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Mobile – from Strategy to Implementation

I have been meaning to share this deck from Amy Hissrich, Director, Knowledge Initiatives at ASAE, after she presented this session at an ASAE conference. She kindly agreed to send me some notes to accompany it. Enjoy!

“I was excited to do this session because over the past year, I’ve changed my mindset around mobile. After speaking on mobile, social, and web related topics for years, I still firmly believe that mobile should be considered in context with the organization’s goals and audiences, and that the same strategic lens that drives any channel holds true for mobile. However, this doesn’t sit in opposition to mobile serving as a game changer for associations. My goal with this session was to show ways associations could think differently about how they can achieve their goals through mobile.

When trying to determine how to reach your goals using mobile, looking at data is an important place to start in order to gain an understanding of the landscape and context. This data gives associations the grounding to be aware of how their audiences are using these types of tools. Examining the data from their web properties (e.g. Google Analytics) or surveys can provide specific information on what members are looking for in the mobile arena.

Along with looking at how your audience consumes your information, it’s important to look at the macro level on environmental mobile research that’s available from a variety of sources such as ComScore and the Pew Research Center. The data from ComScore around the new digital consumption pattern is particularly interesting when considered through the lens of the digital omnivore. The consumption patterns show that audiences consume our content from multiple devices depending on where they are. During a commute people might check their phone for news or directions to a meeting. At the office, people still tend to rely on their laptops for the full web experience. In the evening, tablet usage increases because it potentially serves as a second screen while watching TV. Understanding our members’ consumption habits is an important first step towards knowing how and where we want to serve them.

In addition to understanding what devices our members use and when they consume information, it is also important to understand what our audiences do on these devices. This isn’t to say associations can’t create killer apps that change consumption or usage patterns, but knowing what already works for a specific device is a good starting point. For example, understanding that people use their phones primarily to take photos, send texts, and browse the internet can help us refine and perhaps even expand our thinking around what we want to create for them in handheld form.

However, as important as the data is, this session was about encouraging associations to approach mobile with new and fresh thinking. The app examples provided are designed to help showcase ways that associations, non-profits, and for-profits are exploring mobile in order to let associations think more broadly about how they can leverage trends for their organization.

Charity Miles is a great example because it leverages not just mobile, but the current fitness trend and provides an interesting view on how one organization is marrying that fitness trend with sponsor visibility and delivering on their mission in the process. Foap is interesting because, again, it blends what we saw in the data about phone usage, that phones are often used to take photos, and crowd sourcing by letting those photos be rated and ultimately sold—creating a revenue opportunity for both Foap and their user-base. On their own, neither of these two apps would likely fit what most associations do to serve or engage their members, but the thinking is holistic and looks at both the data and ultimate goals of the organization in fresh and interesting ways while also looking at universal issues of revenue and sponsorship.

I think associations are on the precipice of creating apps and mobile sites that move the space forward and can’t wait to see how we, as a community, start to explore this space more fully. These days responsive design is the entry point for most new sites when considering mobile, but the size constraints of mobile forces us to have conversations that could have been previously deferred due to the sheer flexibility of the web. An association homepage with dozens (or even a hundred) links on it simply doesn’t work in the handheld mobile space.

While these will be tough conversations, we have the opportunity to get prioritization, content strategy, revenue, and writing for new mediums that will provide our members with a better experience and visibility of our organizations. It’s an exciting time both for mobile development and associations. It’s important we open up our thinking around mobile. In the comments area, I’d love to read about other apps you’ve seen (within associations or more broadly) that you think serve as great examples of organizations thinking holistically, leveraging trends, and serving their members at a whole new level.”

Your thoughts?

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(photo credit)

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