Small Organizations Need Mobile, Too

Smaller organizations sometimes delay or skip important innovations because they’re small. They have less budget, staff or expertise. Consumer tastes and habits change, and because smaller organizations are generally closer to the customer, they know it. They see the changes and know what’s necessary, but often decide not to take steps to match that change on the grounds that resources are limited.

The mobile experience is a current example. Some smaller organizations have decided to skimp here. It’s an understandable mistake, but it’s still a mistake.

With just a few exceptions, organizations should all choose mobile over desktop (if you have to choose). It’s the platform of our time.

When I first worked in the online space, it was early days. Some people were skeptical that the internet was going to be a ‘thing’ for the long run. Competing for the award for Wrongest Statement Ever, the President of ABC Multimedia Group once said the internet was the “CB Radio of the 90s.”

It wasn’t, but for years after his boneheaded comment, some organizations stayed off the internet for the exact same reasons that some haven’t fully adopted mobile at this late date.

By the early 2000s, there were still some organizations, especially in the world of live arts, that felt it was optional to be online, and that what people really wanted was to call a box office to buy tickets or write for a brochure.

Today, the equivalent is the web presence that is not mobile-friendly. If somebody has to ‘pinch’ your website on their iPhone or Android, it’s a bad experience. Chances are good, they won’t want to come back unless they have to.

It’s true that smaller organizations have constraints, but just as in the early days of the web, smaller organizations have advantages, too. Mobile-friendly web templates and services are readily available, and the investment in porting your existing site to a mobile-friendly format is a relatively small but incredibly high-impact target for some of your dollars. Don’t assume it’s prohibitively expensive, because it probably isn’t.

In my experience at Goldstar, when we started improving the mobile experience, we saw an almost instant jump in usage. Today, of course, most of our traffic and, in fact, the majority of our sales come from mobile sources.

Which leads me to my second point: Leverage your larger partners. Every dollar that Goldstar has put into its mobile program is a benefit to the 4,000 organizations a year that we work with. Our product team builds, tweaks and improves our mobile product all the time, and that improvement helps promote your event and helps sell it. Likewise, all your large partners with big development teams can do the same.

If they aren’t, if for example, your ticketing platform is dragging its heels on the mobile checkout flow, you should advocate strongly that they speed it up. In fact, I’d recommend you do an audit of all your major partners and give high marks to the ones that are delivering a great mobile experience. Maybe have a friendly chat about what you need from the ones who aren’t.

Because it’s not 2013. It’s 2017. The battle is over, and mobile won. For small organizations, this is a big opportunity. It’s not early anymore, but it’s still not too late!

For a smaller organization, the value of a great mobile experience is even more important than it is for a big organization with a well-known brand because the experience is what will draw people in and bring them back. We’re proud to provide that for so many of our partners, and I encourage you to make sure your organization is getting the mobile presentation it deserves.

Read the other articles in this series: Be Where the People Are (And the People Are on Mobile) and Mobile Gets You Everyone.

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