Going Mobile: Speeding Down the Road Ahead

40 years ago the Who released “Going Mobile” off the album Who’s Next. At the time, Pete Townsend was talking about the freedom of living in a RV. Little did he know that a few decades later we’d all be Going Mobile in a whole new way.

The mobile platform offers infinite and fast changing possibilities to brands and consumers alike. Yet it is this fast paced evolution that can make the space challenging. For many brands, online and mobile strategies are treated one in the same. For others, mobile simply means offering an app.

The start of the new year provides an opportunity to think about your station’s mobile platform in a new way. As Jason Spero and Johanna Werther from Google point out, “having an app is not the same as having a mobile strategy…  Successful businesses are now adopting this simple but revolutionary idea: design for mobile first.”

This thought provoking and challenging insight is one of many presented in Google’s aptly named Mobile Playbook. In fact there is such rich content that our recommendation is to set aside some time to review this playbook, while thinking about your mobile platform and the opportunities that exist.

Key Questions for the Busy Decision Maker

This playbook is geared towards today’s fast moving executive and Google offers a framework and guidance around the following questions that are important to your mobile strategy.

1. How does mobile change our value proposition?

2. How does mobile impact our digital destinations?

3. Is our organization adapting to mobile?

4. How should our marketing adapt to mobile?

5. How can we connect with our tablet audience?

These questions merit thought and conversation. In the mobile space, you aren’t just being compared against your traditional competitors, but to any brand that has a mobile presence and a relationship with that listener.

Let’s take at a look at each area and how it applies to radio. As you review the mobile playbook, most of the content is focused on mobile strategies for retailers yet much of the content as well as the mobile insights are worth your time and consideration.

1. The value proposition of mobile. How does your audience want to interact with your brand via mobile? This is an entirely different question than, how do you want them to interact with you? For example, many retailers make the investment to build a mobile site to directly generate mobile sales. However, mobile site developer Digby has found that across their sites, mobile customers use store locators 63 times for every one mobile commerce order.

If streaming is the equivalent of a mobile transaction to a station, what functionality could you offer people who want to engage your brand even if they are not listening?

2. Impact on digital destinations. How does the user experience of using a smart phone on your station website compare to ESPN.com? According to Google’s Mobile Playbook, “Rather than pegging mobile as the ‘third screen,’ ESPN thinks of it as the ‘first screen.'” When you visit ESPN.com on a smartphone, the page is clearly optimized for mobile. Even if you aren’t able to design for mobile first, it should no longer be an afterthought.

For example, we know a couple of important things about Pandora listeners 1). They are heavy radio users 2). 70% of Pandora listening happens via mobile. As a result, how would you describe the experience of these valuable listeners when they come to your mobile site from Pandora? Is your site clean and easy to navigate?

3. Adapting the organization. Who in your organization is your mobile champion? What executives track mobile metrics? Who’s watching the competition’s mobile initiatives and what priority does mobile receive in terms of funding? If you have an interactive department that runs your online properties, these questions become even more important.

4. Mobile impact on marketing. Approximately 30% of emails are opened on smartphones. In addition, the ability to touch and interact with the screen means that the term “click” refers to PCs and laptops not mobile interfaces. In addition, because people aren’t sitting at a desk. mobile search results and banner ads creative needs to be optimized for mobile.

In fact, in our campaigns, for the last several years we have been offering a mobile version of contest registration forms and in our campaign reporting, we break out the mobile performance of digital ad campaign.

5. Connecting with the tablet users. Most listener driven interactions with your brand on tablets are likely to happen on nights and weekends. Along with considering the appearance of your website on tablets, how do your station’s social media efforts look on this platform?

Tablet users are still small in total numbers, but they have increasingly significant buying power. 72% of tablet owners use their device to make a purchase on a weekly basis.

Google’s Mobile Playbook is filled with real world examples that demonstrate how other companies and brands are leveraging the mobile platform. Google also offers Ready to Go Mo that helps evaluate and improve your current efforts.

Mobile is a significant part of our listener recruitment, activation and engagement strategy. We also serve as a resource for many clients who seek to leverage their mobile platforms as another way to stay connected with the listeners who matter most. For more information on how we leverage the value of mobile, contact Andrew Curran at DMR/Interactive.

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