Moatti gets what makes people fall in love with mobile. And now you get in on her formula. Business is too important to be left to luck. Ignore this book at your peril.”
—Jonathan Badeen, cofounder and Senior Vice President of Product, Tinder
“For years, we talked about the rise of mobile, but the shift has definitively happened for people and it’s imperative that businesses understand how to be successful. Moatti shares valuable insights for anyone who doesn’t want to be left behind.”
—David Fischer, Vice President for Business and Marketing Partnerships, Facebook
“This book is rare. It looks at mobile with an insider’s knowledge and deep caring about human beings.”
—Chris Anderson, CEO, 3D Robotics, and New York Times bestselling author of The Long Tail
“Moatti brings together art, science, real-world case studies, and practical advice to help your teams make sense of and succeed with mobile.”
—Kira Wampler, Chief Marketing Officer, Lyft
“SC Moatti is a genius at making mobile products people love. In a disarmingly simple style that makes it accessible to a wide audience, mobilized provides the key to succeeding in mobile.”
—Andrew Chen, Head of Supply Growth, Uber
“This is an engaging and thought-provoking read. The book itself conforms to the first component of Moatti’s Mobile Formula: its simplicity and efficiency make it a thing of beauty.”
—James Lattin, Robert A. Magowan Professor of Marketing, Stanford Graduate School of Business
“Mobile has taken the world by storm. Moatti has written a brilliant book that should be read by anyone who doesn’t want to be left behind. Get it as quickly as you can.”
—Patricia Roller, founder and former CEO, Frog Design
“A fun and practical read for everyone who cares about understanding mobile.”
—Sverre Munck, Chairman of the Board, Opera Software
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SC Moatti, a Silicon Valley veteran who was an executive with Facebook, Trulia, and Nokia, gives businesses and professionals simple ways to thrive in this modern day “gold rush.” More than a book on technology, this is a book about human nature and what matters most to us.
Moatti shows that because mobile products have become extensions of ourselves, we expect from them what we wish for ourselves: an attractive body, a meaningful life, and a growing repertoire of skills. She has created an all-encompassing formula that makes it easy for any business to develop a strategy for creating winning mobile products.
Her Body Rule dictates that mobile products must appeal to our sense of beauty-but beauty in a mobile world is both similar to and different from what it means offline. The Spirit Rule says mobile products must help us address our deepest personal needs. And the Mind Rule explains that businesses that want to succeed in mobile need to continually analyze the user experience so they can improve every iteration of their products.
Moatti includes case studies from mobile pioneers such as Facebook, Uber, Tinder, WhatsApp, and more. The market is full of how-to books for programming apps, but no works examine what is required for success in the mobile era. Until now.
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Moatti gets what makes people fall in love with mobile. And now you get in on her formula. Business is too important to be left to luck. Ignore this book at your peril.”
Read an Excerpt
An Insider's Guide to the Business and Future of Connected Technology
By SC Moatti
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Sophie-Charlotte Moatti
All rights reserved.
The New Gold Rush
TL;DR Too Long; Didn't Read
* People spend more time on their mobile products than on their computers, so businesses are adjusting their strategy to focus more on mobile.
* In addition, entrepreneurs are creating new types of businesses: the sharing economy.
* This shift is much bigger than technology or marketing; it's about company culture.
* What guides the success of all mobile products — past, present, and future — is the Mobile Formula. It has three rules: the Body Rule, the Spirit Rule, and the Mind Rule.
Imagine for a moment that your phone bill is as high as your rent or mortgage. Would you be able to afford it? Would you cancel your smartphone plan? Would you move to a smaller and cheaper home so you could continue to pay for your phone?
In 2015, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published the results of a global survey showing that an average person puts an implied value of up to $6,000 on their smart-phone, or more accurately on the apps that run on smartphones. In developing countries like China and India, this represents 40 percent of average income.
