Presence and Correct
Most large companies fail to recognize the importance of the mobile web and, thus, treat it as a side issue in the website discussion. Unfortunately, their influence is guiding other businesses (and customers) to underestimate the importance of mobilization.
At present, people discuss the traditional web as the default and the mobile web as a side note. This, however, will be reversed in the near future. The idea of one desktop computer for each family is rapidly being replaced by the much more personal, individual smartphone for every person. This means that the mobile web will soon be the default language, and instead of saying “mobile-friendly website”, the term “desktop-friendly website” will be coined.
Successful companies have an online existence, i.e. a website, web store and different social media channels. Some companies use the internet as their main source of income – most of this consists of computer-friendly information created for desktop and laptop devices. Not many have so far developed a mobile presence or strategy. The ones that have such a strategy are way ahead of the competition.
All companies must become specialists in understanding the information requirements of customers. A great challenge facing companies in the mobilization process is to create a mobile presence. Today, most companies do not have a mobile identity or a mobile presence.
A change of approach is needed, where the main objective should be to meet consumers’ expectations. Because the customer will expect to find information when using the mobile web, companies must adapt and make sure their mobile presence meets that expectation. Because smartphone manufacturers have created a need for instant satisfaction, and consumers are far ahead of big companies when searching for information.
How can companies catch up? How self-aware are companies today? When a consumer looks for products or services via a mobile device, do they find what they are looking for? How accurate is each company’s opinion of itself, compared to what the customer thinks of them as a brand or a company?
The corporate world is dealing with several questions, or at least it should be. What type of mobilization should we as a company go for? Is it as simple as copying all our online existence to a mobile format? Should we familiarize ourselves with and spend money on mobilization? What does the costumer expect from us, and how do we meet those expectations?
The answer is that companies must invest money and meet consumers’ expectations. A business without a mobile strategy is a business without a strategy at all. The mobile web is fast becoming the standard web.
As always with new media, companies act totally differently, making big and unnecessary mistakes, such as failing to create a mobile website, for example. Many of the early adopters have gone with quick and easy solutions, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in hi-tech mobile apps with no real use. Many of these mobile app creators fail to recognize that an app has to be easy to use and contain the requested information in order to generate money or offer utility to the consumer.
Compare this situation to the early ‘90s, when everybody was developing a website. Few companies had a clue as to how the websites were going to be used, or the importance of an online existence. Many companies invested millions in traditional advertising, but there were no budgets for the web. It is much the same with the mobile web today; many companies do no prioritize the mobile web or mobile media, and many companies have a hard time understanding the need for a mobile strategy. All this will change.
Take a moment to reflect on all the new job titles within large corporations: Chief Mobile Officer; Head of Mobile Strategy; Director of Mobility. Smaller businesses will not be able to afford to keep up with these changes, giving large corporations an advantage.
There are differences in the process of mobilization for small companies, compared to large ones. Small companies can mobilize more easily, but their smaller budgets do not always allow them to follow through. Large companies, on the other hand, are used to following trends, and this can create an even larger competitive advantage for big companies.
Return on investment
The way large companies calculate on their investment can be a challenge too. The mobile phenomenon is a new media and therefore hard to put a number on. How do you calculate the return on investment when you are venturing into uncharted waters and do not know what the return will be?
Mobility is an important part of society and should be part of every company’s plans going forward. The mobile segment will be the fastest-growing media sector, growing faster than advertising over the next four years. A huge chunk of the advertising budget will go towards mobile media.
Mobile commerce will be the next big thing, as consumers start to use their mobile devices as wallets. Evolution will not be driven by the hardware developers, but by consumers. To benefit from the mobile revolution, companies must learn how to understand the information requirements of customers, and how to supply high value information solutions.
The companies that win will be the ones that create mobile moments, and are at the customer’s service when they look for your product or service via a smartphone. It’s not too late to be one of the first in your sector. Every company must shift gears and develop a mobile strategy, no matter what the size of your budget. Not everyone will be comfortable with this idea, but no one can afford to ignore it.
Gabriel Ghavami is founder of Go Mo Group