights: Provide an overview of the mobile market focusing on mobile penetration, market share by device and OS worldwide as well as in the US. I have found spending a few minutes on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is a helpful way to show the ‘state’ of emerging technologies.  In this section I also touch upon mobile, social, digital usage patterns and high-level discussion on challenges such as device / platform fragmentation.

2. Competitive Analysis : A competitive analysis is a  good way to study a brand’s competition and the gap between the brand and the innovators and leaders in that business vertical. A detailed competitive analysis focusing on features, functionality and capabilities will help to clearly define the short-terms and long-term objectives the brand hopes to achieve with mobility.

3. Project Sponsors and key Business Stakeholder Interviews: One of the key steps in building a successful mobile strategy is in identifying business stakeholders from cross-functional teams. Interviewing the stakeholders on their goals and objectives to be met via the mobile channel, their target audience and their mobile behaviors and discussions around projects, data sources and application touchpoints will help to ensure cross-functional support and buy-in.

4. Develop the Mobile Strategy: When implementing a mobile strategy, one methodology that I have had success with is POST (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) advocated by Forrester. The mobile strategy should be customized to the brand based on their unique requirements, project prioritization, risk (e.g. resistance to adoption, concept maturity etc.), LOE and business benefit (e.g. increasing sales, decreasing costs or increasing loyalty).

5. Best Practices & Mobile Trends : Identifying best practices and mobile trends help brands to best leverage this emerging technology in building mobile websites, native apps and hybrid apps to meet business objectives in the short-term as well as long-term.

Integrated Mobile / Digital Strategy

Integrated Mobile / Digital Strategy

Clients need to define an integrated and holistic digital / mobile strategy across multiple customer touch-points which ties back to their business goals

In my previous post I mentioned that at Blue Saphyre we have created a framework of documents which we refer to as the ‘Web 2.0 Strategy Framework’. It is an integrated and holistic approach to understand a client’s business functions and goals (across multiple channels).

The concept of the web 2.0 Maturity Model document is based on maturity models created by Gartner – however the difference is that the key performance areas (KPAs) identified typically influence the digital / mobile strategy.
– Mobile
– Business Intelligence and Web Analytics
– User Generated Content (UGC) / Social Media
– Content Management Systems (CMS)
– User Experience (UX)
– Information Architecture (IA)

Each of these dimensions play a critical role in holistically understanding the current and desired mobile / digital maturity level of a client as well as in prioritizing capabilities and building a roadmap. These dimensions will continue to evolve may need minor customization based on the industry:

Analyzing the current and desired mobile / digital maturity levels is the first step towards Gap Analysis which helps to identify capabilities of interest. These capabilities need to be prioritized based on risk, effort and business impact.

Sample Prioritization Matrix

Sample Prioritization Matrix

Once the capabilities have been prioritized on a Prioritization Matrix an implementation roadmap can be created with a focus on ‘incrementally’ deploying mobile / digital capabilities in the organization.

Sample Roadmap

Sample Roadmap

Figure 3: Sample Implementation Roadmap

Things you should consider on acting on today – determine where your company / client falls on the mobile / digital maturity model.

Next up is a deep-dive into creating a mobile strategy – stay tuned.

Web 2.0 Strategy Framework

Connecting the Dots

The Scenario

Many clients who I have had the opportunity to meet are looking for a quick and easy way to dabble in social media by creating a Facebook fan page and / or Twitter account without fully understanding how social media can impact their business. Creating a Facebook fan page and Twitter account are free, require minimum effort and gives them a false sense of security of having a competitive advantage. Similarly many companies want a ‘mobile application’ and the reason if asked could be as basic as “our competitors have one”.  Moreover finding people claiming to be ‘iphone developers’ or ‘ social strategists’ are plentiful which makes it easier for companies to spend a relatively small amount of money and get an iphone application built, a Facebook fanpage created or a Twitter account created.

The typical end result of the scenario described above is that the Facebook fanpage and Twitter account may get only a few followers (mostly people from the company and not true customers / users). With no strategy on how to leverage these social channels and without having the right people in place to manage the communication on these channels, they are not able to engage users in a conversation and very soon interest in the channel dies out. Another characteristic which is frequently seen is that the team gets mired in lengthy discussions on ROI calculations to justify investment in social media. Similarly the iphone application which probably took only a couple of developers and a few months to build gets only a few downloads and poor user reviews because of limited / not well thought out functionality and process flows. Given this end result it is not surprising that the company quickly gets disillusioned with social media and decides that there is no compelling reason for them to invest in social media and a new way of doing business.

The Problem

Some of the glaring issues in the scenario described above are listed below :

  1. A holistic and integrateddigital strategy which ties back to business goals had not been defined
  2. Social media goals and objectives had not been defined
  3. The company had not made the cultural shift to adopt social media
  4. The company had not identified champions to monitor and manage the social content
  5. Mobile presence was not considered a core customer interaction channel and not made an integral part of the business strategy

The Solution

At Blue Saphyre we have created a framework of documents which we refer to as the ‘Web 2.0 Strategy Framework’.  It is a holistic approach to understand a clients business functions and goals (across multiple channels) as well as their current and desired web 2.0 maturity levels. The framework is based on using analytics (to derive customer insights), competitive analysis, stakeholder interviews, and research on current trends in the industry.

The framework helps to identify the gap between the current and desired web 2.0 maturity levels, prioritize capabilities across several dimensions such as risk, business benefit and implementation complexity to close this gap and finally create a customized implementation roadmap for the client.

The Web 2.0 Strategy Framework consists of the following list of deliverables:

  1. Web 2.0 Maturity Model
    The web 2.0 maturity model provides a framework and an objective criteria to assess an organization’s web 2.0 maturity level. The framework consists of 5 distinct maturity levels and multiple web 2.0 dimensions such as mobility, business intelligence and analytics and user experience with key practices defined to each capability across all the maturity levels.
    The maturity model helps to provide a common language and shared vision for prioritizing tasks and capturing the as-is and desired maturity level for an organization.
  1. Web 2.0 Questionnaire
    The web 2.0  questionnaire lists key questions for stakeholder interviews to help drive-out the current as well as desired web 2.0 maturity levels of an organization with-respect-to key practices identified across multiple web 2.0 capabilities.
  1. Web 2.0 Prioritization Matrix
    The web 2.0 prioritization matrix provides a template to prioritize web 2.0 capabilities across several dimensions including risk, business benefit and implementation complexity.
  1. Web 2.0 Implementation Roadmap
    Based on gaps identified between the current and desired state of an organization, a roadmap is created with a focus on ‘incrementally’ deploying web 2.0 capabilities within an organization based on capabilities identified and prioritized in the prioritization matrix.

The framework has proved to be an effective tool to guide conversations with clients and drive home the  point that web 2.0 is not a single technology rather it is a combination of technologies and tools which impact each other and need to play well together. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

Next up is ‘Creating an Integrated Digital Strategy” – stay tuned.