If you want to successfully make the transition to being a mobile-first company, aim for a lot of small improvements. Those changes can pay off fast. As they released a half-dozen mobile advertising features in the back half of 2015, growth in Google’s ad business accelerated during the same period.
Mobile can also offer new levels of monetization that were not possible before. Google’s search results on mobile can be 100% ads on screen before you scroll down, compared to 40-60% on desktop. That would explain how they beat analyst estimates while cost per click went down 13% YoY (2x expectations) and number of clicks went up 31% (9% higher than expectations). Alphabet announces 2015 results.
Are you thinking broad enough about who your addressable market is? Mobile opens new markets to serve that may not have been apparent, or even possible, before. By way of example: thanks to AskIzzy, even homeless people in Australia now have a mobile directory. Even mobile-first companies can get caught in the innovator’s dilemma, whereby they fail to innovate because they are unwilling to take the risk of upsetting current customers. News leaked that Twitter would change their no-filter reverse-chronological timeline for an algoritmically curated one, similar to how Facebook’s newsfeed works. A vocal minority of pearl-clutching Twitter users threw a hissy fit and turned #RIPTwitter into a globally trending hashtag. Contrary to how Facebook moved confidently through early fears about their algorithmic newsfeed, Twitter’s CEO tried to placate the mob.
Your newest competitive threat: cheesed off customers. They just might start a mobile-first startup to try and destroy you. The founder of Beepi started an online marketplace to help people buy and sell cars on their smartphones after a used car he bought had an engine fire 48 just hours after purchase. Ale Resnik was so frustrated about buying a lemon that he vowed to revolutionize used cars.
Executives can now expect to need to articulate a mobile strategy to investors, and to execute it quickly. The institutional investor that owns 10% of Viacom’s voting wants to know what the new Executive Chairman is “doing in the mobile world” and is giving him 6-9 months. Investors are disappointed in Viacom’s new Executive Chairman.
Speaking of investors pressure, the same is also happening in tech. Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder says he is happy with what CEO Satya Nadella is doing, but wants to hear a more compelling mobile strategy. Steve Ballmer talks about the current state of Microsoft.
The need for speed to in iterating mobile products requires unintuitive process changes. When you adopt a cadence that forces to too little time for testing, it frees up engineering time to focus on writing new code instead of tests. LinkedIn is speeding up (internal) mobile releases.
Mobile is accelerating the need for AI. Big data and the need to meet increasing consumer expectations means that machine learning is becoming a necessary core component of mobile products. That’s why Google’s AI boss is now taking over as SVP of Search andMicrosoft just spent $250M to buy an AI-powered mobile keyboard app company.
Marketing messages need to put mobile products and services in the actual context of mobile: everywhere, all the time. Lazy stereotypes about being “on the go” and “at your fingertips” are meaningless. Your mobile marketing is missing the hole.
Any business traveller can tell you: airlines have their work cut out for them when it comes to being mobile-first. Some of this is because they operate in a heavily regulated industry with safety and security concerns that can slow adoption of technology. But there is still lots of room for them to take better advantage of mobile opportunities. Report stresses a mobile-first imperative for airlines’ revenue growth.
Travel companies will need to really step up their mobile search engine optimization game. Google make a change to their mobile travel search results that is great user experience, but will likely lead people away from travel sites. Google revamps mobile travel search results, making web results almost irrelevant.
Part of the reality of competing with a mobile-first business is that you need to focus on your strengths. One way is incentivizing in-store visits with things people prefer or need to buy in person. You may even need to change to non-traditional concepts like the membership model. How Costco is staying Amazon-proof.
Brands need to make mobile shopping easier to shop on mobile. 45% of all shopping journeys contain mobile. But m-commerce falls short in seamless online/in-store experience, product comparison and visual communication of product details. Facebook study shows brands are failing to understand the role m-commerce plays.
Retailers who are doing mobile are seeing ROI, at least in the UK. Half say that 50% of their sales come from mobile. 94% plan to have a full omnichannel strategy in place within 2 years. A new report benchmarks UK retailers.
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