Ignoring mobile means missed opportunities

Back in 2011, Luke Wroblewski, the keynote speaker at the ASAE Technology Conference, shared his “mobile first” philosophy. On ASAE’s blog, Joe Rominiecki echoed the advice we were giving back then:

“If you're not already thinking about mobile first, you might soon find yourself finishing last.”

Here we are in 2015 and we’re still having this conversation.

Back in 2011, the average adult spent 22% of their digital hours on mobile. Today, the amount of time we spend on mobile has more than doubled to 51%.

Yet, I still hear people say, “Our membership isn’t ready for mobile. We’ll worry about that later.”

Don’t wait too long. Your members are constantly being bombarded with content from:

  • Emails and newsletters in their inboxes
  • Friends, family, and brands on social media platforms
  • Traditional and digital media websites and industry blogs
  • And, in some professions, for-profit online communities

These competitors for your members’ attention and time are already providing mobile-friendly experiences. Your members expect the same from you.

Does your mobile experience measure up?

In our session at the recent ASAE Membership, Marketing & Communications Conference, ASAE’s CIO and fellow panelist Reggie Henry got straight to the point.

How many times a day do you go on your phone to do something besides making a call? Start looking at how we behave and what we want, and stop arguing that our members are any different.

Think about the mobile experience your association provides now. Members open your emails on their phones—your email marketing reports will confirm that. Are your emails designed for the mobile reader? Can they read your emails and click on links without having to zoom and pan?

If that email promotes an event, can a member register easily using his phone? Will he become frustrated trying to enter information into tiny fields? Or, do you still require members to download a PDF registration form?

When on their phones, Americans spend 89% of their time using apps—that’s the experience they’re used to. A crappy mobile experience means members have to remember to read that article, purchase that book, or register for that event later when they’re on their laptop. You’ve missed an opportunity to deliver value on their terms.

Mobile is no longer a shiny new object, it’s practically a personal appendage for many of your members. If you’re not providing a mobile-friendly experience, you’re losing a huge opportunity to deliver on-demand value.

Understand your members’ mobile behavior.

Do your research and learn how members use their phones. Find out what would be helpful to them on the job, or during their commute.

  • Do they use their phones on the job? What kind of information do they need to look up?
  • What do they want to know while they’re on the move or in transit?
  • What type of short educational or informational videos would they like? People are watching lots of videos on their phones—55% of mobile traffic is now video.
  • What kind of bite-sized content and experiences are your members looking for?

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Think mobile first.

When a member pulls up your website on her phone or laptop, she expects a good user experience. She expects to easily find what she wants and to do what she came to do. If you design your website with the mobile user in mind—the “mobile first” philosophy—you’ll satisfy your members no matter what device they use.

But the look and feel of your site isn’t the only part of the user experience to consider. Reggie said, “If you have a responsive website with 5,000 pages of crap, you’re making someone wade through 40,000 pages of crap on mobile.”

And that’s why a content strategy is so necessary, so you can get some control over that “crap”. To help you get started, check out our report, Going Mobile (PDF).

Check It Out

Flickr photo by Roadsidepictures