by Bill French on 11/01/10 at 7:00 am
Small businesses (especially) are rarely presented with low-cost or near-free solutions that support their online marketing objectives. Mobile application consultants typically set the expectation that to get your online marketing content into a mobile device, you have to build an iPhone application. More accurately stated, to mobilize your online marketing content with strong brand awareness, you need to build an iPhone application. I doubt many businesses are presented with comprehensive options and while brand is important, brand awareness is not always a key business driver for mobile marketing.
App-less Mobile Strategy
Google has been doing the heavy lifting for small businesses for almost a decade and with new updates to Google Apps, their cloud offerings, and recent improvements to Google Reader (both desktop and iPhone versions), there’s a strong likelihood this trend will continue. Google, simply put, is in the business of IT’ifying small business.
While Apple and Google are now fierce competitors on the mobile device front, Apple customers (and Apple itself) understand the benefits of interoperability when it comes to web services such as search, local and mobile search, and content distribution. For the foreseeable future, these companies will be frenemies; a symbiotic relationship that serves as a catalyst for opportunity. Businesses can build a reliable mobile content distribution strategy that encompasses Windows, Windows Mobile, Android (netbooks and mobile including Nexus One), OS X (desktops, iPhone, iPodTouch and iSlate). The common ground is Google Reader with — you guessed it — RSS.
the cries of death swarming around the RSS spec, I (and many others) see nothing but net for this widely adopted syndication and content integration format. Louis Gray comments -
“While I recognize there is not a growing market for stand-alone RSS readers, saying RSS is in disarray is like saying HTTP is in disarray. I use Google Reader many times a day, every day. When not in front of the laptop, I get my RSS on my iPhone via my6sense. The day I stop reading RSS feeds is the day I stop reading the Web (this site included).” – Louis Gray
RSS is [relatively] easy to support and phenomenally easy to consume in a variety of applications, services, and consumption methodologies. RSS is also ideal for distributing public and not-so-public content both securely and over HTTPS. Coupled with Google Reader, it provides a universal methodology for creating and shortening the time-to-awareness.
Google Reader has recently been improved to provide additional sharing features. Combined with its long-standing support of notes (think item annotations), Reader can help teams and organizations disseminate information with the ability to collaborate, annotate, embellish, and create more definitive knowledge artifacts.
New mobile features include sharing, tagging, and sorting. The UI has also been greatly streamlined making is a pleasure to use on iPhone.
Google Reader is another arrow IT and information-savvy businesses can add to their arsenal of content solutions.
- Situational Awareness: An Enterprise Requirement; Does iPhone Fit In?
- Google Custom Search for iPhone: A Key Success Factor for Mobile Online Marketing
- iTechnology Design; Secure RSS Reader for iPhone
- iPhone: A Mobile Media Intelligence Platform
- Mobile App Strategy: Look Before You Leap – It’s A Slippery Slope