Recent industry studies cite that nearly half (47.7%) of mobile phone users are on a smartphone. This is over 1/3 of the population now and is forecasted to approach 2/3 by 2016. Mobile marketing and advertising are following suit, showing huge growth rates (53% year over year in 2011) as the adoption of mobile technology empowers the growing “mobile class” of consumers. So it is alarming to see concurrent studies reveal that 79% of mobile advertisers don’t have a mobile-optimized website.
Recent statistics taken from Forbes.com
Businesses need to implement a mobile presence and do mobile promotion, they need to take a strategic approach to incorporating mobile as an important element in their online marketing.
The big question is “How to get the best business value and results when adding mobile to your marketing mix?”
What are the fundamentals for going Mobile?
First, you need to have a solid Web presence. Mobile is considered an advanced phase of a business Web site. Once your core website is functional, search-optimized and effective, you can then attach a mobile site to that asset in a mobile-optimized and mobile results-oriented manner. Both projects can be developed quite effectively in tandem, but rarely will a new mobile site make up for an outdated main website. In order to build the right mobile site for your business, you need to do your strategic homework up front. Simply re-sizing your website content for a mobile screen is the absolute wrong approach. To build the correct mobile website, you need to analyze your target customers, their buying cycles, and online interaction personas.
There will be qualitative differences in the circumstances, priorities and information needs between your customers on a desktop computer versus those accessing your online brand via a mobile device. These strategic insights will lead you to very distinct tactical choices in keyword selection, user interface items and possibly even different conversion actions associated with your mobile web presence.
Knowing what your key customers are seeking in their mobile interactions will assist in building a tailored and effective mobile experience. A mobile experience that brings users more quickly to the business results you desire. Beyond mobile website design, this guidance will positively influence your ongoing mobile marketing, and ensure it compliments and supports your other online and offline marketing initiatives.
Once my mobile website is built, what’s next?
A live and functional mobile website is the starting point. (Just like establishing a main business website is the beginning-point of marketing online.) Next you must develop the right mobile marketing strategy for your mobile site in order to generate the results you want from it. Defining those desired results for a mobile customer is key. Depending on the profile of your mobile target customer, these “results” could be sales transactions, or completing a sale, even a request for a quote or information, a phone call to your company, an appointment scheduled. Some organizations may even consider viewing a specific web page, downloading a file or engaging with a mobile custom app as desired results of target customer’s mobile visit.
Another must is aligning the metrics to track the correct results, then developing a marketing strategy that drives desired mobile attention and action to the mobile site. Studies show that customers on a mobile device tend to be in a later buying stage: narrowing choices, seeking price comparisons, or obtaining directions to get to a store versus conducting initial general research about a product or service. It has also been shown that typical mobile customers are more heavily affected by “Local” dynamics: addressing the question “Where is the closest solution to what I need right now?”
Once you have a clear picture of your mobile customers’ situation and urgency relative to your product or service, you can key in on different tactical elements of your online marketing to best reach and serve them. Keywords relevant to their mobile-situational searches, ad placement on specific websites, local directory listings and enhancements, integration with social media profiles, platforms and custom apps, – all are tactics that can be tailored to your mobile-specific marketing plan.
How do I bring mobile, web and marketing all together?
Your business’ mobile website and marketing may have slightly different emphasis, metrics and content, as a result of the focus on the mobile segment of your target audience, but that is essential to make the connections between your mobile web presence, your overall web marketing, and even your traditional marketing initiatives as well. Integrating campaigns and proper communications between those implementing them will promote consistency of messaging and quality of experience for your customer throughout all touch points with your business: mobile, desktop, and traditional.
The effort to strategically create and connect marketing channels, while ensuring best practices in Mobile (and all) marketing tactics, is a distinguishing factor of businesses who are successful. A strategic approach, defined and aligned goals, and using the correct metrics to gauge performance will transform a simple mobile presence into a powerful marketing asset for your business.