THE BLOG

From Static to Mobilized

02/18/2015 05:44 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

Just like electricity, mobile technology is a constant in people's lives, moving beyond first screen to omni-screen. It's something we just can't do without. It goes with us everywhere: our watch, our wake-up call, our personal organizer, our to do list, our satellite navigation, our oracle. It's the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we look at before bed. It's increasingly the way we choose to consume all manner of things, even when we are not 'mobile'

Yet, many brands aren't enabling us to engage how and when we want to.How often is the mobile version of a brand experience substandard compared to the full online experience accessible on a PC? And how often is there still no adapted mobile version at all...

Rich, Relevant & Real-time
To succeed, brands have to develop a mobile-first mindset, following three key principles:
• Rich - it's a rich medium and so any branded content needs to support this experience
• Relevant - effectively you can contact the consumer at any time, when they are in any demand moment. Make sure you reach them at a relevant time with a relevant message or it will fall on deaf ears
• Real-time - be able to react and respond in the moment

Customer-driven innovation
It's an irony of the airline industry that 10 of the world's top 50 airlines do not have a mobile-optimized site. United Airlines has recognized an opportunity here and has made a stand with their free mobile app.

The app contains a number of features travelers expect nowadays: mobile boarding passes, flight bookings, check in, flight status information and airport maps. In addition, the app works as an in-flight entertainment service, allowing customers to browse through and watch 150 movies and 200 television shows while on a flight if they are connected to the airline's wi-fi service.

And United did not just develop the app in an ivory tower. They accompanied more than 100 customers on their trips to better understand specific needs: from packing and getting to the airport to catching connections and enduring delays. One simple result was the relocation of key buttons to the bottom of the screen to allow customers to easily reach them with a thumb when only one hand is available. This detail demonstrates United's commitment to being truly relevant to their customers' needs in specific formats, rejecting a one-size-fits-all digital policy.