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How to plan an integrated mobile strategy

By Spyro Kourtis

Marketing strategy does not change much from medium to medium. But new media can trip up even smart marketers by distracting us from the tried-and-true with the shiny-and-new.

To stay on track, make sure you have the big picture at least sketched in before you fill in the details. Here are some of the questions to ask of your mobile marketing plan for this year.

Focus on ROI: Where do you get the biggest bang for the buck?
Customers are your lifeblood. Are you optimizing your customer’s mobile experience with your brand?

Too many marketers have gone off on a mobile tangent before taking care of real business.

For example, you probably should be testing customer email campaigns for mobile optimization before you decide to build a branded application from scratch.

Take the path of least resistance: What is easy? What is fast?
Sometimes the hard parts get easier when you start with the easy things, such as putting the edge pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together first.

Before creating a full mobile campaign, take a look at your main Web site on your phone and find out if you like what you see.

If not, start optimizing that site. Then build a distinct mobile site.

This is particularly important if you have a broad target audience. You can be sure that more than a few of them are already looking for your brand on their mobile devices.

Bring in a crowd: Now that you have a mobile destination, how will you get people there?
The basics are covered and it is time to think about a mobile campaign.

We have had success using mobile display ads as lead generators.

With the right offer, you can get prospects to raise a hand and say they are interested. They can go to a mobile landing page or easily click to talk to a sales representative.

You can also go for a direct sale by sending a mobile coupon.

But think about mobile display as a way to start a conversation, not necessarily bring it to a conclusion.

Do not ignore other media.

Use all the tools available to promote your mobile offers. You will not know how successful you can be in mobile unless you make every effort to make it work.

Targeting prospects: What is possible?
All the targeting possibilities you have with the Internet are available on mobile.

Mobile also adds the ability to target by location and even by mobile device, which can be very significant for retailers.

Targeting is an area of growing opportunity. It is essential to ask what is possible – and it is even more important to ask what will be possible in the future.

Offline to online: What’s the easiest way to find your brand on a mobile device?
Search is hard. Mobile short codes are easy. You want to make it quick and simple for your audience whenever possible.

Your audience should also be able to quickly toggle from online to offline – for example, with a quick click-to-call button on your mobile site. Everything should be interconnected.

IT IS IMPORTANT to keep your mobile strategy holistic. Too many companies are merely dabbling, trying a little of this and a little of that.

As soon as you start, you create expectations in your customers. If they have responded to your mobile campaign, then they assume that your brand will be readily available everywhere. You cannot disappoint.

What is more, it may be your competition that creates the expectation.

If your competitor has created a seamless experience for mobile users, your target audience will look for you to do the same – at least the more sophisticated and valuable members of your target group will be disappointed if you do not meet that level.

Spyro Kourtis is president/CEO of Hacker Group, a Seattle-based direct and digital marketing agency. Reach him at [email protected]