In the spirit of topicality, and conveniently ignoring the fact that New Year's Day is currently about 3 weeks into the past, I thought I'd take a moment this week to reflect on the concept of New Year's resolutions, both mobile and not! I spend a lot of time helping Swrve customers get to ROI, and over the past couple of years I have realised that success usually stems from taking a specific attitude and building a clear process around getting to that objective. And that's true whether we're talking about personal goals or what you are trying to achieve in business.

Take myself for example. I'm not sure I can classify this as a resolution, but I'm certainly gearing up to take on San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run in May (at this point I allow those who know me to adopt an amused grin or even break into a small chuckle). I can't claim to be great at running, but what I am pretty good at is understanding how to achieve a specific objectives and making it happen. So right now, having set a goal I am busy identifying the obstacles that might prevent me from achieving it (let's not even go there) and establishing what tactics will help me overcome them. 

On the same lines, I'll be working with my customers to make sure they take maximum advantage of the opportunities that 2015 has to offer. In many cases mobile goals are unclear, and take the form of something along the lines of “generate more revenue”, or “improve satisfaction with the app”. That's why the first step is usually to break these down into smaller challenges, and identify those ones that will make the largest difference to that overall objective. And as with my own personal objectives, so with mobile marketing automation - we should make those objectives 'SMART':

  • Specific: as mentioned above, 'more revenue' isn't a great objective. Look to your weaknesses and define how you'll improve them. In mobile, that might mean “deliver a 20% improvement in registration completions”, or “improve day 7 retention”.
  • Measurable: as above, make sure your objectives can be measured - otherwise how else can you determine success? To give one example, don't aim to “improve user satisfaction”, rather look to “improve app store rating from 3.5 to 4 stars”
  • Achievable: Not sure where Bay to Breakers fits into this, but in the mobile app world, make sure those measurable objectives are actually those you can deliver on. Not just because it is dis-heartening to fail, but more because you need a clear idea of where you will be in order to plan the rest of the business around your mobile strategy
  • Relevant: Obvious, but easier to fail on than perhaps any other of these criteria. Before setting objectives, you need to ask yourself the “what is my app for” question, and be confident that your answer matches your overall business objectives. There's no point aiming to deliver significant improvements in in-app purchasing if your app is primarily a brand play, for example.
  • Time-Limited: It is, of course, necessary to think about when you'll achieve these objectives. Any mobile marketing objective, whether it's integration with web or real-world retail, opening up of new communications channels and campaign types, or simply a target number against a KPI, needs to be delivered at a particular time otherwise it is meaningless!

Hopefully that's all clear. It's how we organize our own co-incidentally titled “Smart Start” program for new Swrve customers. Now on to Bay to Breakers!