Don't make a bad call with mobile

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"But mom, everyone is doing it!" We've all heard it or said it, and we've all used it to justify doing something that might have been better left undone. Lately, all the "everyones" have been targeting mobile, and creating inventive, successful ways to reach their audiences on the go.

The mobile web is compelling, but before a brand goes there, it is crucial that brand managers have a solid rationale, know their customers, and provide a creative and useful offering. This article will discuss critical topics to consider before taking the first steps into the world of mobile.

Ensure there is a real business need and business strategy
Before jumping on the mobile bandwagon, make sure there is a comprehensive business rationale underlying the decision. Be able to clearly state the objective of the program and identify metrics to gauge success. Smart managers will think long term.

Mobile usage is changing, the technologies are complicated, and the state of the industry can be baffling for a neophyte. Before making the investment into the field, ensure that the company is committed to a long-term engagement, and investing time and money into what might be a challenging foray. If these factors can't be met, it is possible that marketing budgets will go farther utilizing another media mix.

This can be seen, for example, in the banking industry, where a number of large institutions strive to provide their audiences with on-the-go access. While there are considerable technical, organizational and experiential hurdles to surmount, companies like Bank of America are making substantial investments to enter and lead in the mobile space.

It's nothing new that success is dependent on strategic vision, but before brands dabble in the mobile space, they need to make sure the vision is holistic and encompasses technical, business and customer goals.

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