In today’s modern landscape, having a mobile strategy is no longer optional for your business. Consumers use their mobile devices from the time they wake up in the morning to the time they lay down to sleep at night. In fact, more than half of all internet traffic is now being passed through smartphones and tablets. If you’re still dismissing mobile as a passing fad and thinking that your website ‘probably looks OK’ on handheld devices, then you’re missing out on a large group of online customers for your business.
What is the right mobile strategy for your business? It depends on your company’s goals and budget. If your company is ESPN and you have a worldwide audience that demands sports media anywhere and everywhere, then you can go after the mobile user on all fronts, from a mobile ESPN.com website to dedicated mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. If your company’s budget isn’t quite as large as the worldwide leader in sports, then you’ll have to be a bit more focused with your efforts.
Although mobile apps often draw a lot off buzz and attention, it’s important to realize that it has to provide something useful and valuable for your customer first. You should have a good understanding of your customers and their mobile needs before you begin building out a mobile app. You may find that a mobile website could be sufficient to meet your goals, which in turn will make your overall mobile strategy more cost effective. Mobile websites can range from dedicated sub-sections on your main website to the use of responsive web design which allows for a fluid layout across varying screen sizes.
Given the rapidly evolving space of mobile technology, it may seem difficult to define a clear mobile strategy for your business. The first place to start in laying out your overall direction is starting with the customer: understanding the needs of your users and how they currently consume your product or service. Once you have a clear understanding of those values, you’ll find the mobile strategy that best suits the needs of your business.