This white paper describes 10 useful mobile tools and trends associations can use to achieve effective engagement with their users. Read more to find out how you can incorporate mobile technology for your association’s benefit.
- 1. www.resultsathand.comStrategicMobile Trendsfor Associationsin 2014 andBeyond
2. 2Strategic Mobile Trends for Associationsin 2014 and BeyondGartners Top 10 Strategic Technology TrendsWhy Mobile?In October 2013, Gartner identified what it believes to be the top 10 strategic technology trends to pay attention to in 2014. Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.2 Gartner states that some of these technologies are mature technologies ready for adoption and others are new technologies that early adopters may benefit from considering earlier rather than later (Gartner). Organizations do not need to adopt or invest in all of these technologies, according to David Clearley, Gartner Fellow and VP, but should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years (Gartner).Elizabeth MitchellResults at Hand SoftwareDecember 2013Now is a good time to consider and adopt a mobile strategy that utilizes the most current technologies and trends to effectively engage your members.You may have missed the memo, but mobile isnt what it was before. Though the average mobile experience in the past involved a small screen and a slow connection, several technological advancements and the increased adoption of smartphones and mobile devices like tablets has increased the opportunity to utilize the mobile medium to reach audiences.Aaron Wolowiec, Founder and President of Event Garde, a professional development consulting firm that works withassociation leaders who want to deliver dynamic, meaningful and compelling education and networking experiences, adds:With the growing use and integration of mobile technology both in our personal and professional lives - most people are within three feet of their mobile devices at any given time - its no wonder associations are turning to and leveraging mobile technology in support of their missions. From goal setting to problem solving and from information sharing to information gathering, mobile technology holds tremendous opportunity both to engage key association constituents and to promote enhanced member learning.1Your association can leverage mobile technology to meet your advocacy, education, communication, and engagement goals. This report will highlight some available mobile tools and trends worth considering for your association in 2014. 3. 3Based on this report from Gartner and other research we have collected, Results at Hand has identified 10 mobile trends to pay attention to in your strategic plan for 2014 and beyond. Though you may choose not to respond to a specific trend, being aware of these trends and making conscientious decisions about them will help your association stay engaged with the people you serve.Strategic Mobile Trends for AssociationsOf Gartners trends, those related to mobile are Mobile Device Diversity and Management, Mobile Apps and Applications, and the 3 trends related to Cloud Computing.1. Native vs. Web-Based Mobile Apps2. Responsive Design3. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)4. Cloud Storage and the Personal Cloud5. Mobile Proximity Technology (NFC & BLE)6. Mobile Payment Systems7. Mobile Video8. Mobile Advertising9. Mobile Security10. Event Apps as a ServiceStrategic Mobile TrendsGartners 2014 Ten Strategic Technology Trends1. Mobile Device Diversity and Management2. Mobile Apps and Applications3. The Internet of Everything4. Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker5. Cloud/Client Architecture6. The Era of Personal Cloud7. Software Defined Anything8. Web-Scale IT9. Smart Machines10. 3-D Printing 4. 4If you are building a mobile app, there are two common methods: building a native app or a mobile web app. There are benefits and disadvantages to both methods. The debate over which is best for your associations needs is a strategic decision worth considering in 2014.Native applications are built to work with a specific operating system (OS). Users download an app from an OS-specific store and use the app. The two most common and most supported mobile operating systems for smartphones are Android and iOS. According to comScore, as of October 2013, Android and iOS accountedSmartphoneSubscribersby OS 52.2%Android 40.6%Apple+ 7.2%All OthersChart ANative Apps 2014 Strategic Mobile TrendsTrend 1: Native vs. Web-Based Mobile Apps JS VSIf your association already has a website optimized for mobile experiences, that offers most of the same features as your PC-optimized experience, then you are headed in the right direction in terms of addressing the increasing importance of mobile. But having a mobile site alone is not enough. Nielsen reports that:Apps vs. Mobile WebsitesBetween July 2011 and July 2012, mobile web users grew at 82 percent...but mobile app users grew 85 