What is the one thing that consumers crave over everything else? Is it connection? Is it the ability to work on the go? Or, is it state of the art customer experiences? I believe what they want encompasses all these things, however, their desire lies in the speed in which it all happens. They want it instantly. And if you’re not delivering a mobile-first digital transformation strategy that incorporates and meets all of their desires, you’ll lose consumers to your competition.
Mobility has the power to give consumers exactly what they want, in a single moment. I believe that mobility cannot be viewed as a product any longer. Instead, mobility should be viewed as a living, breathing culture of its own. Your business should implement a mobile-first digital transformation strategy. Let’s take a look at exactly what that means and how you can develop it quickly in your organization.
Mobile-First Digital Transformation Strategy: What Does It Mean?
What does it mean to be mobile-first? It’s become a bit of a buzzword recently, but are you sure you’re certain of the definition? A few years ago, it was decided that websites should be responsive, created to work seamlessly with mobile devices. However, we have come so far in a few short years that responsiveness is not enough.
It is a fact that 90 percent of millennials state their cell phone never leaves their side and out of the seven billion people on this planet, six billion of them have mobile phones. Businesses can now operate solely on mobile devices with new technologies making connection and collaboration possible. A whopping 62 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last six months. All of these stats and facts add up to say one thing: mobile matters.
To be mobile-first, businesses must begin their digital transformation focused on creating a user experience that is just as effective on mobile devices. The idea is this: if we can create a user experience that converts using a mobile device, the rest of the devices will follow.
Mobile isn’t just another silo or channel. Instead, it is an all-encompassing catalyst for applications, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and other future innovations. Mobility can be used to remove other silos within your business, bringing an end to self-limiting technology and behavior that your digital transformation should bring to an end.
What Are the Benefits of Being Mobile-First?
Beyond driving your digital transformation to success, being mobile-first has many other benefits, probably too many to name.
- Your Business. Anywhere. Desktops don’t travel (unless you’re the guy that sets up an entire computer in Starbucks, but that’s another story). Mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, and watches are used for shopping, surfing the internet and social media while on the go. A business that is mobile-first has built a culture of providing the best experience possible on these devices while being virtually anywhere in the world at any time.
- Being Ahead of the Game. Did you know that some millennials are not only embracing the mobile-first culture but a culture of mobile-only? Do you have a computer still or do you work and live completely from a phone and a tablet? What about your kids? My son has a toy laptop and I bet by the time he needs an actual computer, we will just get him a tablet. If we put all of our focus on desktop and traditional platform methods, our businesses will soon be non-competitive with the rest. Will you be able to give your customers the experience they crave if you were mobile-only? Think about it.
- Easier Communication. Mobility creates easier communication for all parties, employees and customers alike. Being able to quickly find a chatbot using your cell phone is a lot faster than calling a hotline and waiting to be connected. Video conferencing while on the go makes work-life balance easier for remote employees. The list of communication enhancements is endless.
- Relationship Building. Mobile devices are used for relationships. Whether it be through social media or a chat application, conversations and connections happen through mobile. Your business should be building relationships with consumers by speaking their language.
How to Create a Mobile-First Digital Transformation Strategy
Are you ready to jump in? Becoming mobile-first and fostering that culture within your business has a lot to do with mindset and a little to do with planning. There are two goals that businesses must achieve for mobile-first status: they have evolved beyond simple mobile development to adopt a mobile-focused culture across all or most organizational efforts and they can accurately measure their mobile spend and the cost to acquire and retain mobile users.
How do we get there? We must step out of the silo. We should stop focusing on individual mobile goals such as optimizing your website for responsiveness and start focusing on setting a foundation for customer experience. We should also assess our mobile maturity. Are your business processes in line with a mobile strategy? If not, it is time to make some changes first, before investing in anything else.
A mobile-first digital transformation strategy should have less to do with phones and tablets and more to do with culture. Our world around us is changing its view on work, leisure, and communication. Being mobile-first means embracing all the freedom that technology can give us and sharing that freedom with our consumers.
This article was originally published on Forbes.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.