It’s true – marketers want to get in your pants….desperately. Why is this? According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of American adults own a smartphone in 2013. That percentage increases for certain demographics. For example, 93% of college students own a smartphone. For marketers, the mobile platform is the perfect marketing medium. It is interactive, immediate, highly segment-able, but most importantly, it is always close to the consumer. According to Mobile Marketer’s “Classic Guide to Mobile Advertising,” a majority of mobile phone users report that they consider the device to be so personal that they do not allow it to stray more than a foot away from their person 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite the increasing popularity of the mobile platform, many small to medium-size businesses do not have a mobile presence.
Before we look at some best practices for SMB’s to transfer their web presence to the mobile medium, we need to look further into the necessity of having a mobile presence in 2013 and beyond.
More and More Consumers Are Adopting Mobile
Mobile is the fastest growing marketing medium today and the businesses that have realized these trends and have tailored a mobile strategy around it are reaping the benefits. Overall, advertisers and agencies said mobile was the medium they were most confident would see increased spending this year, with 64% saying they planned to increase spending in mobile advertising over the next 12 months.
So what is helping the increasing adoption of the mobile platform? While accessibility to the technology in general has become more widespread and costs of acquiring a smartphone have decreased relatively, studies have shown that consumers prefer mobile browsers for searching, quick bits of information and news. They also enjoy mobile applications for better navigation, deep immersion and offline usage.
More Mobile, More Money
Mobile presents consumers with purchase opportunities that have never existed before now. Geo-targeting makes it possible for companies to offer purchase incentives to customers based off of their current location, unlike desktop web applications which use static IP addresses. Apps can offer consumers with immersive purchase experiences that are custom-tailored based off the user’s personal tastes and preferences. In a nutshell, the mobile platform is creating purchase opportunities that are fun, enjoyable and less time-consuming than other digital mediums. For example many businesses that deliver food (Dominos is a good example) offer customers a free mobile app. The app can save a customer’s credit information along with recent purchases, making it possible for a customer to place an order through their smartphone with a click of a button.
Let’s look at how mobile is changing the way we make digital purchases.
As you can see, the mobile platform is not just attractive for consumers, it is extremely attractive for businesses. That being said, why is it that only 26% of small businesses have a mobile-optimized website or mobile app? The truth is that many businesses do not fully understand the differences between the way their customers interact with a desktop based web application and a mobile application. These differences are often significant.
- Don’t treat the mobile experience the same as the desktop experience: People interact with the web differently than they do on mobile. The desktop offers a greater amount of space for text, ads, buttons, etc. On mobile, users expected a more simplified, slimmed-down experience . A mobile customer will quickly discard overwhelming designs that mimic desktop content page-for-page. It’s fairly common to assume that a customer will input as much information on the mobile device as they do on the desktop.
- Building an app without a marketing plan for it: If you have an existing web presence, take the time to tune it for your mobile visitors. Use all of your channels for communication to let your customers know about your app. Bring existing assets like your Twitter account, email list, or Facebook page to your app’s marketing activities.
- Building a mobile website and trying to pass it off as an app.
- Assuming that people will come back to your app “just because:” For most apps, 90% of the people who download it are gone within 6 months. People return to your app because it has ongoing value for them, not because you’d like them to. Create engagement mechanisms for your app to re-connect with consumers and remind them of your app’s presence on their device. You can generate reasons to engage, like exclusive content or benefits for your customers (discounts, rewards, content packs, etc available only through the mobile app.
- Ignoring you app’s customer base: By creating two-way communication channels within your app, such as feedback forms and customer service email buttons, you can make each and every consumer feel special, at scale. Consider building in-app communication tools to make it easy to submit feedback inside the app.