Digital Directions: 3 Keys to an Effective Mobile Strategy
Sometimes these rushed efforts consist of an attempt to copy competitors' offerings—which are often themselves rushed efforts. In other cases, publishers take a "quantity over quality" approach, to release a wide array of low-value mobile offerings. These efforts typically leave the financial returns lackluster and customers nonplussed:
● "Travel Apps" are among the worst culprits, often repackaged B-list travel guides downloaded to your phone. Some of these so-called travel apps do not even have GPS functionality to show you where you are on the travel maps!
● "Joke of the Day" is another category of dubious apps, which are essentially static e-books that open to the page corresponding to the day's date.
● A third category uses the multimedia "CD-ROM-on-a-phone" product model to include video, interactive gizmos and flaming text. It's 1991 all over again.
Weak mobile product offerings have a negative effect on the industry as a whole. If consumers view mobile offerings from publishers as having, at best, superficial value, then the mobile experience will be relegated to the same category as Web content: a non-salable marketing platform to drive advertising revenue and e-commerce transactions. This would represent a tragic lost opportunity.
What to Consider
So how can you arrive at an effective mobile product strategy? Through the work that my company, Finitiv, has done over the past year or two with a variety of publishers, we have identified a pattern. An effective mobile strategy is based on a clear understanding of the following:
1. The mission of the organization. Is there a defined organizational mission? To whom is value delivered? How is success measured? The mobile offering needs to adhere closely to this core mission.
2. The strategic assets of the organization. Assets may include: content, brand/reputation, distribution, technology or capital. If a mobile initiative requires the creation of completely new assets, without using existing areas of strength, then the offering will pose little barrier to competition. Your mobile offering needs to exploit your existing strengths.