Will mobile giving be like mobile video?

4 Sep


Back in the day when the word “apps” meant little to nothing and the wireless carriers were bragging about internet speeds in the 144kbps range, I worked at Sprint and in November 2003 I launched MobiTV. We were the first to offer live TV on mobile phones in the US.

So, because I have some history with mobile video (I did win an Emmy in 2005 for delivering live TV to cell phones), I follow headlines about mobile video’s progress and when I saw this one on The Center for Media Research, “Mobile Streaming Preferred Over PC”, I had to check it out.

In the first sentence: “…customers prefer consuming media and entertainment websites via mobile devices than on personal computers.”

At first read this may seem counter-intuitive but if you take a minute there’s two things that I think are driving this.

One, our phones are with us at all times so the opportunity is always with us and you never know, as I always said, when you’re going to be bored or need to be informed. When you find yourself bored or in need of information from live TV, it’s in the palm of your hand.

Two, I believe that we now snack on on all the video we consume and mobile video is always snack-sized because of the format and the context.

The format is small due to the screen size so watching a 2 hour movie on your phone is possible but onerous.

The context is you’re on the go and your phone has about 50 other capabilities on it that could, and often do, interrupt your video watching. And, since so much video streaming is begun from a cue in social media, having a great mobile experience delivered in social media is now an accepted best practice.

What does this have to do with mobile fundraising and giving you ask?

You see, I believe that this same phenomenon of more streaming video being consumed on a mobile phone will translate to more giving via mobile phones than PCs for the same reasons.

Opportunity-give your donors the opportunity to give to you via their mobile phone. This doesn’t mean your PC donation page on the phone. It means a donation page where the first action isn’t pinching and swiping but entering their information into your form.

Format-keep your mobile site snack-sized and your appeals to the point on mobile. Keep the content fresh but don’t worry about translating your multi-page appeal letter into your mobile site or listing all two dozen people on your board.

Context-deliver your mobile site to your supporters in every channel that you have today and this is especially the case with social media and email. The preponderance of these channels being consumed on mobile phones grows each day. The context of these channels pretty much requires a great mobile experience when your supporter is “in the moment” and ready to give.

If you start now in building your mobile tactics and strategy now you’ll likely be able to look back very soon much like I do today at 2003 and mobile video and say to yourself, “I’m really not surprised that mobile fundraising and giving got this big this fast.”

One Response to “Will mobile giving be like mobile video?”

  1. Amy DeVita September 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

    So true, Dale! PS: While I may find it “onerous” to watch a movie on a 2 inch screen, I can assure you that the next generation does not…my kids do it all the time.

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