percent. Further, by the beginning of 2013, people were spending over 80 percent of their mobile time using apps. Anyone limiting themselves to an in-browser mobile advertising model is finding its customers for just a fraction of their mobile-screen time.3Mobile apps offer improved user engagement and are often expected by mobile users. According to Compuware, 85% of users preferred mobile apps over mobile websites. Apps are perceived as more convenient (55 percent), faster (48 percent) and easier to browse (40 percent).4 Michael Kopp, a technology strategist at Compuware, adds:While apps may be preferred, it is a mistake for companies to ignore mobile sites however, as mobile visitors tend to be situational when an app is available on their devices, they will use it, but they will use the mobile web when an app is not available.5Associations would benefit from mobile strategies that include mobile sites and mobile apps. 5. 5But there are benefits to in-browser applications. Compared to native apps, web-based apps are often more affordable. Web-based apps can be accessed from any browser with an internet connection including devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops. Using a web-based app strategy accommodates different platforms (such as Windows and BlackBerry) and older devices. If you are trying to be compatible with as many devices as possible, a web-based app is certainly a good option. But keep in mind that many of your users will prefer to use a native app rather than a web-based app to access content and interact with your association on a mobile device. Providing a web-based app offers greater engagement than a mobile website, but native apps are still preferred by users.The best strategy for mobile apps is to use a combined approach. By utilizing both mediums, associations can support multiple platforms and device sizes while still tapping into the benefits of native apps. You may wonder if supporting native iOS, native Android, and a web-based app is considerably more of an expense rather than selecting one or two of these options. There are development platforms that support the build out of HTML5 web and native applications with little re-work. This strategy allows associations to reach the most people possible and effectively utilize resources.The Best Strategy: Use A Combined ApproachWeb-Based Apps JSWhich Apps Are Usedon Smartphones?Social Networking 85%Maps/Navigation/Search 84%Productivity 74%Videos/Movies 65%Games 61%Shopping/Retail 53%Banking/Finance 53%Chart Bfor 52.2% and 40.6% of all smartphones subscribers respectively.6 If you have a mobile strategy that addresses these platforms, you are addressing over 90% of current mobile and tablet users.The benefits to using native apps are that native apps can access and utilize phone features so that a user has a better integrated experience. A native app can access a file system, camera, navigation, calendar, and other features of a phone that an in-browser app may not be as able to readily access, if at all. According to Michael Kopp, native mobile apps will continue to be preferred by consumers over web based applications because they are more responsive (Mobile Commerce). 6. 6If you are thinking about updating your associations website or web-based products in 2014, responsive design is a must. Responsive design allows a site or apps visual appearance to adapt to the screen size and orientation used by a specific user. Old design strategies focused on pixel-perfect solutions trying to get a site to look the same across browsers and platforms. Given the device diversity present today and the increasing diversity of technology tools in the future, its impossible to be able to show the same exact site or app across the multitude of devices and platforms available. And the reality is, when designing web experiences in 2014 and beyond, you dont want to display the same experienceTrend 2: Responsive Designto all of your users. Responsive design allows a site or app to display differently based on screen sizes, orientation (landscape/portrait) and media types. By utilizing this technology, instead of building separate experiences for laptops, tablets, mobile phones, large screens, and the increasing number of devices accessing the internet, one code base is built that responds to the device being used, offering an optimized experience.Responsive design extends beyond the browser. HTML-based email can also be built responsively. 2014 may see a shift towards a focus on mobile email experiences first. According to Gregory Kennedy of TapSense: Over half of all email is now opened on a mobile device. We expect email will flip from a desktop PC-focused channel to a mobile-first channel in 2014. The amount of email opened on mobile is projected to continue increasing, and the decline in PC sales should accelerate the trend.7If your association uses email to communicate with members, have you considered that members are likely open