Going Mobile? 4 Initial Thoughts on Mobile You Need NOW!

Written by Martin Wilson

Does mobile feature in your marketing mix? If not, you’re potentially missing a serious opportunity to engage consumers. According to Forrester Research you are likely to be in the minority, 3 out of 4 marketers have suggested that they will be investing in mobile as a marketing vehicle in 2011. 

So, why should you add mobile to your marketing mix in 2011?

First it is important to gain a view of the mobile landscape.

With increasing numbers of customers turning more and more frequently to their mobile for their every day needs – some 14 million are active mobile Internet users, and almost a quarter of total time spent online is now via a mobile device. Mobile is set to overtake fixed online (PC) to become the primary way that many consumers access the Internet.

The market penetration of Smartphones is still relatively low – Nielson recently reported that less than a quarter of mobile devices are actually Smartphones, iPhone less than 5%. Although increasing numbers of consumers are buying Smartphones the majority of mobile Internet users today, over 60%, are not using Smartphones.

Despite all the press, Applications have been a disastrous investment for many organisations. Many investing huge sums in developing applications but have very little to show for their efforts. Most have been drawn by the ‘hype’ and ‘cool’, failing to adopt a strategic view of the market. A blinked view towards applications means many have simply over looked the mobile web. Less than 3% of organisations today have a website that can be viewed on a mobile device – including a Smartphone

Mobile web is starting to command the attention of marketers, after all that is where the consumers are. The vast majority of mobile online activity is web based. The challenge for many organisations is to recognise that the consumer’s requirements are typically very different to the fixed online environment and often they are not out and about or mobile.

So where should you start?

Consider your business objectives, target audience, and key metrics before you start.

  1. Context is important. A consumer will come to you using mobile because they typically want something, motivated by an action. In many cases they will want to find your number to call you, find out where you are to visit you or simply find out when you are open. Not all consumers are mobile when they use their mobile, they could just as easily be at home or at work. Also it is very common that a consumer does not actually want something where they are, ‘Find my nearest’ features are rendered completely useless and become annoying when they are a default element of any service.
  2. User experience is key. Keep things simple, most don’t! Mobile is not the same as the fixed online environment. There are literally thousands of different mobile devices in use, screen sizes vary but are smaller, devices are more difficult to use than a PC, time to download can vary but almost certainly takes longer. You need a mobile website, it is not acceptable to think your web-for PC site will meet the needs of a mobile user. 
  3. Search is king. You must be simple to find, ease of discovery is vital. As with the fixed online environment, mobile search is the primary way consumers look for things. Mobile search is one the fastest growing mobile services. Whether you are a retailer, restaurant, hotel or other organisation discovery is very important – the ability for your customers to find you, your branches and brands is so important.
  4. Learn from metrics. In mobile everything is potentially measureable, content viewed, maps requested, calls made. In mobile consumers expect services to be dynamic, if things are not working change them. Use information you gather to evolve and develop your activity, create a roadmap that will support the ability to continually enhance the offer. Services that stand still will very quickly lose appeal and usage.

Regardless of your business focus, you need to allocate budget and attention to mobile. Set business goals for your marketing strategy and identify key metrics before you jump to ensure that you can track the results of your investment.

For many organisations, the mobile web should be a priority to get right as that is where the consumer is. More thoughts coming next week…

What Does This Mean for Your 2011 Marketing Plans? To be sure that you are taking the right steps in mobile get in touch. After all that is what we do at Mobileweb Company: info@mobileweb.co.uk

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