Forget everything you think you know and you will succeed in mobile

Mobile is not the web.

Mobile is not television.

I don’t want to overstate the obvious – and to those of you who are deeply embedded in the mobile industry pardon this slight rant – but, people of the world, mobile is not like anything that has come before and needs to be treated that way.

Mobile Strategy is not your dad’s web strategy

Building a mobile strategy is not the same as building a web strategy. Eyeballs shouldn’t be the goal, contextual value should be (unless you are ad supported and good luck with that). Your customers need to be given information or data that is relevant to where they are and how they should be interacting with you. If someone is on the road and looking for your address, don’t make them find it. You should know intuitively that someone on a mobile device might want your contact information more than your product catalog – especially if they search for specific terms from their mobile. Give it to them.

Just putting up a website without thought for the mobile experience won’t kill you but you are absolutely missing an opportunity to show value through this platform.

Implementing mobile needs to be specific

“Let’s go mobile!” or “let’s build an app” are painful things to hear at a first meeting. I love enthusiasm for mobile but there needs to be a time and place for building it. What part of your business are you trying to satisfy by bringing mobile into it? For some, mobile might be a natural extension to an existing initiative but to others it might be an entirely new line of business and needs to be flushed out before steaming ahead.

Don’t start with “going mobile” as the theme, start with asking how can mobile enhance/make better/generate revenue/create relationships/build on what we are already doing. Then “go mobile.”

Think about the implications of mobile

There are many, believe me. It is not just about a mobile website, supporting multiple platforms or building an app. Mobile has the ability to influence things as widespread as brand loyalty all the way to retail pricing so you need to think through what impact going mobile will have on your business. If you are a retail outlet or restaurant and want to offer coupons or discounts are you setting a precedent in your customers expectations of pricing going forward? If you discount too deeply or do it too regularly you’ve effectively reduced your prices as a result.

Mobile is hard to get right if you bring the baggage from other industries with you as you try to implement here. This is a unique environment and requires new thinking to get it right. This isn’t the web. This isn’t television. This isn’t anything we’ve seen before.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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