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With a recent study showing that only a tiny 14% of CMOs are happy with their mobile strategy we thought it was about time people start asking questions about their brand in mobile. 

Mike Philips (Strategist) and I put together nine questions that every CMO should ask their mobile strategist.

1) Where are we?

Consumers online are now being heavily influenced by new digital device form factors and the hyper-connectivity that comes with them. The contexts, locations and objectives of online behaviour have increased and become more widespread, yet more diffuse and hard to define.

However, in the face of these very rapid changes, only one in three businesses have a dedicated person responsible for mobile. Whether it is in-house or through an agency partner companies need to ensure that they are fit for an increasingly connected world and that means having someone (or a group of people) responsible for mobile and connected devices. 

It is vital that marketers understand how the “connected consumer” will impact their company in at the very least, the short to medium term.

2) Is our existing activity optimised for mobile?

With UK smartphone penetration now over 64% and with more than 80% of those users going online on their devices your online properties are getting mobile views whether you like it or not .

The question is… do those mobile viewers like what they see? Is your bounce rate high (for bad reasons)? Do you have a flash website? Are your designs responsive? What’s the page load? Does your Facebook application work properly on mobile devices?

If you are spending significant amounts of money on digital activity you need to at least ensure that it works on mobile devices.

3) Are our social efforts mobile optimised?

More time is spent on Facebook via a mobile device than through the desktop (20% of mobile users never visit the desktop site), and that is even more the case for the likes of Twitter and Instagram.

Mobile as a platform is inherently social, mobiles are the communications device of our age, be it through SMS, email, social networking or the good old phone call – they are social by design.

Any social media efforts need to be built around the fact that for a large amount of any given audience, mobile will the default device they engage through. Social needs to be mobile.

4) How do our emails look on mobiles?

Personal email is opened on mobile by 49% of UK phone owners, and that rises to 70% of smartphone owners. So, how do your emails look on a variety of devices?

Chances are that you are still seeing the top left hand 25% of the email. The fonts are too small. It’s trying to load huge images (at least on iPhones) and is in grave danger of being discarded before your beautifully crafted copy has been read.

There is some argument about whether or not responsive emails are worth the effort. It’s pretty clear that from a user point of view they should at least be readable without pinching and zooming around.

If we see emails as the starting point for a variety of customer journeys, it’s also clear that making emails that work well on mobile will be yet another way to get people where you want them to be.

5) Is our offline marketing working with our online properties?

Spending millions of pounds of above the line advertising has been the norm for many brands for years, but as the world increasingly goes mobile CMOs need to start asking how this fits into a mobile world.

With up to 85% of TV viewers using a second device whilst watching TV, and up to 44% of those are looking for products they’ve seen in a TV show or ad it’s clear that traditional media can no longer work in a vacuum.

Marketing campaigns need to recognise that even if their advertising isn’t viewed through a mobile, the chances are customers have one in their hands as they come across adverts and if they are going to act based on that advertising, it’s likely to be through a mobile or connected device.

TV adverts can drive an 80% increase in branded search, but Google will push you down the rankings if it feels that your site isn’t providing a good mobile experience.

6) Are we thinking mobile first?

Thinking “mobile first” doesn’t mean mobile is the most important channel. The focus on what’s relevant and important for mobile users introduces a level of rigour into content selection that usually means that loads of “stuff” doesn’t get included.

Strangely enough, this is usually the stuff that is only on other channels “because there is room”. In development terms (ask the dev teams!) it’s just the best way to start producing any type of online property that needs to be available across multiple platforms.

Yes, that means everything.

7) Do we have a channel agnostic content strategy?

In a world where consumers are likely to be accessing everything, from anywhere and using any device, content needs to be built to go anywhere too.

If you are creating content “for the web site” or “for the Facebook page” you have to ask “What does it look like on an HTC Wildfire?” That beautiful long shot video of the sports car driving down a winding alpine road? It probably looks like an ant in a pinball machine. It’s not easy to get right, but content creation needs to happen with a “mobile first” mind-set too.

All too often there are huge infrastructure problems as marketers realise that the whole content management infrastructure is tied to individual digital properties. Bite the bullet and set that content free.

8) Are you helping consumers at “point of purchase”?

“Connected Consumers” don’t chat to the sales staff to find information in-store. They have already searched the product, compared prices and, if what they see about your product isn’t optimum, then there will be plenty of your competition appearing on that screen.

Test the user journeys as they are. After that, ask them to build new planned, engaging users' journeys with your product and POS as the “call to action”.

9) What will we need to do after we have fixed all that?

Once you have made it “work on mobile”, the next thing to do is to track usage and metrics. Once a platform or device group projects to a certain level of engagement, it is time to enhance for those device types.

In tactical terms that may mean revamping the properties to produce designs and interactions for touch screen  consumer that are very different from what has been the norm when designing for “office equipment”.

In strategic terms, it means focusing on the changes these devices make to traditional digital thinking on “sales funnels” and when, where and how your customers will want to purchasing your products

Douglas McDonald

Published 14 February, 2013 by Douglas McDonald

Douglas McDonald is Director of Mobile and Connected Consumer at TMW and a contributor to Econsultancy.

2 more posts from this author

Comments (3)


Vicente Gonzalez, E-commerce analyst at Digital Bond

Douglas, question number 4 is missing.

over 3 years ago

Douglas McDonald

Douglas McDonald, Director of Mobile and Connected Consumer at TMW

Yes. Typos too! Post in haste - repent at leisure. It's getting fixed. Cheers

over 3 years ago



Best guides. And it useful to all the readers. Informative information and I learned this best guide for my mobile application.
Thanks for sharing.

over 3 years ago

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