The Mobile Mind Shift: A book review by Bob Morris

Mobile Mind ShiftThe Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment
Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, and Julie Ask
Groundswell Press (2014)

How and why the entrepreneurial mindset is uniquely capable of exploiting and creating the mobile mind shift

According to co-authors Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, and Julie Ask, “The mobile mind shift is the expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context [i.e. time of day and location] and moments of need.” Moreover, “A mobile moment is a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.” A rapidly increasing number of buyers have that expectation and thus it is imperative for sellers to formulate and then implement a strategy that will accommodate that expectation. “Serving customers with mobile is easy to imagine, but very difficult to achieve. Why? Because your company and its processes and information systems were never designed with mobile moments in mind. Your technology is too rigid, your processes too linear, and your organization too siloed. The expectation of customers in their mobile moments massively disrupts these well-intentioned but calcified ways of doing business.”

What to do? How to re-engineer one’s business to win in the mobile moment? Schadler, Bernoff, and Ask wrote this book in response to this question. They provide a wealth of information, insights, and counsel that are based on real-world experience (for better or worse) from which valuable business lessons have been learned. For example, these are the mini-case studies that Schadler, Bernoff, and Ask include:

o How Walgreens Turned Mobile Influence into Cross-Channel Revenue (Pages 70-71)
o Trane’s Sales Partners, Armed with Tablets, Close Business Faster (76-78)
o Clorox Manufactures Moments by Fighting Stains (89)
o Coca-Cola Borrows Its Mobile Moments in China (93-94)
o Withings and a Host of Developers Create Mobile Wellness Moments (104-107)
o How Phillips Develops Products with Engagement Built In (107-108)
o The Clear Benefits of Mobile-Enhanced Streetlights (110-111)
o Hailo Connects Taxi Drivers to Passengers in a Mobile Moment (117-119)
o Flipboard Renders Beautiful Magazines Complete with Full-Color Ads (121-123)
o Vodaphone Delivers Mobile Payment Services to Herders in Africa (125-126)
o Evernote Plugs an App Gap in Note Taking (137)
o Concur Engages Business Travelers on a Cloud Technology Platform (153-154)
o Chinese Realtor Anjuke Creates More Leads through Better Analytics (160-161)
o Making Delta Flight Attendants As Empowered As Their Customers (177-179)
o How IHG’s Mobile Team Succeeds with Agile Development (191-192)
o The Role of the Mobile Center of Excellence (195-198)

Granted, these are all large organizations with abundant resources. However, there are lessons to be learned from their initiatives that can be of substantial value to small-to-midsize companies.

The mobile mind shift is best viewed as an on-going process rather than as an ultimate destination or single event. As Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, and Julie Ask correctly observe, “Ten years from now, any business not built on mobile moments will seem as outdated as a cassette player,” if indeed that company even exists at all. Hence the importance of mastering the skills needed to complete not one but a series of IDEA cycles. Everyone involved in that process must therefore develop a mobile mindset, one that is ever alert for opportunities to design the mobile engagement within an appropriate context (i.e. platforms, processes, and people) and then evaluate results and make necessary modifications so that subsequent mobile moments have much greater impact. “The mobile mind shift will rock your world. It’s inevitable. The only question is whether you or someone else will do it first.”

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