Formulate an Effective Mobile Strategy
Start by mastering the fundamentals, such as making sure your website looks good on all browsers. "Start with where the eyeballs and dollars are, and work your way to the other things," he says. "It's the whole Apollo 13 thing. You know everything you need to get done, but if you don't put it in the right order, you crash and burn."
Another fundamental is proper content management and feed formatting. "Unless we are really good on the feed side, and moving data from our databases to feeds that are properly formatted to these multiple devices and applications, then we are not ready for what's about to hit us in the mobile space," he says. "That's where I back it up to: Let's become better feed provisioners, so that regardless of what new app device comes out tomorrow, we're ready, and all we need to do is skin the thing."
Don't neglect your e-mail strategy. E-mail is cool again—because more than half of all mobile devices are going to be smartphones by the end of this year, and e-mail usage is exploding on mobile. "To have an e-mail strategy is partially to have a mobile strategy because people are accessing e-mail on their mobile devices," says Oslund.
Match mobile strategy to your overarching strategy. Schurz is a big player in small to medium-size markets, and the publisher's mobile strategy is designed to dovetail with this larger strategy of being the dominant local player. "The approach to apps fits into this, with the idea being to add to the experience for local audiences and bring in new audiences," Oslund says.
The approach is designed to be both consumer and brand-centric, "taking what we do with our brands already and making it easy for our consumers on the go to connect." This means developing apps that take Internet content and move it into a better user experience for the consumer, with products such as the "Catch it Kansas" app, built around high school sports and already-strong teen engagement with mobile.