Let’s start with one important question. Which of the following is critical to effectively using mobile technologies to build your business and accelerate your revenues?
(a) The commercial readiness of the technologies employed
(b) Aligning mobile strategies with your business strategy
(c) Having a plan which understands and prioritizes mobile deployment across customers, partners, and employees
(d) Your internal business readiness to deploy and support mobile technologies
(e) Developing a plan with goals, milestones, investments and returns, and key success metrics
(f) All of the above.
Not much of a trick question, is it? Give yourself a gold star if you think the answer is (f). But please note what is NOT on the list: build a mobile application. Here’s one rule you need to remember:
A Mobile App ≠ A Mobile Strategy.
You might be surprised by that. But “random acts of mobile” are a good way to throw precious marketing and technology funding down a black hole, to under-deliver against what your stakeholders want, and to under-perform against your investment and growth expectations.
Here’s a second rule of mobile deployment:
Commercial Mobile Technology Readiness ≠ Your Business Readiness to Deploy Mobile.
Mobile technologies clearly have developed to the point where they have massive customer acceptance and are technologically mature and secure. The readiness of individual businesses to understand their key opportunity areas and to tie mobile deployment to growth in the form of new channels, new customers, and new offerings varies widely.
This graphic should help illustrate my point:
If the key to successful mobile deployment is about business readiness, then your goal should be to move your organization to the Target State.
How do you know your level of business readiness and where you are on this model? If this is a timely question for you or your leadership team, there are a variety of effective mobile assessments which can help you get your team on the same page. Most start with a 360 degree analysis of opportunities across multiple stakeholder groups: customers, partners, employees, and suppliers.
A mobile readiness assessment typically includes these items, which you might also note represents a comprehensive Table of Contents for a business plan:
- Business Strategy and Plan
- Business Imperatives: Customers, Partners, Suppliers, Employees
- Industry and Competitive Analysis
- M-commerce Education and Awareness
- Business Architecture
- Pilot Projects and Project Portfolio
- Operations Design, Process Reengineering, and Build-out
- Financial Investments, Benefits, Milestones, Metrics
- Technology Architecture and M-commerce Infrastructure Integration
- Technology Scan and Partner Selection
- Project Portfolio and Demonstration Projects
- M-commerce App Design and Build-out
- M-commerce Solutions Deployment
If you take away one point from this message, I hope it’s this. Mobile can be a strategic growth accelerator, but you should approach it strategically, plan-fully, with a roadmap, milestones, and investment and benefit expectations. It’s only partly about the technology.
Are you ready to take the next step?
This article is part of a series where I share practical experience learned over 25 years as a Marketing executive. I’m happy to engage with you if you have another view, or want to expand on these ideas—especially if you have a need, or know a company that does.