As much as mobile has become a meaningful channel for many businesses, there are still misconceptions around consumer activity.
We don’t check in nearly as much as the hype would lead us to believe. There is not a fight to the death between the mobile web and apps – expect to see both around for a long time.
And, no, mobile is not just a young person’s activity.
That’s why I was keen on including AARP’s experiences in my Mobilized Marketing book.
For Nataki Edwards of AARP, the largest member organization of people 50 years old and older, it’s about having a meaningful presence in the lives of her members and prospects.
“AARP’s philosophy is that we really need to be where our members are,” says Edwards, the organization’s vice president of marketing, digital strategy, and operations. “Our members are in a lot of different places. They are still consuming print publications, they are still watching TV, and those will continue to be part of our media strategy but the adoption of digital on mobile and the Web can’t be denied. We made a concerted effort to make sure we had products and services and offerings in all of those channels. Where mobile comes in, it was really the market showing us the adoption of our members and we kept seeing the numbers go up.
“Our strategy has been to meet them everywhere. We’re not just going to build apps [applications]. We’re going to make sure that for people who don’t have smartphones or who aren’t interested in downloading apps that they can still get the best AARP experience on any mobile device.”
Now mobile is on the minds of AARP marketers as well as their product roadmaps.
“We’re not at the stage where we’re creating mobile content specifically for the mobile device but it is a factor in all content creation,” Edwards says. “As the pages are built for the Web, we think what can and can’t be used for mobile, whether it’s the image or Flash—all of those things are taken into consideration.
“Right now the idea is to get to parity when you look at other top media companies out there. What are we offering? Are we comparable to them? We are still figuring out the monetization strategy for mobile. We are selling for mobile but our advertisers are a little bit slower in adoption than we are to creation which isn’t a bad problem to have because we want to make sure the products work well and we have the volume of engaged users to tell the right story.”
Of course, AARP’s efforts are key for many businesses who are needing to reach Boomers and beyond in new mobile ways.
When it comes to mobile, if a business isn’t using the channel, often its competitors are. And they are selling more stuff.
The understanding and mastery of innovation separates mid-sizes businesses, according to IBM. The company often counsels these sized entities to dedicate resources to new products and services, become more risk averse, and agile.
(This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. goo.gl/VQ40C)