A few weeks ago, I spoke at Folio's Media Mash-up event. The official title of the presentation was Skipping Web-First - and Building a Mobile-First Business from Scratch. Of course, I didn't really talk about that at all.
Instead, I covered the 4 questions that I get asked about mobile all the time. The slides I used are below. Here is the cliff notes version of my response.
When it comes to mobile, what should I do first?
Fix your email. Let's face it, email is still the most valuable product of every online B2B media company. It's tool with the best demographics and analytics. When we need to drive action, it's what works best. Most importantly, it is the product that our advertisers universally comfortable with.
Movable Ink recently conducted a study that showed 69% of emails are now opened on mobile. Despite this, most B2B media companies are still sending out emails that aren't mobile optimized. It's just insane.
Native App vs. Mobile Website
This has become a religious question between folks. When we started Industry Dive, we set out to create amazing mobile websites. Our view was that we could create an app like experience with technologies such as jQuery Mobile. The good news is that we succeeded. Check out our Education Dive which covers education technology news. (Yes - I blatantly included an SEO friendly link. Sorry) The site is fantastic from a mobile phone.
Unfortunately, it is too fantastic. People shared the site and others rushed to the app store looking for it. We got a number of complaints from people saying they couldn't find the app in iTunes. For us, building an app wasn't about picking a technology, it was about Audience Development. We created the app simply because our users wanted to find us there.
If you want to see how we did, you can find a link to both the Android and iOS education app here.
Can you make money in mobile?
It's a bad question. The real issue is can you sell to an advertiser without a credible mobile product? Maybe today...but not tomorrow. The internet should have taught all of us that.
What are overlooked mobile opportunities?
A huge opportunity in B2B, is to use mobile to capture lead gen budgets. I'm always surprised that I don't hear more people talking about this.
The first ingredient for good lead generation is discovery and the phone is an incredibly powerful discovery device. The usage patterns of consumers on Twitter, Facebook, and Buzzfeed easily prove that. Simply put, people look for new content from their phone. If we can make the experience frictionless, we can can convert discovery intentions into leads.
The best part is that lead gen budgets are platform agnostic and massive. This isn't the case where we have to wait for mobile to catch one with marketers. There is money there today.
Obviously, this isn't easy but it is something that we should all be working on.