Why Technology Doesn’t Matter In Mobile

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to exploring the mobile landscape as means to engage modern mobile consumers is that the device or technology is king. A lot of people are still under the impression that the device actually makes a whole world of difference. I'm sure you love your new iPhone, or the latest Samsung Galaxy, we all do. The brand of mobile we choose is a matter of personal preference, and is the concern of the consumer buying the device, but not the brand or marketing manager. As more developers are creating content and experiences across all platforms, the device issue is falling way into the background as a driver of successful mobile engagement. Let's face it, all the most important apps in our everyday life are available on all mobile operating systems.

As an app developer or a product manager, your first step is to accept that the technology device does not matter whether the consumer is using an Apple or Android device (most of these devices have evolved at the same speed, anyway, and typically have similar features in order to compete with one another), your first priority is creating a unique and compelling mobile experience for the consumer.

Mobile Consumer Behavior

There is probably no company in the world with the desire to develop a bad app or service to represent a brand. Everyone aims for their mobile apps and service to be: 1) able to help the users to find and get what they want and need in the most efficient way possible, and 2) able to provide a compelling experience that will encourage the consumers to use the app again and again. To achieve these goals, you have to remember three key factors that acquire, activate and retain mobile consumers: context, behaviour, and utility.

Context - This concept can—and has—changed the game of the mobile landscape. Context includes location and speed, and without context, the device does not really take the app anywhere. Retail stores—such as Walgreens—have observed that their use of mobile apps combined with in-store shopping has increased the amount their consumers spend per visit up to four times. Location can mean a lot for people browsing on their mobiles—for example, if a user is searching for restaurants, the results will be presented to that user according to location, as it is assumed that the user is looking for something that is close by. Speed is another important element of context—do not let your app or service remain static in a rapidly changing mobile landscape. You have to continually work on your app to improve user experience and help it stay relevant to the consumer’s life.

Behaviour - Understanding your consumers’ mobile behaviour can significantly improve the way they interact with your app and perceive your brand. By reading between the lines and numbers, you can anticipate not only the behaviour of your consumers, but also their needs and wants in order to make your app integral to their daily lives. Think about what they are trying to achieve, and how you can enable that. One of the most significant acquisition patterns, is products or services that deeply understand where (context) and what (behaviour) people are trying to achieve.

Utility - Simply put, no one wants an app that looks fancy and professional but ends up being unusable. While the kind of device is not a central issue in today’s mobile landscape, it is still important to understand the basic controls of the platform, as well as the limitations of the medium to deliver a user-friendly app. The offering must offer something of value, whether its booking a restaurant, making a payment or sharing a photo, each of these represent utility value.

Each of these factors in isolation can have limited impact. But the truly success mobile ecosystems fuse all three as a contextualized utility, with the best mobile teams on the planet obsessing about developing deep empathy for their targeted user group. With the pure goal of enabled contextualized behaviors.