Having recently attended the INMA World Congress in New York, I was particularly inspired by the session on creating a better mobile experience.
Expanding on this further, it seems to me there are, in essence, five obstacles or challenges we all need to overcome in delivering a first-rate mobile site for our readers and advertisers:
Winning over your stakeholders (very often, with your CEO)
What do your readers want from your Web site? Maybe it’s a combination of getting news, checking restaurant and theatre reviews, booking tickets/buying reader offers, and reading free or paid content? Researcher IMRG statistics show that 37 per cent of online sales in the United Kingdom, for instance, are now on mobile (equating to US$12bn in 2014).
So how does this translate to the resources and budget we need to develop the best performing news Web site? This can depend on your niche, your corporate culture, and, ultimately, your CEO’s attitude to it all.
Tracking the bulk of site traffic on mobile, it’s generally clear that a bad mobile user experience (UX) loses existing customers and puts off prospective customers, too.
A senior European news executive told me recently that his CEO will only invest in mobile when presented with concrete evidence that he can monetise existing subscribers based on their predicted Web browser volumes, frequency, time on site etc.
Surely, a more radical approach is required? We can’t afford to sit and wait.
Alternatively, take the view of a more visionary CEO who accepts mobile will transform your news business as we know it, and realises that organisational change and breaking down disciplinary silos is critical.
By way of example, I recall that a few years ago, eBay’s CEO John Donahoe set up a horizontal mobile team strategy to “agitate and disrupt” the rest of the business. Today, mobile is the main focus for everyone at eBay, and the approach has unified the company and championed an exciting future for the business.
“He created internal unrest when he created a mobile commerce unit. He gave them absolute permission to step on other functions’ toes,” said the company’s vice president of marketing.
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