Too many brands fail to leverage the potential of mobile because they act like destinations. Some of you may think being a destination is awesome. Who doesn’t like Paris or Bora Bora? But what does it mean to “act like a destination” in mobile? For most brands, their only strategy to engage their customers is on their own mobile web site or app.
Let’s step back a minute and talk about destinations.
Atlantic City was conceptualized as a destination in the 1800’s. Tourism peaked during Prohibition when drinking and gambling rules were not enforced. Consumers had limited options. That changed. Fast forward 50+ years. In 1976, Atlantic City legalized gambling which led to a partial comeback, but they’ve struggled since the early 1990’s because consumers have better options and prefer to spend their time elsewhere. People still go there – just fewer.
Developers have since tried to revitalize Atlantic City as a destination. In May 2012, the Revel Casino opened. Billions were spent to create a destination with shops, restaurants and gambling – everything a visitor could want. How many people visited last weekend? Zero. Revel – this casino – closed its doors in September 2014 with its assets liquidated for small change relative to the investment.
Being a destination is great, but it is not enough. You need to serve your customers where they are – not just on your own property. Where are your customers? On mobile phones, wearables and tablets. On iOS and Android. They spend 200 minutes per week on WhatsApp and 100 minutes on WeChat. They use Amazon, eBay, Google Maps and Apple Passbook.
Brands need to go find customers where they are. They need a strategy to borrow mobile moments from third party apps and platforms where their customers spend their time.