Greg Hickman
March 6, 2014

How To Create A Mobile Strategy that works

Your mobile marketing will only be successful when aligned with your business/marketing goals.

Let’s discuss what makes a mobile strategy that will be successful.

Having A Strategy

Successful mobile programs tie directly to marketing objectives which align with your business goals. Most businesses that fail with mobile go off and create separate goals for the mobile programs that don’t necessarily align with the overall business goals. In fact, sometimes they even compete with them, which makes no sense.

More likely than not, whether it’s your business or your clients there are goals and objectives, and most likely for the year or next couple of years. Your mobile programs should support those goals and align with your marketing so that it’s a combined effort to achieve the desired results.

There are a few key steps to defining the Mobile Marketing Strategy then.

1. Review the business goals. This could be based on sales, leads, engagement, awareness, branding, innovation, and/or, utility? Look at your marketing strategy and business goals as they relate to YOUR customers.

Your mobile programs should have a value proposition that resonates with your target audience, so your consumers understand what the benefits are and the value they will receive by participating.

Developing a roadmap and content calendar will help you as you develop a mobile messaging strategy that will talk directly to your target customer on a consistent basis. This messaging should tie to the business goals you’re looking to achieve.

If you don’t have business goals well, you’ll need to create some goals and objectives. I recommend focusing on one objective at a time if you’re just getting started.

Yup, just one. This is the business goal that you can achieve. If you don’t have enough money to achieve that goal, tough luck. Pick another. Goals that you can’t afford are not realistic goals. Now you have to make sure that goal is super specific so that you can measure your marketing against it to gauge success. Let’s say you’re a restaurant  – your specific goal could be to increase sales by 15% in 4-6 months by offering exclusive dining experiences for loyal customers.

2. Review your customer profiles. If you’re unfamiliar with what these are, A customer persona is a fictional character created to represent the different customer types within a targeted demographic, attitude and/or behavior set that might shop or engage with you, your brand or product in a similar way.

You can have a couple different customer segments /personas in your business. I have three an some brands have up to 20.

So, I want you to review your customer personas, refresh your memory on your business goals and objectives.

3. Create a mobile persona. This is taking your customer profile a step further by identifying how they use their mobile phone. Depending on your customer, you may have people with smartphones and feature phones. It’s important to know that even though customers have a smartphone, it doesn’t mean they’ll use it for its full capabilities.

For example, my dad is 66 (as of writing this) and he has the latest and greatest iPhone BUT he doesn’t really download apps at all. He basically uses his phone for texting, email and sending pictures to me via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service).

So don’t assume your customer will download your app just because they have a smartphone.

4. Review your value proposition and identity. What about your business is unique? What makes people want to shop and engage with you? What is the value you bring? That is your value proposition and it should be a part of all of your marketing, even your mobile programs. I personally believe it has a lot to do with your identity.

Understanding your identity is often a difficult step. You start looking at your competition and listing out what makes you different or how you do something differently. It’s not about that, sorry. It’s about your story. WHY do you do things the way you do? Now more than ever consumers connect with businesses that feel human. Say you have better customer service. Why do you have better service? Why do you as a company care so much about customer service?

When your customers understands and believes why you do something better than the next guy, you win. If they don’t believe you or know why you do things the way you do. Why should they care or believe you?

5. Review your roadmap. What’s your timeline look like? How long do you have to accomplish these goals? Building out a roadmap so that you know when certain programs go live will help you map out your year (or months) to implement, launch and execute each program.

6. Develop the overarching mobile strategy. With the above 5 things covered, you can now hone in your mobile strategy as it should support and consider the 5 steps above.

Identify The Right Mobile Marketing Tactics

When it comes to mobile marketing, you want to be sure to leverage the tactics that deliver results. Too many businesses chase shiny objects. A simple way to explain this is that you most likely should never start with building an app.

My mentor Bruce Hershey (a top mobile strategist) uses what’s called a mobile tactic heat map to align the mobile tactics available to the appropriate personas. As you can see in the below heat map that Bruce has shared with us you can see that based on his personas, not all customers use their phone the same way, meaning that you’ll need a variety of mobile tactics to touch your customers effectively if they range in demographics and behaviors.

Mobile Tactic Heatmap

Mobile Tactic Heat Map by Bruce Hershey

As you can see, the mass-marketing tactics such as SMS, Voice (yes voice), mobile web and social and now email, are actually the foundational pieces to mobile, which is where all businesses should be starting.

So create heat map of your own with your own customer profiles and do some research to understand how each of them use their phone to identify which tactics will drive the most results for you.

Plan Your Media Integration

Once you’ve denitrified your tactics and truly understand your customer you need to start promoting your mobile programs to the public. This stage really consists of two steps.

1. Review your media/promotional calendar to determine which channels are available to integrate. Your business has used other marketing channels before, hasn’t it? Well, think about all the assets at your disposal. You may have TV spots, radio spots, print ads, in-store signage, your website, social media profiles, an email database, and even direct mail to name a few.

2. Integrate your “mobile call-to-action” within those channels. This is basically the execution part. Work with the appropriate teams within the organization to incorporate your mobile program into these channels.

Mobile is one of the most dependent channels that exists in your marketing strategy as it relies on other channels to help get the word out. It is also one of the most complimentary channels for cross channel engagement as well as enhancing other outlets by making non-interactive media, interactive.

Strive For A Connected CRM

This is more on the advanced side of things but there are ways to do it on a budget too. This is where you aim to use mobile as a way to enhance your customer database. All the data you capture through mobile can  be connected and integrated in real time to your CRM (customer relationship management) solution.

You can create a more complete customer record, which will inform your communication strategy moving forward. It will help you segment and target your database to send the right content and offers to the right customer at the right time and in the right context.

This is typically a phased approach as your mobile programs reach scale but no matter how big your business, your goal should be to leverage customer data to send relevant and timely communications.

Offer Quality Products & Services

This is the bonus (or shall I call it, “no brainer”) pillar. Mobile marketing will be one of the most effective marketing channels you have (if done right), but if it all drives customers and prospective customers to poor experiences, bad services, and products, you obviously have bigger problems that mobile marketing won’t be able to solve.

If your business delivers high quality products, services and experiences, there is no boundaries to how well your mobile marketing will perform…again, if you do it all right. 🙂

You’ll notice none of this has anything to do with tools. The biggest mistake people make in mobile is jumping to the tools.

I can’t stress how important it is that if you don’t go through these steps above, any mobile effort will fall short of your expectations and possible damage your customer’s experience of you.


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Greg Hickman is an online entrepreneur and mobile marketer helping small business owners generate leads and sales using mobile marketing. He is the author and host of the Mobile Mixed blog and Podcast at and the author of The SMS Marketing Handbook-a Step-by-step guide to getting results with SMS Text Message Marketing.
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