How To Create a Mobile Strategy that Works, Step by Step

Table of contents

Step 1: Understand the overall company strategy, dependencies and competitors before creating a mobile strategy

1.1. Always start at the highest level

Document your company’s strategy, key performance indicators and target goals for the next five years.

  1. What is the mission of the company?
  2. What do you believe in?
  3. What is your objective? That is, what is the final outcome your company’s strategy wants to achieve?
  4. What is the scope of your strategy?
  5. What’s your competitive advantage?

1.2. Mobile strategy is not an extension of the online strategy

Focus on your customer’s journey to understand where mobile can become a useful tool for your customers as they interact with your company.

1.3. Mobile is not a channel

It’s a touchpoint through which customers can quickly interact with your company in a convenient and seamless way.

1.4. Understand who you’re competing with.

Document and analyze what your competitors do well and what they do less well, so that you can define the market baseline before your team creates a great app.

  1. It will most likely reveal a common set of best practices that will make it to the list of features and functionalities of your app.
  2. You will inadvertently discover things your competitors do poorly. Jot those down as ways you can surpass the competition.
  3. You will also discover things your competitors don’t do at all. Make note of them too as they may very well help you differentiate yourself from your competition as soon as you launch your application.
  1. What your competitors are offering through their mobile channel
  2. What you’re going to offer
  3. What you’re NOT going to offer
  4. How what you’re offering will be different and, yes, preferably better than your competitors

1.5. Define the Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the Opportunities and Threats that can help/prevent your product from being successful.

A SWOT analysis can really help you define and overcome the biggest challenges your company is facing and be aware of all the forces that can influence your success — or failure.

Step 2: Define your Enterprise Mobile App Strategy

2.1. Define the elevator pitch idea that will drive your mobile strategy

Before you launch your mobile product, you’re already dealing with stark competition, limited resources, and an increasingly demanding mobile user base.

  1. What’s the idea?
  2. How will this idea benefit the mobile user?
  1. Your idea must tie in nicely with your company’s overall strategy for the next few years.
  2. It must be delivered within the budget and timeframe you commit to.
  3. You must account for contingency plans (what if things don’t go as expected, and what’s plan B?)

2.2. Work on building the mobile roadmap

Now that you have your overall idea clearly defined, create a roadmap to break down the idea into all the components that need to be executed to deliver on your mobile strategy.

2.3. Document the resources and budget needed to execute your mobile strategy

2.4. Define the technology stack

Work with the IT team to ensure that the underlying technology is in line with the business goals of the mobile app. Most of the things you need to settle are:

  1. Network readiness;
  2. Data access points;
  3. Overall security solution;
  4. Management of the bandwidth extended to mobile users;
  5. Support and maintenance costs;
  6. Performance monitoring tools;
  7. Network load balancer;
  8. Define clear SLAs for the overall performance of the app;
  9. Content Delivery Network.

2.5. Choose agile development over waterfall development as a core component of your mobile app strategy

With the waterfall software development approach you determine what you want to build, then you build it with the understanding that any changes after the original design phase will be cost-prohibitive and avoided as far as possible.

Step 3: Define the Single Product/App Strategy

3.1. Create your product strategy by defining clear use cases based on the customer journey

You know what the end goal is now. You know who your users are.

3.2. Define your target audience — who is going to use your app and why?

3.3. Define your data points & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Revenue
  • Market share
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Reduction in cost to serve
  • New users
  • Increased usage
  • App rating
  • Lifetime value
  • Retention rate
  • Session Length
  • Active users

3.4. Determine if you need a hybrid or a native application

3.5. Determine the first platform you want to build the app on — iOS or Android

Generally, we think you should first build your app on iOS because iOS users are more likely to spend money on apps and on in-app purchases, the iOS platform is easier to work on, and overall it takes less time for developers to deliver the final application.

3.6. Decide whether you want to build your app in-house or if you’re going to use an external agency

3.7. Start your marketing strategy now, before you build your app!

Step 4: Define the Product Management Implementation Strategy

4.1. Define your Minimum Viable Product

Now you have everything clearly documented or at least outlined when it comes to the ideal state.

4.2. Define and enforce your non-functional requirements

Just as you need to define best non-functional SLAs, you need to ensure that you have great coding practices clearly defined.

4.3. Define your Testing Strategy

If you work in software development you know this: some bugs will get to production.

  • Feature to be tested
  • What’s in scope
  • What’s out of scope
  • Test case
  • Expected outcome
  • iOS/Android OST version for which this is tested and passed/failed

4.4. Define the tools you will need to manage your application successfully

As you’re implementing your mobile strategy there are so many tools you need to adopt and implement.

4.5. Production-ready and post-production support

  1. How will the app be tested once in production?
  2. How will any issues/defects be logged, tracked, and fixed?
  3. Do you have a roll-back plan in case all hell breaks loose and the app needs to be reverted?
  4. Do you have version control of the app?

In conclusion

There’s a lot to be said about building a great app.

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