Formulate an Effective Mobile Strategy
"You may find in tracking that there is a huge spike in people going to that type of content," he notes. "That might be something you have an interest in developing on your own. Do the homework up front—it's no different than basic business analysis, but the difference is you can baby test on the Web rather than jumping into the native application, which can be deceivingly expensive."
Think about your CMS. If your content management system (CMS) cannot efficiently and seamlessly switch between platforms, you will be at a disadvantage. "Are you efficient in your ability to manage [multiplatform] content, meaning, do you have a [CMS] that manages your website, and is it flexible enough to flip and also manage mobile content? I don't care how big or small you are, that question is very important, because it provides you with flexibility," Calabro says.
Strategize how best to use resources. Are you staffed to take risks? Huge companies like News Corp. can afford to invest a lot of time and resources in projects such as The Daily, but most publishers need to come up with a more limited vision of what an app will be, then flesh it out by concentrating in certain areas, such as games.
Understand audience behaviors, and design accordingly. Calabro recommends going beyond traditional segmentation to understand how your audience actually would use mobile, such as parents finding books for their children, news junkies seeing up-to-the minute information on particular topics, college students idly surfing, or sports fans checking scores between meetings. All of these behaviors require different approaches to your design for an app or mobile site. "Most companies do not dig into the defining personas of how [people] actually use mobile," Calabro says.
Being in the app store with a bad product is worse than not being there at all. It's tempting to establish a presence early on in the app marketplace, since it provides an opportunity to get impressions that cannot be gotten anywhere else. "Right now there seems to be a mad rush where everyone is trying to stick their flag, but not really sure what to do with it," Calabro says. "It's not to say it's not useful. But we highly recommend that if you take that approach of keeping up with the Joneses you do have to be very cognizant that if you put a bad product out there just to keep up you are actually hurting yourself a heck of a lot more."