Ever since 2010, we’ve been bombarded with the expression ”Mobile First”, coined by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Many people today are waking up from that fantasy world, but I would still say that too many consultants are wrongly programmed.
Letting technology be the base for long-term strategic decisions and expensive ventures. Something that could put business at risk. Because if there’s something we all know, it’s that technology changes constantly. Which throws the conditions off track. Time and time again.
The heart of any strategy and campaign must be based at heart. Whether it’s about you own company, or about clients, consumers, users, audience, receivers, creators, followers, fan, or what ever you want to call them, their needs, driving force and behaviour is the key to success. Not technology. Not the channel.
By catering to needs and understanding driving forces, we’re able to achieve the goals of both business and consumer, or user. There is no need for any contradictions. This way we add value and exceed expectations. It’s how we build relations and sell products. And it’s not at all about technology. If we’re able to identify the needs and driving forces, we can map and understand behaviours. Because it’s something that we need to relate to in everything we do. Then the always-improving technology merely becomes an interface, an enabler. And that’s the way we should look at technology. Of course behaviours are changed through new technology, but needs and driving forces are more persistent themselves.
For a while, the expression “Responsive Design” has been popping up here and there. It seems to be the new saviour, after Facebook. A couple of years ago, every problem could be solved via Facebook and apps. I wonder if anyone coined the expressions “Facebook First”, or “Apps First”? The problems were the same. The channel or technology was designed to solve our problems, and we started from it. Every time. And now, what’s supposed to save us is a form of design.
I have nothing against “Responsive Design” – on the contrary. But it’s weird that it’s our starting point. We all know that man does not learn from his mistakes, and that we tend to walk into the same trap every single time.
I would like to turn the attention to the content, the services and functions responsible for solving the client’s problems or that meets their needs. Good instincts are the foundation for successful strategies, campaigns and services. That’s how we work at Stendahls. Everything else is just different form of changeable digital distribution. And to be able to meet those needs we need to be familiar with them, we need to relate to them and we need to base what we do on it. It’s “Needs First”, not “Mobile First”. That kind of mantra makes it more likely that we do it right from the beginning, and don’t have to do it all over again. Who has the time, or the money, for “trial and error” in 2014?
Per-Henrik Sandeskär, Digital Director at Stendahls Advertising Agency