What is the role of mobile technology in the way we communicate to our customers and our staff? That was the focus of a presentation at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) World Conference today, in which Jennifer Whitlow and Martin Hoffman from Buck Consultants talked through some ideas as to how mobile technology can help engage employees.
The statistics in favour of using mobile are pretty compelling:
From this, we can come to a pretty clear conclusion that mobile has ‘arrived’ as a communication tool and it matters when we are talking to consumers and staff.
New Zealand is among the top 10 countries for smartphone use, so the issues that come as a result of this reliance on smartphones apply just as much to as they do to larger markets in North America, Asia and Europe.
Consumers expect to be able to access information and tools that help us navigate our lives, whether it is a banking application for our smartphone, or just a user friendly mobile website.
Employees are expecting the same rich, engaging mobile experiences in their professional lives as they demand for their personal ones. That has to be taken into account as leaders and their communications people consider how to interact with staff.
For New Zealand business, that means looking at the mobile toolkit – text, mobile websites and apps – and including them in the strategy for future growth and prosperity.
A really basic - and fundamental issue for many organisations is the lack of a “mobile friendly” website. That means those websites that are not re-tooled for the mobile user. You’ll know the ones – you can barely read them even with the magnification and have to scroll sideways to read the text.
The statistics show an average of 25% of mobile web users globally are now mobile only – that is, they only interact with the web through their smart phone. As major exporters, that is a significant consideration for New Zealand companies wanting to attract new consumers and cut-it on the world stage.
Mobile apps are an increasing area of growth.
The steps for making a great app are pretty simple and logical. But there is also an element of great communications and those principles that will take it from functional to great, whether it is aimed at staff or consumers.
Mobile communication requires making content relevant, optimising it for mobile, keeping it focused and keeping it fresh.
It’s an area of activity and expertise that will continue to develop and evolve but the short message is that mobile communication has become an integral part of our lives and will play an increasingly key role in creating an effective communication mix, whether it is text messaging, mobile websites or mobile applications.
Posted by Anna Kominik on Wednesday 27th Jun 2012