It takes a lot to throw savvy businesspeople off balance, especially in the tech world. But even in the ever-changing landscape of our industry, the transformation caused by the mobile arena is a lot to take in. Mobile is not just a whole new platform, it's a different state of mind.
One useful (and crucial) step in adjusting to this new reality is letting go of misconceptions. To help you do just that, here are five simple truths that aren't so true anymore.
1. A big clientele will bring in the big bucks.
Today's business leaders understand that having a large user base does not necessarily guarantee your product will be turning a profit. Most mobile products are being offered free of charge, which means that mobile entrepreneurs must put in much more effort when creating their monetization plan – and learn from the mistakes of super popular apps that failed to translate their success into cash.
On a more positive note, the smartphone revolution created a few new profit channels. For instance, with user data becoming the new currency, mobile entrepreneurs don't need to directly charge users for using their product.
2. A good marketing strategy will get everyone's attention.
In the mobile arena, having tens of millions of users will not necessarily earn you any money; however, a small and carefully selected group of loyal users just might. It is no surprise that the gaming industry -- one of the most sophisticated groups in the field -- was the first to recognize this and choose quality over quantity. And yet, it's amazing to see that even today, some companies are still looking to gain as many app downloads as possible instead of specifically targeting loyal users. While it might seem bizarre to invest resources into a smaller pool of customers instead of a broad spectrum, in many cases that is precisely what mobile marketing calls for.
3. Stay away from the red ocean.
How many messaging apps were already out there when WhatsApp decided to join the party? And how many dating apps did Tinder have to consider when it first entered the dating-app battlefield? A highly competitive market is something every marketer should be worried about but that doesn’t mean you should stay out of the game. Mobile users' fickle nature could actually work in your favor and sometimes all it takes is a creative user-interface and strong marketing skills to beat the competition.
Look at it this way: Conducting a thorough competitive research and market analysis is necessary either way, and even if you come up with a completely original concept, you would still have to work extremely hard to succeed. The bottom line is simple: Don't let the competition scare you away and just make sure to do a much better job than the other guy.
4. Entrepreneurs are the selected few.
The unprecedented popularity of mobile apps has turned many entrepreneurs who lack techie background into mobile-business leaders. The fact that we all carry a computer in our pocket, play games in our spare time and live a more digitized lifestyle than ever before creates new and exciting opportunities. New markets open and encourage representatives from entirely different fields to take a chance in creating the next mobile success story. Sure, they need guidance, but in many cases they have something very interesting to say.
5. Building a solid product is the most important thing.
Yes, your mobile product needs to be awesome but so does your marketing plan. I can't even begin to count the number of mobile entrepreneurs I meet who believed wholeheartedly that their product is about to take the App Store by storm without having to give it the proper push. I usually get to meet them when they realize that's not at all how things work. You can't afford to launch a mobile app without a smart launch strategy, followed by contentious optimization efforts. This simple truth should replace the misguided notion of "if you build it they will come," and the sooner the better.
The above list is something every mobile entrepreneur -- aspiring or experienced -- learns eventually. The only question is how painful the realization process will be. My advice to those of you aiming to succeed in mobile is to relinquish these old-fashion beliefs and make room for new policies, followed by major success.