April 30, 2014
Enola Labs

Enola Labs creates custom strategy and products for mobile and web.

Let’s Talk

Subscribe to our blog:

Whenever a business decides to develop a mobile strategy, whether it’s consumer-facing or enterprise-level, there’s always going to be the question of “how is this going to make us money?” Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your mobile strategy is crucial to proving that your strategy is working, goals are being met, and that your new mobile endeavor is truly improving your business. By seeing whether your money spent is actually creating a measurable return, you can tell what’s working, what needs to be improved, tweaked, or scrapped completely.

However, measuring the ROI on mobile strategy isn’t quite as cut and dry as other strategies. Discovering metrics that work for calculating your business’s mobile ROI could take some trial and error, but we’ve got a general guideline to help you take the first steps.

How do I Measure Mobile Strategy ROI?

Return on investment is simply a profitability ratio. The most common way to calculate ROI is by dividing net profit by total assets. When it comes to mobile, ROI is not as clearly defined. While mobility in the enterprise has plenty of defined qualitative benefits- such as improved communication efficiency, better access to data, improved customer service, and streamlined processes- the quantitative values of mobile advantages can be a bit more complicated to produce. When you’re attempting to establish a mobile strategy, your stakeholders are going to want to know where the value in mobile lies, according to the dollar. And by defining your goals, developing measurable KPIs, and weighing your development costs, you’re going to be able to produce those numbers.

Get Goal-Specific & Define Measurable KPIs

The first step to calculating the ROI of your mobile strategy is to determine the overall goal of your mobile efforts: are you looking to engage your consumers with your brand and improve customer satisfaction or are you attempting to mobilize your workforce and improve workplace efficiencies? Once you’ve discovered your ultimate goal, it’s time to get more specific. And once your goals are specific, it’s all about defining measurable KPIs so that calculations can be made.

As Enola Labs CTO Marcus Turner put it, “Don’t redo business plans based on mobile. Instead, immerse mobile into everything that you’re doing; then think about new initiatives you could be doing that are enabled by mobile. Mobile should be a way of thinking.”

If your goal is to engage your customers, quantifying the value of your mobile strategy will involve figuring out how your customers are engaging with your mobile initiative- measuring app downloads, active users, total users, and sales leads from the app. If your numbers are high for engagement, that typically means the mobile initiative is positively impacting your customer base.

However, if your mobile strategy seeks to improve employee and workplace efficiency, your KPIs will vary depending on the department or employee. For sales and marketing, you might measure whether overall sales increased and less paperwork was necessary; for a field technician you may measure response times and improved first-time fix rates; for businesses that supply a tangible product, you may seek to measure time-to-market and reduced production costs. Once you define who is using the mobile strategy and their specific goals, KPIs can be used to put numbers to qualitative goals such as “improved efficiency.”

Weighing KPIs Against Your Mobile Development Costs

Creating an app is never free, and it is important to weigh the cost of developing and implementing your mobile strategy against your measured KPIs and goals. With a mobile initiative, hardware, development, maintenance, and upgrade costs all need to be taken into consideration when calculating total development costs. This is how you get your final ROI.

When deciding to jump head-first into a mobile initiative, it will behoove a business to have these development costs outlined and calculated, so that they can determine the ROI against their KPIs. This way, the value of a mobile strategy can be defined in tangible numbers throughout the company or customer base. Once you have your ROI numbers, you can look to see where your strategy is not succeeding, and make strategic changes to improve or tweak your processes, and, hopefully, increase overall ROI.

A Mobile Strategy Won’t Make Money on its Own

If your business has decided to invest in a mobile strategy, it is important to keep ROI in mind throughout the process. When developing an app, whether consumer-facing or internal, make sure you are truly creating something that will improve your business, otherwise it’s a lost cause. A mobile strategy that doesn’t return profit is a strategy that won’t be around for long, but simply developing an app won’t make a business money- you have to truly implement the strategy into your workplace or consumer base. Implementation is just as important as creation in mobile strategy. For some tips on implementing your mobile strategy, check out our blog on the mobile workforce with Enola Labs CTO Marcus Turner.

If your business has been looking to implement a mobile strategy, we can help. Enola Labs offers free, 15-minute strategy sessions to discuss what you’re looking for and what we can offer. The mobile shift in enterprise is becoming a necessity, not a want, and we want to help you make more money with improved efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a session.

Follow Enola Labs on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook for the latest in enterprise mobile strategy.