Everyone is rushing into mobile, but is anyone doing it well?
According to the 2013 Mobile Sophistication and Strategy Study conducted by Kontagent, only 25 percent of mainstream companies using mobile have a well-defined strategy. Even more shocking, when Kontagent asked companies to rate the customer experience of their mobile programs, more than half rated them as either average or below average.
So why is everyone rushing into mobile if very few seem confident about what they are doing?
- By 2015, smartphone penetration is expected to increase from 36 percent to 72 percent in the top 19 digital markets around the world (ZenithOptimedia, 2013).
- Tablet shipments grew 142 percent between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, totaling 49.2 million (IDC, 2013).
- It is projected that by 2017, 88 percent of U.S. consumers will enter a social networking property through their mobile device (eMarketer, 2013).
- It is projected that U.S. retail m-commerce sales will reach $108.56 billion by 2017 (eMarketer, 2013).
These numbers are staggering and they are not to be ignored. While mobile may still be viewed as the “Digital Wild West,” it is an important place for marketers to be and to figure out, mostly because mobile is not going anywhere.
Though marketers and advertisers are still trying to figure out the mobile space, there are a few best practices that have already been uncovered.
Get IT Involved Early On
The technical specifications and functionality of a website or application are crucial to planning out what products or services are to be promoted and how. Just because something has not been developed yet in mobile, does not mean it cannot be developed, so get IT involved early on. Doing so will help to foster ideas and think all the way through the user experience.
Keep It Simple
Mobile is not like desktop and laptop advertising. The screens are smaller and consumers are even less patient. They want information quickly and easily without having to dig deep into a website or app. Surface the most important and relevant information and keep it very concise and easy to digest. If the content is gated with a form, make the form fill process quick and easy, remembering that very few people want to fill out 10 fields of a form on their smartphone.
Function Is More Important Than Visual Appeal
According to a study by EPiServer, 47 percent of consumers will abandon an app if they find it frustrating to use and 38 percent will abandon a mobile website. The most cited reasons for this include slow load times, the need to scroll too much, and links being too small. With so many websites and apps out there competing for consumers’ attention, use design to provide function and value for consumers in order to give them what they need, in an intuitive way, so that they will continue to want the information from you.
Continue to Test and Optimize
While this is a given across any media channel, it is especially important in the mobile environment, since marketers are so new to the space, consumer behavior is still rapidly evolving, and so is the technology.
Do Not Forget Your Strategy
The strength of your mobile program hinders on the strength of your strategy and approach in its ability to integrate in with your other initiatives, add value to consumers, and reach them where they are most receptive to your brand. While this is not a new concept, it is quite often forgotten. Forrester, in conjunction with Velti and the Mobile Marketing Association, recently found that only 34 percent of marketers and advertisers are actually following their mobile strategies, which is surprisingly low.
So instead of rushing into mobile and being a part of the 50 percent-plus that are underwhelmed by their current programs, take some time to really think through the best way to enter the mobile space and what is possible for your brand. Spend the time to build out a full strategy that makes sense for your brand and KPIs, then work through the details of implementing that strategy to bring it all to life.
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