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TechnologyJan 15, 2010

Mobile Commerce – It’s the customer stupid

Andrew Warden

I am constantly reminded of the genius slogan of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid.” The phrase, coined by Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, refers to the notion that Clinton was a better choice president due to the state of the economy, which had recently undergone a recession. I was most recently reminded of this phrase when reading Thomas Husson’s excellent post on mobile applications (click here to read the full post). For organizations thinking about entering the mobile realm, they would do well to remember and paraphrase Carville’s words: It’s the customer, stupid. Key insights from Husson’s post:

Differences in richness of user experience will decrease over time – Browser solutions will soon offer much of the richer content that makes the application route attractive today. Html 5, Google Gears, and Skyfire offer examples of what is to come.

Mobile websites are cheaper to develop and support, and they reach a broader audience – Unless you are targeting a niche customer audience, applications will likely be at best a complimentary solution.

Technologies evolve quicker than one could expect

Companies thinking about mobile solutions should remember Carville’s approach and think primarily about their customer demographics. Focusing on the customer, and then clearly defining the objectives and strategies for reaching those customers, are the first steps to beginning a successful mobile initiative rather than blindly following the herd.