That's the price some people are willing to pay for mobile apps. People care as much about their mobile products as they do where they live. It's that significant.
Today, mobile contributes about 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the countries surveyed by BCG (and as high as 11 percent in one country: South Korea) and represents almost 8 percent of all venture capital investment. Cumulatively, it's more than the GDP of every country in the world except for the United States and China.
Yet unlike other infrastructure investments of similar magnitude, such as energy and transportation networks, most of this investment is privately funded.
Mobile is about private wealth, not government programs.
So the mobile revolution has created a new gold rush, a Wild West environment where people are ambitious and opportunities are everywhere. I'm surprised every day to discover the extent to which it is creating unprecedented prosperity. Every business wants to and should get a meaningful piece of it.
Given this potential for profit, almost every company I speak with wants to become mobile-first. But what does that mean?
Where People Go, Business Follows
Since 2014, there have been more mobile devices in the world than desktop computers, and people spend more time browsing the Internet on their smartphones than on their desktops. So companies simply cannot ignore mobile as a channel to reach their consumers. But to be effective, mobile marketing requires dedicated mobile products such as smartphone apps. Let me explain.
Marketers who work at companies that do not have a mobile product have limited options to reach consumers on mobile. They can advertise on mobile, of course. In 2015, every other dollar spent on digital advertising was spent on mobile. They can also reach their consumers through mobile social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and mobile messengers like WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat. But without a mobile product, that's about all a mobile marketer can do. Their options are limited.
On the other hand, marketers who work at companies that have a mobile product such as a mobile-friendly website (also called a responsive website) have many more ways to reach their consumers. They can improve their ranking in search results on Google, which recently started to favor mobile-friendly websites in its search algorithm. They can create contextual offers, which are personalized to a user's time and place.
But that's still very limited, because when 9 out of 10 people spend their time in smartphone apps instead of in a mobile browser, a mobile website has significantly less reach than a smartphone app. On top of that, people who use a company's mobile app are generally better, more loyal customers than people who use its website.
Having a smartphone app allows marketers to take full advantage of what makes mobile unique and powerful as a way to reach people. They can, for instance, use free mobile distribution and promotion channels like app stores. They can send push notifications — messages sent ("pushed") to users without being specifically requested by users. They can negotiate with carriers to have their smartphone app preloaded so it will be widely distributed and promoted. They can use so-called multi-touch attribution tools that precisely measure the effectiveness of their campaigns across multiple channels.
"With mobile, we're moving from Mad Men to Math Men," says Sigal Bareket, founder and CEO of mobile performance advertising leader Taptica. "Everything is measurable and as a result, almost everything is predictable."
In the Mad Men era, it was almost impossible to track the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Marketers were deemed "creative," which was a way to say that campaigns were sometimes successful, sometimes not, and that nobody really understood why.
Mobile marketers no longer rely on the hope that creative geniuses will whisper the right thing in the ears of people who look like they could become customers. Instead, they buy ROI (return on investment). They spend marketing dollars only if and when they get customers.
This emerging mobile performance advertising industry is helping mobile companies reach consumers in unprecedented ways. And because mobile products know a lot about their users, marketers are able to learn a lot about their customers and how to reach them. For instance, they can find out which ad in which app was the most popular among men aged 35–44 in New York City. That's a pretty valuable piece of information if this group represents your target customers, don't you think?
To illustrate what I'm saying, let's look at a hypothetical T-shirt company called TC. We'll see that while TC has limited options to reach its customers on mobile without a mobile product, having a mobile product gives TC a competitive advantage.
If TC doesn't have a mobile product, its alternatives on mobile are few: it can advertise, or get its customers to, say, share selfies on Instagram when they're wearing their T-shirts. But that's about it.
If it has a mobile website, TC no longer misses a sale because a shopper wanted to compare prices back home on the computer before buying. It also ranks higher on search results of people who look for T-shirts. It can show special offers to people who are in or near a mall where their T-shirts are sold. That's better, but still limited.
