Mobile First: Strategic Implications for Every Business
Why do you still use a computer?
That was a question my son asked recently while thumbing something on his iPad. He’s 11.
My last post talked specifically about this generation of mobile participants called Mobile First users – people whose first experience of your brand, product or service will be from a mobile device – as a customer segment of your audience. It’s time to take a step back, look in the mirror and understand that the same mobile capabilities and technologies that give today’s consumer such enormous power are also available to you. This is the perfect opportunity, before it is too late, for you to re-think your entire use of digital to become a Mobile First company that better serves this growing and very important consumer segment.
Why should a company re-think their entire use of digital around mobile? According to ComScore, 110 million Americans own a smartphone and predicts by the end of the year smartphones will be the new mobile majority. If that’s not enough reason take a look at a few other stats from Pew Research Center:
- 46% of American adults own smartphones
- 55% of adult cell phone owners use internet on their mobile phones
- 30% of smartphone users used their mobile device to decide whether to visit a business
- Tablet ownership nearly doubled during last holiday season
And, globally, we are starting to see tablets and smartphones outselling internet PCs, and connection mobile devices outnumbering internet PCs by billions.
Wayne Gretzky once said “don’t skate to where the puck is, skate to where it is going”. Where the puck is going in the Internet’s case is quite clear – mobile. Clients are already seeing their mobile site traffic increase 3-4 times what it was last year without even an active marketing effort of mobile ads or mobile-specific SEM/SEO efforts. Mobile users are coming in droves! It’s inevitable that companies will have a majority of their traffic from mobile devices very soon.
Although all the signs are right in front of us, companies are still launching and re-launching their PC web platform, using traditional web constructs. They’re skating to where the puck is, and by the time they reach that spot it will be gone. Being a Mobile First company is about taking a more forward-thinking strategic approach to leveraging digital access to customers.
Mobile capabilities offer greater opportunity for businesses to create better experiences, enhance customer relationships and satisfy customers. Mobile devices have longer battery life than PC, turn on quicker (no booting time), have tremendous portability, location awareness, built in cameras, easier app access, touch based interaction (and multi-touch – pinching for example), gyroscopic awareness (detects motion to orientate itself for proper use), lighter weight, cheaper, and more intuitive to use.
Given these unique advantages of mobile over PCs and the promise of more mobile traffic on the horizon, shouldn’t we re-think how we build a web experience? In 2013 let’s focus on a Mobile First strategy that shapes the direction for all use of web and apps. Don’t scale down your web site for mobile optimization. Rather re-think your web strategy around the new enhanced capabilities of mobile devices and the mobility it empowers customer with. Here are some thoughts to get started:
- Does your mobile strategy apply both touch and multi-touch engagement? How can this provide a benefit to your customers?
- Will your mobile app utilize push notifications for the customer’s benefit or your marketing efforts?
- Is there a way to use motion sensory to enhance customer engagement or fun?
- Does your mobile app or site use voice activated features of the device? (I would love voice commands for my banking needs, ‘Siri transfer X amount into checking for my son’s summer allowance’).
Leveraging the right capabilities of mobile will vary by brand, industry, and will continue to change overtime. That’s why the most important voice you should listen to and measure is that of YOUR customers – because they’re the ones with rising expectations and they’re the ones initiating change.
There are too many examples of companies that were blind to the technological changes that lay ahead of them. Tower Records failed to see how digital music would impact music buying (thanks iTunes), and Blockbuster is struggling to re-invent how people are getting access to their movies (RedBox, streaming). Remove the veil and take notice of how the world is changing around you. Be Mobile First and support the strategic thinking with a reliable approach to measuring and understanding the customer experience.
ForeSee is helping its clients measure the mobile experience so they can invest confidently and prioritize the right areas that will enhance the customer experience. Our measurement solution feeds companies intelligence they not only need to prepare for this looming mobile overhaul, but to be leaders in their industry and the mobile movement.
Gretzky is revered by millions for what he accomplished on the ice with a simple tactic. If you understand where the puck is headed – in this case, mobile – you will be just as adored by your customers for providing the best, most unique mobile engagement possible. Granted, you won’t garner Hall-of-Fame status, but increasing your bottom line by improving the mobile experience should be all the reward you need.