How Do You Find Money for Mobile?
One of the key challenges and questions asked by marketers is, “Where do I find money for mobile marketing?”
In order to keep up with the fast-moving mobile landscape, remember what I stated in a previous blog: We’re going to leave the ownership debate behind (“Who Owns Mobile – IT or Marketing or Both?”). In today’s blog, we will look at some simple strategies for making a case for mobile investments (if you haven’t already).
Strategy 1 | Use Metrics and Best Practices to Move Money into Mobile
One of the common arguments people make is that the impact of mobile, like social media, cannot be measured or tracked. In my opinion, this argument is false and here’s why: There are many best practices from real-world organizations with the data to support the value of their mobile investments. You may require tools that will help your organization manage Big Data and measure the impact of your mobile strategies. At the Adobe Summit 2013, companies like Gannett, Move Inc., and Cars.com talked about how they measure mobile Web and mobile app experiences in context with their standard website to understand both user engagement and conversion across emerging and existing channels.
Walmart, one of the top retailers to set up a Mobile Center of Excellence continues to lead the way in innovative mobile practices that are increasing revenue and customer loyalty. Wendy Bergh, senior director of mobile and digital strategy at Walmart, recently commented about mobile’s unique position to bridge online and offline sales: “We thought about how consumers use mobile—they are bringing them to the stores, they are checking prices, they are looking at content … So we revamped the (mobile) strategy … there is a lot of research out there as well that shows that the biggest opportunity in mobile is mobile influence to offline sales.” Based on that insight, Walmart decided to implement mobile strategies that leveraged mobile as a customer’s “in-store companion.” Walmart built app functionality such as creating shopping lists, scanning barcodes, finding daily deals, and checking out quickly using one’s mobile device. Walmart is capitalizing on the fact that the easier and more enjoyable the customer experience, the more likely perpetually connected consumers are to remain loyal to that particular store.
Strategy 2 | Use Perpetually Connected Consumers to Move Money into Mobile
Along with real-time examples provided by organizations with emerging and mature mobile strategies, we cannot ignore the profile of the perpetually connected consumer. They use mobile apps and mobile Web more than any other demographic. They are worth your organization’s investment and attention.
Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish trumpets a warning call to be heeded by wise organizations in the article, “This is What Good Looks Like.” Parrish writes, “Make no mistake: This is not a shift that will affect a single budget, process, or department in your company. Failure to adapt to these new market conditions will result in a drop of profits at best and, at worst, will make your company irrelevant, erode your customer base, and ultimately force you to close your doors for good.” Parrish provides additional recommendations that require significant investment.
In light of Parrish’s warning, how can you rethink what your organization is forecasting, measuring, and budgeting for in the next quarter?
Strategy 3 | Use Your CEO’s iPhone Fanaticism to Move Money into Mobile
You would be surprised to find out that some organizations that have launched mobile strategies began with a C-suite executive simply saying, “Do we have an app for my iPhone?” And the rest is history. You could try to identify a C-level smartphone and tablet fanatic and attain their blessing. I don’t recommend this approach, but it is one way to find money for mobile when your organization is constrained by other priorities.
Strategy 4 (Don’t Ignore This One) | Move Money from Existing Programs
I am going to close this article with the one strategy you cannot afford to ignore: Take money from existing programs (i.e. search advertising or the desktop website) and redirect those funds into mobile. This is the current approach for companies with emerging, or less mature, mobile strategies. Expect to be greeted by resistance, but you can use this article and the research provided here to build a solid case for this strategy.
I would suggest that your organization, at a minimum, consider reducing spending on its desktop website and redirect those funds to mobile apps. According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s (MGI) report “The Do-Or-Die Questions Boards Should Ask about Technology,” many leading companies have already cut their investments in the Internet channel, mirroring their customers’ conversion to mobile apps. Don’t be afraid to follow your customers into mobile and to adjust your budget accordingly. MGI recommends regular, quarterly portfolio rebalancing “as assumptions can change quickly.”
My final words: Make your organization a leader in mobile marketing by building a solid business case through these simple strategies.