Companies and marketers are starting to harmonise with the idea that mobile marketing is something to be taken very seriously, however, there are still many brands out there holding back and uncommitted to embracing this movement.
79% of British businesses don’t have a mobile internet presence
Last week I attended an event ran by IMRG Connect in Manchester and an interesting question was raised with an even more interesting response. The question was this, “Who in the room has a designated member of staff in place for mobile?” and, at this point, the hall was silent and not a single attendee raised a hand.
Together, we then spent the day celebrating the wonders of mobile and the opportunities it has made possible. I therefore thought it would be useful and interesting to share some mobile enlightenment that we took away from the day and to take an overall look at how you could be making the most out of the opportunities available to your brand through mobile.
What do we mean by ‘smartphone’?
Many of you will already be familiar with the term ‘smartphone’ and to be honest there is no one-size fits all definition, however, for the purposes of this blog we shall define it as being any device with the following features: fast internet access through a web browser, a large, high resolution screen and a range of multimedia applications including video.
The growth of smartphones.
To understand the recent spike of interest we are seeing in mobile and smartphone technology it is interesting to understand a little about the history and development of the mobile phone before comparing these findings to the adoption of other popular media and technology throughout the years.
Mobile internet and the advanced features of smartphones are changing how we all do life.
This year celebrates the 40th birthday of the mobile phone and whether that makes you feel old or young, I think it’s safe to say that not many of us could have correctly predicted just how far this communications device would come. In fact, statistics now show that it is one of the most important things in the life of today’s consumer, supporting the fact that it is important for our retailers and businesses to consider.
Evolution V revolution.
“Right now there are more mobile phones on the planet than there are toothbrushes”. Mike Short
I’m not sure what image that conjures up for you but to keep with the theme, a mobile phone is just as unique to an individual as the toothbrush. It is personal, frequently upgraded, not something we would choose to swap with anyone else and let’s face it – we’d be lost without it!
Ironically, mobile ‘phones’ are much more than a phone these days and have essentially become a new multi-purpose mobile ‘device’ and they continue to advance all the time. This leads to what some people would define as a digital evolution as we see the progression along the line of mobiles and development of features. Others however would argue that we have hit a mobile revolution . I personally appreciate both sides of this evolution vs. revolution theory and think they can be used together, we’ve had the best of both worlds! A quick flashback of mobiles over the years should help you to understand the evolution over the past 40 years, but the recent mobile technologies have revolutionised the way we shop, consume news and communicate.
In order to understand how important a mobile strategy would be for your business simply begin by asking yourself these questions:
How important then is mobile marketing to you?
Of course that is a very subjective and open question, but, with the latest statistics and figures it should be clear to see that mobile is an area that is expanding rapidly and here to stay. In fact it is said that by 2014 more users will access the internet from their mobile phones than from a desktop computer. It is becoming vitally important for brands and businesses to ensure that they have a well thought out mobile strategy and now is the time to do this. It won’t be something achievable overnight and not all companies will have a readily available budget to tuck into however, as I mentioned earlier, if you start to consider this now and approach this one step at a time it will soon bring you rewards.
Any successful mobile strategy must be based on data driven decisions, begin by inspecting your business, customer, competition and the market.
Is your website optimised for mobile viewing?
Mobile ‘friendly’ sites are not only expected but essential for many brands these days and one thing we often get asked by clients is how they should be approaching this. Every business and online strategy is unique and therefore requires a bespoke approach. Even when a company appears to reflect many elements of another, it will never be exactly the same set up, product, target market or team of staff and therefore to copycat their approach & tactics without considering the bigger picture first is dangerous. A responsive site is not always the answer for everyone, nor should every business be pushed into creating their own mobile app, we pride ourselves on our name “Digital & Wise” because the key to being successful in digital is being wise and making data driven decisions specific to your business. Have you ever visited your website from a mobile phone? If your answer is no then this is something to ensure you do.
Are your sending mobile optimised emails?
Many companies identify email marketing as a key driver of overall sales and have recorded a positive return on investment (ROI) through it, but, how many of these emails are optimised for mobile? This small change could bring you big results.
One of the top benefits that sets mobile apart is that it is immediate, consumers carry their smartphones around with them every moment of the day and this allows marketers to capture a special opportunity and pass on the right message, to the right people at the right time, but just how many of you are doing this and taking this opportunity to the next level?
Companies realise the importance of mobile but are yet to achieve best practice, with just 25% currently optimising emails for mobile” eConsultancy
Marketers must take into account the way that their content is viewed by the mobile user and consider the unique characteristics, in particular the small display and touch screen. Some key actions to consider include:
Remember to keep it simple, accessible and legible!
Are you making the most of location based marketing and mobile search?
This is one of the biggest opportunities that is missed within the world of mobile and I think the reason for that comes down to the assumption that it is a. expensive and b. risky. However, this should be something every company considers within the overall mobile marketing strategy, especially those that have bricks-and-mortar stores.
Firstly, many consumers now use their mobile to search for a store’s location. We’ve all done it. This may be because the user is searching whilst already out and looking for something in close proximity or simply because it is a quick and simple way to search at the touch of a button, on a device that is usually already powered up and connected to the internet. Therefore, if applicable, mobile sites should include the option for users to “Find a Store” or region.
Secondly, we all love to be tempted and lured in by offers and we find it so hard to resist those opportunities to save us % & ultimately £’s. The sad thing is that we often keep the online and in-store offers separate when these can sometimes be most powerful and effective when merged. For a retailer, knowing when your potential customers are close by provides a unique opportunity to reach out and invite them in to your store with a targeted sales message or promotional offer. Mobiles therefore instantly become a helpful tool to support store sales if used correctly and cleverly. Another example of this is the use of QR coding to reveal more information and prices on products.
Mobile marketing and social media.
As far as mobile activities go, social networking will always have a place in the mobile world, after all, the very invention of mobile phones was based around communications. Social media just brings this into the 21st century. Did you know that the majority of users logging into social media every month do so at least once a month using a mobile device? But, how are your reaching out to these people? Here are some ways:
Approximately 40% of all internet activity is now happening via mobile devices and with this set to increase the chances are that these figures include a large number of your future customers? With this in mind, now is the time to assess not only where your company is but where it is going … is it time to mobilise?!
Adopting new technologies can be daunting and many companies are reluctant to implement change and we understand the reasons behind this. The points and insights we have covered in this post have been intended to help you understand how important a mobile marketing strategy is and what considerations a business must make before implementing a move to the mobile world. Of course, it is also important to understand the benefits and impact this will have on your bottom line and overall business objectives. Not only will a strong, solid foundation and presence on mobile help you keep up with competitors, technology and consumer demand but, done correctly it will ultimately drive additional sales, store footfall, improved customer service, valuable consumer insights and a deeper brand loyalty that will all ensure you maintain a strong return on the investments you make.
If you would like more advice or support along your digital or mobile journey, please contact our Digital & Wise team.