conference Thursday 24th April 2014 | The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London


Mobile: Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should05/14/2013 | Follow Neil | Connect with Neil


I got a stack of flyers the other day from a conference organiser promoting all of their events as well as one flyer that advertised their new mobile app. I can now download an app that lists all of their events. Yay, wow, my life has been transformed. Now as well as a monthly, untargeted mailshot I can review this wonderful content on the move.

I don’t know if this is true, but I’d imagine this decision to launch an app came from somebody who really really wanted one. I doubt very much that their customers were screaming out for it, in fact did they even bother to do any research? The decision was made, we need a mobile app, and they ploughed on regardless.

But what is the point? Rather than an app, why not just ensure your website is mobile-friendly through a dedicated mobile site or a flashy responsive web design (like this site). After all, your customers are likely to be searching online for this type of thing and the app process requires somebody to actively want to search that way, rather than simply searching online.

It bugs me. The aim was right, just the implementation was wrong. They recognised the need for people to read about their events in a mobile-friendly format, yet they assumed that the best way to do this was through an app, rather than looking at the other options. As Paul Berney, CMO of the Mobile Marketing Association, said in this blog: “Consider all mobile technologies not just one – you don’t need to start with an app”. The key is to start with a solid understanding of the customer, their requirements and behaviour before you start planning your mobile strategy. Once you have a clear plan, attention must turn to content and context.

At next month’s AMC, Paul Berney from the Mobile Marketing Association will talk on ‘Content and Context: the two pillars of mobile marketing’ and how the plethora of small screens is changing the way we think about our mobile strategies.

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