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March 08, 2013 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Reaching your mobile market

If it wasn’t already blazingly apparent, people love their smart phones and tablets. But why has the smart device morphed from a useful gadget into an extra appendage? Because people love the ability to be connected to all things at all times. And this evolution in our human biology psychology has become an absolutely essential element for marketers to incorporate into their integrated marketing mix.

Not when, but how

According to Google, 87% of marketers intend to increase emphasis on mobile this year. Clearly, launching a mobile strategy is no longer a question of “if” or “when”. It is a question of how to effectively integrate the mobile element into your marketing campaign. And as in any other great marketing strategy, this boils down to one critical element: audience.

How are you going engage with your mobile audience? (And this does not necessarily mean choosing between creating an app, an optimized mobile site, or advertising!) Mobile users have very different needs and expectations. Successfully interacting with these users requires knowing what they need you to deliver. Do they want to make purchases? Collect rewards? Stay updated? Once you know how your mobile site is going to deliver value to your audience, then you decide on your method of delivery.

Mobile media

Optimizing your mobile message is not always achieved through one platform. You have a few key options, but it is important to prioritize.

Creating a mobile-optimized website should be your first priority. Despite the growing popularity of apps, users’ first mobile encounter with you will likely be your website. In fact, it could be your foot in the door. One Google study revealed that 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site.

When it comes to creating a mobile-optimized site, there are two main paths you can take:

  • Responsive design – uses css to intelligently change your site’s appearance depending on the user’s screen size. You deliver the same content, but with a layout optimized for clumsy fingers and smaller screens. This best practice boasts the advantages of delivering (and only updating) the same content to users, and a congruent design that depends on screen size, rather than device. (Learn more about responsive design.)
  • Mobile site – a separate, mobile optimized design and delivers custom content to the user. However, an extra site requires extra work on your part to update two sets of content. Also, it is important to remember that mobile users don’t always want less, or different content.

Branded apps are a great option for brand loyal mobile users who want quick “bookmark” access, and want to achieve a specific task. Interest in creating and marketing mobile apps are growing in the marketing community. More than 40% of marketers plan to integrate a mobile app into their marketing strategy this year.

Measuring your success

For the mobile marketing newbies out there, fear not. More than half of marketers consider themselves new to mobile. The mobile is still relatively new, and constantly innovating.

Fortunately, there are already a substantial amount of resources to help marketers measure the reach and impact of their mobile efforts. Google Analytics, for example, recently launched Mobile App Analytics, enabling you to measure how apps acquire users, what users are doing, and if they are successful.

Seizing the opportunity

Tailoring your marketing strategy to a mobile audience opens a whole new window of opportunity of growth. Engaging mobile users is an excellent way to grow brand awareness, expand your audience, and increase revenue. With mobile search queries exploding to 5x what they were 2 years ago, the smart marketer would be crazy to ignore the opportunity.

Google’s Mobile Playbook breaks the mobile element down into five elements every business needs to successfully integrate mobile into their marketing strategy.

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