Took a break from some rather complicated video editing to read a column in German following a tweet from Tomi Ahonen. It is a comment by Heike Scholz on Lufthansa's experience with the mobile industry. I hope I have captured the essence of what she says in German.
Just read the following on the MTI blog, which, I recommend adding to your feedreader. If you opt for Mobile and you are somehow involved in the travel industry check out these recommendations from Lufthansa, which has eight years of experience in the mobile industry. I can only underline these findings from my own experience.
Lufthansa's Golden Rules of Mobile
1. Management support is essential for the implementation of mobile strategy and projects.
2. Mobile services are not simply a miniature version of the regular website. You should ensure that applications and usability are adjusted to fit the mobile users.
3. Existing processes for the implementation of mobile services must be adapted to fit the mobile handsets being used or rewritten altogether
4. The usability is the key to everything: fast and easy, optimized for different devices. Lufthansa stresses however, that not all devices available in the market should be optimized (for cost reasons). Smartphones or high-end devices (about 65% of people using the Lufthansa sites are users of the BlackBerry or iPhone) are now the focus of the developments.
5. Start with core functionality and then gradually add new features.
6. The end user must know that the service exists. Money should be set aside in marketing budgets for mobile marketing
7. Search engines are a complement to mobile marketing campaigns.
8. Use specialists and experts as consultants for the mobile strategy and the implementation of the services .
I should add to point 6. The marketing of new services or applications should be as cross-media as possible, and for an extended period and not purely during the campaign. Depending on the audience being targeted, Social Media Tools are also important. Just having a link to it on the company website or an application in App Store to advertise the service is not enough!
I would add that point number one is vital too. Unless top management have their heart in it, the mobile strategy is just a bad afterthought. It still suprises me that most airlines won't accept mobile checkin or that navigating the mobile site is so time consuming on a mobile browser that it's faster to look for web access somewhere.