Why you’re not thinking big enough about mobile

It seems incredible, but just a few months ago “mobile-first” was considered an edgy business concept. Now it’s just reality.

Have you made it your reality?

The mobile vision gap

The mobile future became the mobile present so quickly that leaders are struggling desperately to keep up, and a major gap has emerged between rising consumer expectations of mobile and the experiences they’re having with brands every day on their phones and tablets.

The bewildering pace of change is one culprit:

  • As of six months ago, we spend more time surfing the web on our phones than PCs, and more time on our phones than watching TV.
  • The average person checks their phone 150 times per day.
  • 6% of U.S. consumers are already mobile only, meaning no home phone and no computer.
  • Mobile is becoming the leading platform for shopping, whether for browsing, researching or purchasing. Smartphones account for 44% of retail internet minutes, and tablets account for 11%.
  • According to Pew, mobile payments could eliminate the need for consumers to carry cash and credit cards as soon as the year 2020. Sound far-fetched? Look at Sweden, where almost 95% of transactions are already digital.

A growing cohort of ambitious and clever start-ups is another source of head-aches for brands. An exciting new generation of mobile businesses and services is emerging without physical locations, front-line employees or even the need for a desktop website. Car service Uber, food delivery service Seamless and digital bank Simple are notable examples. Even “old internet” companies like Netflix, Zipcar and Yelp are increasingly mobile-only in the eyes of their customers.

How to take action

  1. First, develop a far-sighted and aggressive vision for the future. Merely assembling a tactical plan of mobile apps, mobile-friendly content and adaptive design isn’t enough. Tomorrow’s winners must quickly develop a larger vision of how their organization will look, succeed and relate to others in a world where business and life are increasingly mobile.
  2. Focus on people. The constant change and relentless hype around mobile can leave leaders feeling overwhelmed. The key to clarity is deceptively simple: Understand how your customers move through their lives and where along the way you can help them. A customer journey map is the best way to get a handle on this.
  3. For now, focus on the phone. At seven billion and counting, the phone is by far the most ubiquitous and versatile of mobile devices, making it the obvious focal point of a successful mobile strategy. Google Glass was intriguing and the Apple Watch is on its way, but wearables have yet to achieve anything close to critical mass. With a solid understanding of how phones can serve your business and customers it becomes a fairly easy leap to see how other, newer devices might fit into your picture.
  4. Find your unique moments of opportunity. This is the most important part to getting mobile right. Customers think of us less often than we care to admit, and they’re more distracted than ever, so finding just the right moments and reasons to engage with them is critical. A good customer journey map will help you to find those moments, while also revealing the natural limits of your relationships.

’Mobile first’ was once an edgy business concept. Now it’s just reality.

Customer Experience & ROI

72% of of U.S. persons aged 13+ own a smartphone.

– Nielsen

Recommended Reading


Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation By James McQuivey