Your checklist for mobile success
Everyone's talking about mobile, but so few are doing it right. It's pretty clear that mobile technology is effectively displacing the traditional way consumers go 'online.' Now, armed with smartphones and tablets, customers are interacting with the brands they love across mobile platforms.
Unfortunately, many brands are engaging in radically different ways - and with varying levels of effectiveness - through mobile. This lack of uniformity sometimes works against the collective, leaving customers hanging. So what are consumers looking for? What urges their engagement in mobile? And what turns them away?
Let’s take a look at why most brands don’t get mobile, and establish a checklist for success.
Mobile, more than an “app”
Mobile marketing budgets are on the upswing. But many brands are struggling with the practical implementation of mobile marketing. Moreover, many brands are fettering away funds on ineffectual attempts at reaching the mobile masses without a strategy. Many business people seem to think that going mobile means getting an app.
The truth is, mobile is much more than an app. In fact, it's often not an app at all. In the past few years, it has become very popular to have an app dedicated to your brand, but doing so is not really essential to everyone.
Think about it: how many users will install and keep your app? While you may be able to answer "some," if you put your energies into a sales-ready mobile optimised website, you don't have to worry about asking users to do so.
Many brands are missing the big picture, and are caught in the trap of thinking that having an app is the mobile strategy. As we're about to discover, 'going mobile' is so much more.
The mobile-ready checklist for success:
1. Plan to win
The first step to mobile success is to accurately gauge the ways your audience might use the technology to learn about you and make buying actions that are relevant to your business. Performing market assessments and competitive analyses will help you to understand the challenges you will face. Armed with your findings, the next step is to integrate a mobile strategy into your plans and goals. By clearly defining your unique selling proposition and aligning your mobile efforts to your broader business model, you'll be prepared to make better informed decisions as you embrace mobile.
2. Mobile-ready website
The number one thing mobile users are looking for is a website that will load correctly on their devices. A mobile-ready website presents all of the key information from a traditional website in a small(er) screen format, with buttons and links that actually work. The "actually work" part is also crucial to your business plans, because you need your consumers to be able to successfully complete the purchasing action or marketing opt-ins on your web-pages.
When a customer navigates to a website that is not optimised on their phone, for example, they are often repelled, shrugging off your site and your brand.
- When users are greeted by an optimised, easy to navigate mobile site, they are 74% more likely to return, according to recent Google research data.
- The same survey found that 67% say they are more inclined to make a purchase through a mobile website.
As you can tell, mobile-ready means sales-ready.
3. Embrace the interaction
Mobile is all about the interaction. The ability to conduct in-store research to help with a buying decision is one example. Often, consumers are researching prospective purchases on their mobiles and leveraging their findings against talking with in-store personnel. This creates the need for transparency, correctness of information, and perhaps most important, embracing the role of mobile in product discovery. This means that mobile interactivity should reside at the highest levels of your brand's strategy, making it a topic of discussion for everyone from senior management to customer-facing employees.
4. The mobile app - still important
Although, in the above paragraphs, we've labelled mobile apps as not being the be-all-end-all of the mobile concept, they still have their place in the equation. The most important thing to remember when you decide to develop a branded app is that, while they can be highly effective, they need to offer value to your audience. This means that apps should offer entertainment value, utility value, or some combination thereof. Lacking a reason to use the app, for fun or function, will lead to app abandonment. Moreover, it's important that your app link back to you sites and points of purchase in some way, and they need to have a compelling call to action to entice users to visit those places.
5. Offline encouragement
As you work toward making the most of your efforts in mobile, you'll want to urge mobile use through offline media. Affixing a QR code to your print ads, for example, will help maximise the value of both the offline and mobile investments. Aligning these channels is crucial, because we all know that when it comes to marketing across platforms, ideally, all roads lead to ROI.
The above checklist covers the basics of mobile engagement. The specific technologies present in mobile are deep topics in their own right, and more mobile possibilities are emerging every day. The important thing is to be actively pursuing mobile users. Going by the numbers, mobile is a huge deal, and it's something no one can afford to be missing out on. As more and more consumers are making the shift to mobile - and abandoning traditional outlets, you should be making the change with them.
Are you getting the most from mobile?