Mobile Isn't for B2B or B2C, It's for Everyone

  |  May 2, 2013   |  Comments

Mobile is an area that will experience continued growth and user attention with the brands willing to adopt new technologies, analytics, and advertising strategies coming out ahead.

The other day I was having a discussion about mobile with a friend who works for a large B2B brand. I was explaining my opinion that mobile is one of the most important considerations for your modern digital marketing mix and you couldn't possibly overvalue it at this point. My friend pushed back and said something along the lines of: "Well, we're B2B so mobile doesn't really matter to us." Of course, I responded noting that mobile is not a "B2B" or "B2C" thing, it's simply how the world functions and there is expectation of a great experience with your brand across all devices.


It dawned on me that this is a parallel to the rapid growth of social years ago. It's easy to recall a day most conservative business brands were scoffing at using tools like blogs, Twitter, and other social sites as channels to reach their audiences because they either didn't take the tools seriously or simply didn't understand how to use them for marketing purposes. Similar to social, however, most marketers are now seeing the value and increasing their budgets here in 2013.

The Bigger Picture: Changing Consumer, Behavior, and Meaningful Conversions

According to recent research Google conducted, 90 percent of people now use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time, and 98 percent of those people move between devices in that same day to accomplish a task. It's in every marketer's interest to be able to reach users with the right message on the right device at the right time. In mobile, just like in search and social, everything is "to consumer" regardless of your type of business.

And mobile isn't just hot for usage, it's hot for conversions. Mobile is now 8 percent of all conversions that we're seeing in Google Analytics, and mobile conversions have grown by about 180 percent in just the last year. This presents a challenge for most of the brands that are still using the same conversion standards as their desktop campaigns. However, by not considering these in the ROI equation, advertisers are not recognizing the "full value" of their mobile investment.

Mobile changes the game and introduces a whole new set of mobile conversions: and these conversions happen in many different places. As Wilson Kerr, vice president of sales and business development at Unbound Commerce, notes: "Online, performance is measured by clicks and likes and other non-monetized engagement. Mobile, on the other hand, is all about capturing that contextual here-and-now, real-world moment when consumers are most likely to buy."

Measuring Your Own Success: Establish Effective Mobile Conversions

Measuring your own site and app data can provide useful, actionable insights to drive your broader mobile strategy and help you make a case to increase spend or experiment. But only if you're tracking conversions specific to your mobile experience. Here are a few key conversion events to think about (of course, as you do on the web, you'll want to develop the right mix for your brand):

  • Click-to-call. If you have a physical store or even a phone number you'd like people to call for help with something, tracking click-to-call from mobile is an easy way to see if your calls-to-action are effective at connecting your customers with your brand.
  • Store locator access. If your business has physical locations, that's frequently something people are seeking on mobile devices and web. Analyzing what locations people are looking for can help you understand if your footprint best serves customers and inform your mobile advertising.
  • Location-specific site searches. No matter what your business is, location-specific site searches are a powerful way to understand additional demand for your brand in a given area and help you make better decisions in certain markets. For example, if you notice a lot of people searching for a specific supplier in an area you do not currently serve this could help you make a case to develop a new location in that area.
  • App downloads/in-app conversions. If you have a mobile app (or are planning one), measuring new downloads and conversions within the app, just like on your site, can help you better understand results. In a previous ClickZ post, we shared the full mix of mobile app metrics you should be measuring.
  • Mobile site goals. If you have a mobile site, tracking specific goals on the mobile version of your site is critical to understanding if your site has the right actions users are seeking. As more users adopt a mobile-first approach to their browsing and information-finding, measuring success on the mobile version of your site becomes as important as your regular site.

My experience continues to be that mobile is undervalued by businesses and agencies and yet of increasingly high value to consumers. It's an area that, like social, will experience continued growth and user attention with the brands willing to adopt new technologies, analytics, and advertising strategies coming out ahead. Whether you're B2B or B2C, measuring (and assigning value to) the conversions that matter to mobile is your key to valuing mobile success.



Adam Singer

Adam Singer is Analytics Advocate at Google, a marketing, media and PR industry speaker, startup adviser and blogger. He previously was digital director for a 300+ person global consulting team and over the course of his career has provided online marketing strategy for B2B & B2C brands in a variety of industries including marketing technology, healthcare, manufacturing, advertising/subscription-based web startups, and much in between. Singer and his campaigns have been cited by top media outlets such as TechCrunch, AdWeek, NY Times and more for creative use of digital marketing and PR. Singer blogs at The Future Buzz - an award-winning blog with more than 25K subscribers and frequently-referenced source of what's new in digital marketing.

Connect with Adam on Google+ or Twitter.


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