How to define your mobile marketing strategy

Have you been thinking about how to communicate with your customers in a personal way via mobile? Unsure where to start? No matter what you are already doing in mobile marketing, you are probably feeling a little bit behind.

You have likely been prompted to define a mobile strategy due to an increase in mobile traffic and/or mobile visitors. Should you build a mobile app? Responsive mobile site? Send push? These are questions to which we should know the answer and have a strategy defined.

There is no doubt that mobiles and tablets are now a way of life, with 121 million smartphone users and 94 million tablet users in the United States alone in 2012. Mobile is changing how we, marketers, are communicating with consumers. You must know how to communicate with relevant, valuable content that is in sync with your customer’s key moments of the day, with their connected device, in their connect lives/world.

So, as a retailer, where where do you start building your strategy?

Firstly, lets try and understand what your customer is doing:

1. Analyse your data

You should base your strategic decisions on data. Use your analytics program to establish the following:

  • How many monthly visits to your website are from mobile devices?
  • How many monthly purchases are made from a mobile device?
  • What percentage of your email is open AND clicked on a mobile device?


Finding the seemingly basic metrics above will guide your thinking to a more in-depth mobile strategy. Once you have found the above, I recommend going into more detail to analyse trends.

What has the increase in mobile visits/purchases been over the last 3, 6 and 12 months? Again, using the above data is going to form the basis for a strategy and allow you to justify mobile marketing spend.

2. What is the market seeing?

Understanding what the market is experiencing is an important process to undertake when defining your mobile strategy. It will allow you to find out more about how / what consumers are purchasing and learn more regarding mobile behaviour and buying habits.

The Adobe 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey surveyed 3500 customers and found the following:

Tablet vs smartphone:

Tablet users continue to be the more valuable mobile consumer segment when it comes to website visits, with 71% of iPad users (62% in 2012) and 65% of Android tablet users (56% in 2012) reported spending more than $250 on consumer products via their devices over the past 12 months, compared to 59% of iPhone users (58% in 2012) and 53% (53% in 2012) of Android smartphone users.

What is purchased on a mobile device?

The most popular item that consumers have purchased directly through their mobile devices is clothing. The consumer survey found that 18% of men responded that they purchased sports and outdoor goods, 10% purchased shoes, 31% purchased jewellery and 29% purchased movies, music, and games (excluding iTunes and mobile games) on a mobile device.Whereas 35% of women reported purchasing clothing, shoes, and jewellery, compared to men at 27%.

Apps or mobile sites?

The primary means to access consumer product shopping mobile sites and apps for the first time was via a search engine (45%), app store (24%), or typing in the address (18%).

When given the choice, approximately 60–70% of respondents preferred mobile websites to apps for most tasks.

What makes us purchase?

The visual product features that were cited as most likely to increase the likelihood of purchasing a product via a mobile website were side-by-side comparisons of products (44%), 360-degree spin of a product (42%), and interactive zoom or pan on images (38%).

Personalisation is becoming an important consideration for mobile consumers.  58% reported that the personalised experience they received when providing information to businesses via mobile seemed valuable, compared to 53% of those who spent under $500.

What you can do. How to think mobile first?

Personalised mobile web and mobile experience.

The mobile web experience should be personalised for your consumer.  A mobile website generally has less content than a normal website; therefore personalising the experience will help customers find products they are looking for. When someone visits the mobile website, what do you know about them?

  • If they have clicked through from an email, you have a lot of data available that will allow you to personalise the experience.
    • Direct the consumer to the correct place – if they have the app installed, open the app in the correct place. If mobile web only, then direct them to the correct page on the mobile web.
  • If they are revisiting you can personalise the mobile web using previous web behaviour collected via normal analytics tagging. This can be done with onsite context changes and/or mobile web alerts.
  • Personalised alerts. The mobile web is a good platform for well structured personalised alerts that appear on the page with a personalised message. The alert, for example, could be current stock levels, social prompt, end of sale, and many more.


Mobile optimised website speed is crucial: loss of speed will equate to loss of conversion. Incorporate dynamic media that changes size when viewed on a smaller screen. Images, videos, banners, etc. should all be optimised for a smaller screen.


You should be able to find something fast on a mobile site and app. Make on site search capability and also change the search results to match mobile browsing and shopping.

Streamlined checkout

The checkout process should not be a barrier to purchase on the mobile web. Entering card and payment details when you are out and about is a chore. Consider one-click purchasing or pay later ordering.


Track how consumers interact and convert on both mobile web and applications using analytics. Track visits, bounce rates, conversion and ROI of your mobile strategy including mobile marketing. Understanding how consumer use mobile to interact with your brand is vital knowledge when making decisions on future investment in the mobile strategy.

Consistent market message

With multiple device usage, your marketing message must be consistent across all devices and channels.  Email, SMS, push – whatever the channel. The message content and experience must be consistent. If consumers open email on mobile device, it must be as optimised as the web site. Allow someone to use your app directly with a click from email.

Have any questions or want more advice on mobile marketing strategy?

About Matt Hayes

I'm immersed in the mobile marketing world and the Co-Founder of a live email content platform.

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