Mobile apps, mobile websites, mobile commerce, mobile search… the time to start forging relationships with your mobile audience is now. That being said, developing a mobile strategy can be overwhelming. Where do I start? How do I know what will work for my company? To help master the basics and kickoff our Mobile Marketing Crash Course (tomorrow at 12pm ET), I asked our lead instructor, Dave Wieneke, a few key questions. Here’s what he had to say:
1. If I don't have a mobile marketing strategy yet, what is the best place to start?
All good marketing starts with your audience and where you meet them. And while there are many mobile tactics, the core of most firms' mobile strategies is made up of their owned mobile assets: their websites and applications.
I've watched mobile traffic ascend for client firms from being a very small share of traffic deserving the kind of attention we'd give an aging browser, to shares above 40%. That's a primary use case. That means designing interactions around these uses first. It’s a different approach to how we line-up to meet customers online.
In class this week we'll look at unique mobile mindsets that set mobile use apart, the ways that mobile design turns PC based design conventions upside down, and the new business models mobile fuels.
2. What are some of the biggest mistakes companies make in their mobile strategy?
Enterprises have found that it is easier for millions of individual consumers to buy tablets and smart phones than it is to re-engineer to serve them. It’s a disruptive change for enterprises, but not for challenger brands who enter competitive spaces focused on this new traffic. And so enterprises are re-conceiving their operations to be mobile first.
So, the biggest mistake is to miss this opportunity by recreating legacy victories. Remember Palm Pilot, the original mobile device? They promoted the one of the great legacy PC wins - Excel spreadsheets, on Palm Pilot. It’s a generation later and we can see that simply porting over the last era's win wasn't the future. Handheld music could have been a huge win, and photography, but not spreadsheets - the form factor was too restrictive. Mobile is a new foundation, and it is a chance to start fresh with designing new user experiences and businesses.
3. Which companies are doing a good job in mobile now?
Park Mobile is extending a buy button so that people can pay for parking easier, and ZipCar's giving them their car through an app. Expensify is making is easier to travel, Amazon to shop. And its not just companies. Fruit Ninja (a game), Hours Tracker (which helps freelancers bill), and Things (a priority list) aren't companies, but they have huge audiences. If you want to "think like a publisher" and gather audiences, then make great tools.
Whether you use mobile native applications or website, the online experience is increasingly application based. Are Netflix, Twitter, or Google really websites? At some level we know their applications are delivered through web interfaces. Both mediums are led by application experiences.
This turns making great web experiences into a more complex product-like effort, which requires more of a team approach than making the shift to social media does.
4. Do I have to create a mobile specific site?
No, there are in fact many good reasons to make sites that change how to display the same content across different devices.
Elements on smaller screens need to be bigger and clearer to be seen, and user flows need to be simplified. We'll dig in to how this can be done using Responsive Design - so that different kinds of users can have the right experience all from one single content source. And yes, this takes some organization in advance. But it is harder to maintain one set of content and to avoid duplicate content penalties with search engines using responsive design. We've seen Google shift in this direction, and in the long term this provides more flexibility to innovate and a lower total cost of ownership.
5. What are some of the biggest opportunities in mobile marketing now?
Mobile commerce extends the buy button anywhere. It changes buyer behavior, and is likely the still unrevealed killer application of B2C mobile. But what of B2B? Mobile products can be relationship pipelines that change marketplace relationships through product experiences. One B2B example that comes to mind is Autodesk's mobile app - which has reached more users in under a year than their enterprise design products have over the life of the firm. The app has created huge awareness and rewarded their mobile innovation. Their CEO observed this was the most effective advertising they'd ever done.
6. Where is this shift to mobile taking us long term?
The erosion of mass media started on the Internet, and emerged through social media. Now, because mobile is so personal, it busts up the mass media experience which still partly lived on the Internet. Mobile users have far higher expectations of interactivity, and mobile conventions are evolving far faster than the Internet to keep up with the audience opportunity.
While people had access to PC’s during work and a portion of their day, mobile access is constant. A study I just read showed that 60% of social media is being consumed through mobile devices. The rise in video consumption tracks closely with mobile growth – and mobile viewing has lots of headroom for growth.
Users don’t just want content, they want tools to make their life easier. That means being able to buy in new ways through mobile commerce. Brands are able to use push messaging to connect with their most loyal audiences. The Washington Post has been pushing me breaking news election alerts over the last year. The key to push messaging is that it needs to be focused on in customers’ lives and relevant to helping them in real time.
While video, m-commerce and alerts are all great tactics, the bigger picture is the shift to personal experiences that empower audiences individually. The influence of what brands say about themselves through advertising or marketing is waning. Increasingly, digital experiences embody our customer experiences, and utility to customers. If brands are an accumulation of experiences, then they are increasingly mobile, personal, and organized around the customer and not the brand. Brands are less and less deductively announced by firms, they are increasingly inductively assembled by customer experiences. And mobile is a huge way to reach and stay connected with our markets.
Join us Tuesday, June 26 at 12pm ET for the Mobile Marketing Crash Course, and in just 90 minutes, learn how to create a mobile marketing program that engages, nurtures, and converts. You'll master what you need to do to create successful mobile experiences in your owned media, and leave this course with a to do list to engage your mobile customer base and forge lasting customer relationships.