If it has a smartphone app, TC can get visibility for its brand and promotions through mobile app stores. It can send its customers push notifications to let them know about new arrivals or special offers. It can track all the steps a shopper goes through when buying: Did they look up a retail store once they knew which T-shirt they liked, or did they come to the store first? Did they compare prices? All of that, TC couldn't do before. But it gets even better: all of that, TC can do for free. It doesn't cost the company any advertising dollars.
As we see, having a mobile product provides lots of benefits for TC, including better targeting, more personalized promotions, stronger loyalty, and increased sales. It's a marketer's dream come true.
But having a smartphone app means that mobile is no longer only a marketing channel — it's also a product. That comes with sizeable cost implications. Let's examine this.
* * *
Launching a product on mobile isn't launching just one mobile product: it's launching an app for iPhone, an app for Android, and often a responsive website, an app for tablets, and an app for other mobile products like a smartwatch. According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, smartphone apps represent a $100 billion industry that's supported by $2 trillion in infrastructure investment.
Because of that, many companies feel that mobile is a burden. A big cost with no return. Another one of those expensive IT projects. They hate the idea that they might need to hire mobile engineers. Mobile engineers are highly skilled and very rare, so they demand high salaries. These businesses don't think building a smartphone app is cool, let alone valuable. They know they must build one; they're just not sure why. On their profit and loss statements, they put smartphone apps in the loss section.
Meanwhile, they set out to cram their complex website to fit a small screen. Often, it's a painful exercise and the results aren't effective: poor user experience, crowded app stores, limited customer or business value.
During the dot-com era, many companies felt just the same about the Internet: it was a burden. Back then, many of them hurried to build websites that mirrored their paper catalogs.
If you're old enough, you probably remember some of these rigid websites. They had bare-bones site maps that looked like a table of contents. Clicking on a link would open a static web page with a lengthy product description, and sometimes a couple of pictures. And that was it. Visitors to the website couldn't read reviews, or go from one product to another to see what others had purchased, or compare prices, let alone buy online. So few of them came back to the site. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy that websites cost more than they yielded and that all they did was add new line items to already too fat IT budgets.
I'll let you in on a secret: if you use the same approach, you'll get the same results. It took over a decade for businesses to figure out the value of the Internet, from e-commerce services to search directories. If companies tackle mobile the same way they tackled the Internet, by building apps that look like websites, it's also going to take them years to find value in mobile. And they'll be left wondering: Do the benefits really outweigh the cost?
Let's go back to our earlier example, the T-shirt company TC. What would happen if it refused to build a mobile product and decided to ignore the mobile revolution? People obviously wouldn't stop buying clothes the way they stopped buying print photos or VCRs. So for a while, things would continue as they were.
Meanwhile, a lot of small companies would use mobile to try and meet the needs of consumers in ways TC wasn't. They might innovate in interesting ways. For instance, many smartphone apps today let people overlay T-shirts on a picture of themselves rather than having to try them on physically at a store. These apps made headlines recently because it's so much more efficient to shop for clothes this way. Other apps let people design their own T-shirt by drawing on the touch screen, using a variety of templates. People love to personalize clothes because they find it fun and unique. Soon enough, these custom T-shirts could be produced at people's home, using a 3-D printer.
This trend is known as smart apparel, and as these companies grow, they will find more and more ways for people to try on, design, and make their own T-shirts on the go. And it's all because they are utilizing mobile products that improve constantly and quickly to meet these new consumer expectations. If TC still ignores the mobile revolution by then, its business could be in jeopardy.
When we refuse to adapt, we become isolated, strategic thinking stagnates, and businesses go bankrupt.
Take Yahoo, the former search giant. The company was born in the early days of the Internet and quickly established itself as a leader in the emerging online advertising industry. Its search technology was a game changer. Its portals were extremely popular destinations. Its mobile offering, Yahoo Go, was by far the best one out there.
