Why pri­or­i­tize mobile? Because the entire world is con­nect­ing to the mobile Internet.

Accord­ing to the McK­in­sey Global Insti­tute, “In the com­ing decade, 2.5 bil­lion to 3 bil­lion more users could be con­nected to the Inter­net.” An esti­mated half of the impact of mobile (through 2025) will be in devel­op­ing economies (Latin Amer­ica, Asia, and Africa), and eMar­keter reported that there were 121 mil­lion smart­phone users and 94 mil­lion tablet users in the United States in 2012 “rep­re­sent­ing a 31% and 180% increase over 2011, respectively.”

With con­sumers cur­rently ahead of mar­keters in their response to mobile, how can orga­ni­za­tions keep bet­ter watch on where tech­nol­ogy is headed and plan appro­pri­ately? His­tor­i­cally, mar­ket­ing tech­nol­ogy has belonged in the infor­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (IT) group. How­ever, the course of orga­ni­za­tional his­tory is shift­ing. Today, more and more orga­ni­za­tions are rec­og­niz­ing the need to restruc­ture in order to keep up with accel­er­at­ing tech­no­log­i­cal advances includ­ing the mobile “march” into the future.

In today’s blog post, we will look at an attain­able orga­ni­za­tional response that includes cre­at­ing a hybrid per­son or team that syn­the­sizes tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket­ing in order to drive the orga­ni­za­tion into the future. I will pro­vide three sim­ple steps toward cre­at­ing this mobile dream team.

Mar­ket­ing Oper­a­tions Are Restruc­tur­ing as Mobile Is on the “March”

Mobile is cur­rently march­ing out ahead of the major­ity of orga­ni­za­tions, forc­ing mar­ket­ing and tech­nol­ogy teams to play defense. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

In Strate­gic Staffing For Mobile eBusi­ness, For­rester rec­om­mends that orga­ni­za­tions “seek out part­ners and inter­nal team mem­bers who inher­ently under­stand and work within the spe­cific mobile use cases like geo­tar­get­ing.” This will help orga­ni­za­tions “avoid using the same exe­cu­tional approach to mobile that has been employed to other cus­tomer inter­faces and miss the value it presents.”

By tak­ing a few sim­ple steps, your orga­ni­za­tion can begin this process. Today, we will look at Ances​try​.com to pro­vide us with some inspi­ra­tion and best practices.

Step 1 | Begin Orga­niz­ing for Mobile Success

Ancestry.com’s cur­rent dream team began approx­i­mately four years ago in 2009 with a small mobile team exclu­sively build­ing apps. My point here is this: it’s okay to start small. What mat­ters most is that you start tak­ing small steps to move your orga­ni­za­tion toward lever­ag­ing the ben­e­fits that mobile offers. And that you have a focused team that is think­ing “mobile first.”

Step 2 | Select a Mobile Chan­nel that Aligns to Your Mar­ket­ing Objectives

So once you’ve iden­ti­fied or hired your “mobile” per­son, you might ask, What type of expe­ri­ence should I offer to consumers?

One way to eval­u­ate if a mobile friendly site or mobile app makes sense is to sur­vey your exist­ing cus­tomers. Accord­ing to the Adobe 2013 Mobile Con­sumer Sur­vey Results of more than 3,000 peo­ple, most con­sumers pre­ferred web­sites to apps for shop­ping expe­ri­ences: “Fifty-eight per­cent reported pre­fer­ring mobile-optimized or reg­u­lar web­sites, while 42% pre­ferred appli­ca­tions … [B]usinesses should pro­vide both engag­ing mobile web expe­ri­ences and mobile apps to address their total audience.”

While opti­miz­ing a web­site for mobile audi­ences may be right for some orga­ni­za­tions, build­ing a mobile app will be bet­ter suited to oth­ers. As a first step, Ances​try​.com chose to cre­ate a mobile app in order to reach a new seg­ment of cus­tomers, and it has paid off for their orga­ni­za­tion. Get together with your key stake­hold­ers, mar­ket­ing, and IT and decide which mobile chan­nels align with your mar­ket­ing objec­tives includ­ing cus­tomer acqui­si­tion, con­ver­sion, or reten­tion and begin to take action today.

Step 3 | Pro­vide Data-Driven Results to Expand Your Mobile Dream Team

Accord­ing to Bran­don Camp, Ancestry.com’s direc­tor of con­ver­sion mar­ket­ing, over time, their exec­u­tive team has changed to become very data dri­ven. This shift was, in large part, due to the ROI of ana­lyt­ics and opti­miza­tion efforts for their dig­i­tal chan­nels includ­ing the mobile app. The data clearly showed that their mobile app was reach­ing a younger demo­graphic, rep­re­sent­ing a new mar­ket for the orga­ni­za­tion. As a result, the CEO has been will­ing to increase invest­ments in mobile chan­nels to drive rev­enue and growth.

Today, after sev­eral years of hard work and col­lab­o­ra­tion, Ances​try​.com has cre­ated a mobile tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket­ing dream team. For exam­ple, after they launched their mobile apps, their Web devel­op­ment team has been focused on pro­vid­ing a “respon­sive” web­site that adapts to a smart­phone, tablet, or PC. The Web team has also been engag­ing with the opti­miza­tion team to ensure that the respon­sive expe­ri­ence is opti­mized for spe­cific use cases that are unique to smart­phone or tablet browsers. Today, Ancestry.com’s mobile app, ana­lyt­ics, and opti­miza­tion teams all work together on a reg­u­lar basis to ensure that new expe­ri­ences are cre­ated, ana­lyzed, and opti­mized (A/B test­ing, mul­ti­vari­ate test­ing) to drive higher con­ver­sions and rev­enue through the apps and even­tu­ally through the new “respon­sive” website.

It’s OK to Start Small, Just Start

On a mobile “matu­rity” curve, Ances​try​.com pro­vides a great exam­ple of a sophis­ti­cated, data-driven orga­ni­za­tion that has shifted its mar­ket­ing and tech­nol­ogy teams to focus on the mobile oppor­tu­nity. Click here to learn more about their suc­cess story.