Technology

Tech Memo: Maximize Mobile

By / Aug 1, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)
What would it take for your association’s app to earn a coveted position on your members’ home screens?

How well are you leveraging the small screen? A few thoughts on how you can maximize mobile for your organization.

Americans now spend an astounding three hours and 40 minutes on their mobile devices each day, increasing their mobile time by nearly an hour in just one year. Mobile is changing member behavior in ways that we never imagined, so it’s important to understand what mobile users are doing—and how these behaviors create opportunities for associations to better serve members.

Mobile users spend more than an hour each day on Facebook, social, and messaging—likely outside the context of an association. They devote another hour to YouTube, entertainment, and gaming. What if your members were using some of that discretionary time to connect with their peers through mobile communities or engage with your association through compelling educational content or certification courses?

What are the little moments when members are in line at the store or waiting for a meeting to start that could be better utilized? Mobile devices potentially give trusted organizations access to constituents at their moments of need. In just seconds to a few minutes, you could provide greater value to your members in the areas of advocacy, micro-volunteering opportunities, or productivity tools.

Mobile opportunities range from providing valuable content through a responsive website to empowering members through dedicated mobile apps. Integrations with your association management system, third-party polling or survey system, and meeting planning system can simplify management for staff.

Mobile users rely on their home screens for their go-to apps. Think for a moment about the apps that you access most frequently. Now think: What would it take for your association’s app to earn a coveted position on your members’ home screens? What would make your app so indispensable that they had to have it instantly accessible?

Consider these examples of associations that already understand how mobile is changing member behavior:

The visionary CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers has declared that, by the year 2020, the organization’s MFGWorks app will be its primary method of communicating with members.

The National PTA has consolidated more than 20 news sources into a single mobile-friendly package to put valuable resources into the hands of parents and teachers.

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky famously said, “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Associations that think this way, anticipating member needs before they are even stated, will score big with mobile.

Michael Jones

Michael Jones is director, mobile technologies, at Results Direct, a web and mobile solutions provider. More »

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