Only 6 in 10 companies today use mobile communications. This statistic comes as a surprise considering the fact that The International Telecommunication Union estimates there are nearly 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, equivalent to 95.5 percent of the world population. If they’re not already using it, mobile is clearly where consumer-facing companies should be turning for communication services in the future.

As ever-more powerful mobile devices are available, and the launch of the iWatch continues to stretch the boundaries of what is known as mobile, it’s becoming more important for brands to fully understand the value of mobility and to have a solid mobile strategy in place. At the same time it is also becoming more complex for businesses to implement a successful mobile ‘gameplan’. Many companies are still experimenting with mobile or are nervous of taking their first tentative steps.

Here are five simple tips to help companies get started with developing a winning mobile strategy so they can deliver targeted and relevant services, build customer engagement and, ultimately, drive customer loyalty.

1. Capture The Zeitgeist

Mobile strategy isn’t just being driven by the sheer presence of devices, but by consumer appetite and communication tendencies. It’s crucial to deliver the experience customers are looking for to keep them coming back. A study by Infinite Convergence found that more than 1 in 3 mobile phone owners now subscribe to mobile messages from businesses, with 91 per cent of mobile owners opening a message within 15 minutes of a notification.

Mobile has become an inherent part of communications for how people talk to brands today and consumers are happy to receive mobile messages from brands. Just by moving a loyalty scheme from a physical card to a mobile app can be the difference between your customer remembering to use it or not. It’s crucial that businesses adapt how they approach customers in line with consumer expectations, human behaviours and trends.

2. Content Is Always King

The ubiquity of the mobile screen represents a chance to engage with customers in many ways, but businesses should concentrate on the content and format that customers want. Rather than send out an easily deleted email with images that may not display and messages that prompt an immediate “tl;dr” reaction, a short text message or image may be all you need to get a positive response. The opportunities that new technologies represent, like voice and video in messaging applications, and WebRTC powered functionality which can also provide click-to-communicate direct interaction with a call centre agent with a touch of the screen, are only truly being discovered now.

3. Streamline Processes

Identify solutions that offer increased customer value, while reducing business costs. For example to confirm by text that a delivery will be collected means less stock waste. Mobile allows businesses to carry out quick communications with customers that can inform stocking and resourcing decisions. Another example is warehouses that send reply-paid text messages asking customers to confirm whether they will collect their package and when, provide a useful, free service to customers which makes them feel valued, while also dramatically reducing the warehouses’ stock-moving efforts and expenses.

4. Focus On ROI

Introduce mobile first where payback is greatest, so maximise the economies of scale in procurement, training, support and security. Taking a comprehensive view that traces operations right to the heart of the enterprise is key to unlocking untapped ROI.

5. Look Forward & Get Personal

Make sure that mobile is a long-term tool to offer highly personal delivery to engage customers, as well as promotions. Using customer interaction management systems, a company can drill right down into their customer data and individualise their messages. Personalised service through rich messaging innovations like offering codes sent by expiring messages, or location-based discounts are a great way to engage customers through their mobile. In fact, a quarter of people see offers and promotions from brands as the most valuable information if received by text or in-app at the right point in time.

Crucially, you need to track the results of these services in order to improve performance continually and understand return on investment. You may find that an offer generates better results than a sale for instance. With knowledge about the aspects of your mobile campaign that are working best, you can embed mobile seamlessly within your company and ensure that it always generates results.

Get Your Game Face On

Enterprises must devise a mobile gameplan to clarify the opportunities in mobile that are relevant to their business. Overall, it’s likely that mobile will be just one arm of your customer communications strategy, but it should be completely integrated. For example, a message asking whether a user would like to receive a discount code by email rather than just sending the email, can make a difference to whether they open the email or not. The initial text adds benefit for the customer, and the customer is primed to look out for the next engagement. By using mobile to strengthen other aspects of your campaigns you can ensure that it’s highly effective to build engagement and loyalty.