At the time, advertising was still in the Mad Men era. Advertisers paid ad agencies extraordinary amounts of money to come up with cool banners.
"We make our money from people being shown ads," said Yahoo founder Jerry Yang.
Instead of disrupting that ecosystem with its search technology, something Google would do soon after, Yahoo embraced it and set out to become one of these old-school media companies. Inexplicably, the board was convinced that people would never get tired of ad banners. They thought search was a fad that would go away by itself and as a result, the company turned its back on the very thing that had made it successful in the first place.
As early as the 2007, people already felt that Yahoo wasn't keeping up. The company had four CEOs in one year. It reacted years later, by partnering with Internet giants like Google and Alibaba and by bringing on Google's heralded executive, Marissa Mayer, as CEO.
By then, the battle for search had been long lost to Google. The new battle was mobile. Mayer acted quickly, aggressively bringing in mobile talent through over 30 acquisitions. Unfortunately, it was also too late. Yahoo had lost its edge.
As I'm writing this in late 2015, Yahoo has put itself up for sale. The company refused to adapt. It wasn't able to recognize that behaviors had changed.
Denial is someone else's opportunity. In fact, the mobile revolution has created completely new types of businesses — darlings like ridesharing service Uber and local delivery service Postmates, which are part of the dynamic new sharing economy. These businesses could not exist without mobile, and they are worth exploring in some depth.
The New Entrepreneurs of the Sharing Economy
"The sharing economy is a peer-based movement that empowers individuals to get what they need from each other," says sharing economy expert Jeremiah Owyang." [It] stretches across many aspects of our lives and businesses." It's usually thought of as a way for some people to make extra cash by renting out an asset they already own, such as their home or car.
Sharing companies have exploded with the mobile revolution. Today, two out of three people participate in the sharing economy, either by sharing/renting out their own assets, or by renting the assets of others.
Consider Postmates. It connects people with local couriers who purchase and deliver goods from any restaurant or store in a city. Postmates could not exist without mobile. Its couriers are constantly on the go and their itinerary is calculated, optimized, and delivered in real time. For instance, its system can predict how long it takes a restaurant to get a to-go meal ready. It takes this information into account when sending a courier so that they don't need to wait around to pick it up.
After a few trials in San Francisco and other cities, Postmates is expanding to 30+ metros in the US. It has done millions of deliveries. Its founder and CEO, Bastian Lehmann, calls the company the anti-Amazon.
"Amazon comes along and builds a warehouse outside a city," he says. "We like to say the city's our warehouse. We try to understand the inventory available [and build] a fleet of delivery people that distribute this inventory."
* * *
As the sharing economy matures, it has become more professionalized. Several entrepreneurs are setting themselves up as middlemen — what I call the power sharer, the power operator, and the power organizer — and they are creating social mobility and financial wealth.
The power sharer optimizes asset selection and utilization. In large cities, where there is lots of demand for services, they buy assets in order to rent them to participants in the sharing economy. Consider Breeze, a carleasing service. For a membership fee and a weekly fee, they'll lease you a car you can use to fuel your own sharing economy employment, whether it's as a courier for Postmates, a driver for Lyft, or a shopper for Instacart (or all three). And unlike a traditional lease, you can cancel your car with just two weeks' notice.
The power operator empowers freelancers of the sharing economy with crucial tools. Many sharing economy services cater to a very large pool of people. Often, they have no idea how to run a business, nor the time or desire to learn. For instance, say you move for a job and decide that rather than selling your apartment, you'll rent it on Airbnb or HomeAway, the vacation rental marketplaces. If you really wanted to ramp up, you'd need tools to run your operation efficiently: the ability to screen all the applicants, make sure the apartment is cleaned between each guest, and so on. A company like Pillow will do that in exchange for a commission on rent generated via Airbnb.
Excerpted from Mobilized by SC Moatti. Copyright © 2016 Sophie-Charlotte Moatti. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc..
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