Erik Qualman

Digital Leadership Speaker, Entrepreneur and Author

Called a Digital Dale Carnegie, Erik Qualman was voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling. Fast Company ranks him as a Top 100 Digital Influencer and PC Magazine lists his blog as a Top 10 Social Media blog. A frequently requested international keynote speaker (42 countries), he has been featured on almost every media outlet including 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal, and ABC News.

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  • mobile

Companies will start to think mobile-first

So, you’ve heard the term “thinking mobile first” – what exactly does that mean? It’s actually easier to say than it is to do – and this is the year that the most progressive companies will start to really think mobile-first.

And what that means at a practical level; think about a meeting you’re having around let’s say your website, and you’re having that meeting with six stakeholders within the room. Most likely when you’re looking at the website and making changes to the website, everyone’s looking at their computer, either their desktops, their MacBooks, or their laptops. And really if you’re thinking mobile-first, in that meeting you should all be looking at your mobile device – whether that’s your tablet or (more likely) whether it’s your smartphone – because everything is going to converge into that smartphone.

And that’s how you start to think mobile-first. And most companies say it, but they don’t do it. Are you really doing that at the meeting where everyone’s actually looking at their phone and understanding the real pain-points when it comes to mobile, and how you have to quickly adjust the way you do business? The ones that do that are going to be way ahead – they’ve already got research that shows that 50% of all traffic coming to websites – well, really at the retail level – is coming from the mobile device. That’s going to be the case also for B2B companies, and so it’s important for B2B to get ahead of that and start to really think mobile-first.

Another example – and this is more on the B2C side of it, but it’s relevant to see what do we mean by thinking mobile-first – is that all of us go to Disney World at some point in our life. And when you’re at Disney World, they have a photo-pass product, meaning they have a professional photographer that takes your picture and then you go and decide online if you want to buy that photo or not. So, the decision that Disney had to make was; well, with all these powerful sharing tools – and everyone has one in their pocket – if that picture opportunity is occurring and I, as the patron, ask that photographer “hey, do you mind taking a photo of us with our smartphones?” That’s a tough decision because they’re going “well, if I take this picture with this person’s phone or with this person’s camera, that might reduce our revenue, they might not order the picture that we took.” But then they realized actually they’re going to make more money in the long-term if people are able to share their photos from their mobile device instantly so they can show the great time that they’re having at Disney instantly.

Those are tough business decisions where they had to say; “You know what? We’re going to cannibalize this product – we might make a lot less revenue on our photo-pass product where we sell professional pictures for 20 dollars a pop – but in the long-run we’re going to make more money because our patrons are going to tell our story for us. And we think about that from a B2B level, that’s why we use all these tools (mobile and social) – it’s to convert our best clients into being our best sales people and to being our best marketers. So, take an example from one of the best companies in the world, Disney, on how they made a hard decision and as you look forward to this year, you’re going to have to make those tough decisions, but in the long-run, they’re going to pay off.

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