Mobile Mind Shift: Opportunity or Threat?

July 19, 2013

3:00 pm

Do you remember the last time you finished breakfast without knowing the day’s weather, sports scores, and headlines? What about giving up on an argument over movie trivia because you couldn’t recall an actor’s name?

Can you remember ever being unaware of what was happening in the lives of your friends and co-workers on a daily basis?

Mobile technology has transformed the way we interact with information. We have a world of data at our fingertips — at all times. Information is an on-demand commodity, and unfettered access is changing the way we live our lives.

This is the mobile mind shift phenomenon, and it’s reshaping our brains. For many of us, a smartphone has become a vital part of our basic thought process. Immediate access to information gives us instant gratification, so we constantly seek it out.

What It Means for Business

Think about the impact this phenomenon has on your business. Your customers expect a continual stream of robust information from your company. If you don’t provide them with an on-demand relationship, you could lose them.

If that sounds dramatic, it is. But the mobile mind shift can also be a tremendous asset. When you help your customers satisfy their hunger for instant information, you’re bolstering the relationships that fuel the growth of your business.

Here’s how to adapt to this new reality:

1. Keep Screen Size in Perspective

The range of screen sizes your customers use to access your online content is staggering. Therefore, it’s critical that your content is easy to navigate on any phone, tablet, or computer.

Utilize a responsive design structure to ensure a uniform look and feel across devices. You can also integrate multiple versions of your website for the same purpose. Just make sure that, no matter how your customer chooses to access your site, the social media sharing functionality is always simple and prominent.

Screen size also impacts the way the customer will process your information. (There’s nothing less appealing than having to read a fat brick of text on a phone screen.) By creating content in bite-size nuggets that are easy to digest, you are inviting your customer to engage whenever and wherever he so chooses.

2. Create a Communications Process to Ensure Quality and Consistency

The prospect of creating new content on a daily basis can be daunting. If you don’t stick to a solid process, you’ll often find yourself pushing communications to the back burner.

Dedicate part of every day to communicating with your customers. If you’re working with a team, designate communications roles and responsibilities so nobody is overburdened and no tasks fall by the wayside.

During the communications process, be transparent. Try to see your company from an outsider’s perspective — what do people actually want to know about you? What information do you have that’s interesting? Asking yourself these questions will enable you to develop high-quality content.

3. Listen, Respond, Innovate

Your customers’ need for instant gratification is also a need to be heard. Use social media to listen to your customers — not only does it give them the validation they’re seeking, but it also gives you direct insight into what they really want.

Listening is just the first step. It’s what you do with the information your customers provide that gives you the edge. When you make decisions based on what your customer actually wants, you become relevant in his eyes. You also become an active, responsive company — and this is the cornerstone of innovation.

The Opportunity to Become Second Nature

If you can provide customers what they want when they want it — via their preferred channels of information — you can engage them in ways that were never before possible. Interacting with your business will then become second nature.

Treat the mobile mind shift phenomenon as an opportunity, not a threat. Harness the global demand for immediate access to information. Catering to your customers’ need for instant gratification will yield long-term results.

Alex Friedman is the President of Ruckus. Alex has grown its digital and technology practices, serving clients such as the United States Green Building Council, Honda Motors, HSBC, and more. In addition to Ruckus, Alex is a majority partner in the $30-million “Brewers’ Hill” development project. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for, as well as, and he is the Managing Partner of the Ruckus Brewing Company.
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