Mobile is not a strategy – go adjectively mobile!

Isolating “mobile” and treating it a separate channel is a mistake I see many companies make. I don’t even believe that mobile in itself can be called a strategy. Instead you gain competitive advantage by viewing mobile as an inherent aspect of all your products and services.

You need to think about strategy from a product and service objective first.

  • What is the goal and purpose with your products and services?
  • What should they deliver and mean for your customers?

Answer those questions with the requirement that your customer should be able to consume what you offer from anywhere and while being mobile. But even if you deliver on that, you still have only taken a small step.

To be successful, you need to think of what new products and services you can offer just because they are available anywhere and through any connected objects. At this point in time you will realize that “mobile strategy” is fundamentally about injecting true mobility into product and service definitions. It then becomes a matter of business strategy.

This brings me to a term I  like: “adjectively mobile”.

“Adjectively mobile” means reclaiming the actual definition of the word mobile. “Mobile” means being movable, it’s about motion. Today many associate the word “mobile” with a mobile device. In some languages, the word “mobile” and “mobile phone” can even be interchanged (for example in Swedish). I believe this thinking is standing in the way of progress.

Truly mobile products and services goes way beyond smartphones and mobile devices. Imagine when all objects around you get connected and start to communicate with you and other objects (from wearable technology to controlling technology with your mind) . We are just about to witness an incredible transformation of society, triggered by the next step of IT. Some call it “The Internet of Things“. I call it “adjectively mobile”, bringing the meaning of the word “mobile” back from substantive (phone/device) to adjective (movable), ie products and services that are easily accessible while you are moving and  don’t necessarily require your attention or hand control.

In ten years, when we look back at 2013, we will say:

The smartphone was to IT what the telegraph and light bulb were to electricity!

Just as the telegraph and light bulb made it clear to everyone that electricity is incredibly valuable, the smartphone has made it clear to many that being connected while mobile (adjectively mobile) is very useful. The smartphone made online services ubiquitous and mass market, and has many expect 24/7 availability of personalized products and services.

Today we don’t think much about all the uses of electricity around us, but it’s obviously everywhere and delivers value to us without us having to interact with it directly. This is where mobile solutions are heading also: adjectively mobile and ubiquitous.

So, in conclusion, “mobile” is not a strategy in itself. You need to figure out what your products and services need to deliver and mean to your mobile customers, make your connected offer adjectively mobile. When you deliver on that, you’re on top!

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