Building A ‘Touch First’ Business Model

Dateline: March 1, 2013

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Our thought for today comes from an article written by Ewan Duncan, a McKinsey consultant, published in the Economist.  The article, Moving from “Mobile First” to “Touch First” documents research that McKinsey and Company has conducted on fundamental changes in the way people interact with digital media.  The article suggests that the emergence of the smartphone and tablet has forced companies to rethink the delivery of their content, formatting it for smaller screens than the traditional laptop or desktop system.

Their research suggests that more than a third of the time spent web browsing, social media and messaging is done on mobile devices, and they project it to be more than 50% within a couple of years. Since many of these mobile devices have touch screens, this has led to a new environment of ‘touch first’.

It’s not just size forcing a rethink from publishers. Smartphones and tablets (and now some laptops) are touchscreen devices. This means overhauling how information is delivered to and accessed by the consumer. Simply scaling down a website to fit a smaller screen is no longer a viable option. This isn’t the same as moving from broadsheet to Berliner format, this is more like moving from broadsheet to braille. What does this mean for developers and business models? Faster download times, short-form content, more video?

While the article discussed consumer habits, this trend is also seen in employee behavior, blending the way technology is used by customers and employees.

Does your company’s business model include a mobile strategy for your customers? What will it take to make it a ‘touch first’ model?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a wonderful weekend.

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