Mobile is booming. But how should it be approached strategically?
There are now 5.2 billion (and counting) mobile phone subscribers on planet Earth. Given that there are 5.3 billion people who have access to electricity, we are now reaching the time that everyone who can have a mobile now has a mobile.
Within the developed world, smartphones are also seeing a similar explosive growth. To call the iPhone, Blackberry or Android device a phone, almost seems to be missing the point. These are pocket computers – with as much power in them as a desktop had in them ten years ago, during the first dot-com boom. The Economist estimates by 2015, all new phones will be smartphones.
All the numbers and pundits are all pointing towards a mobile future that’s far bigger than any bubble from Silicon Valley ever had the potential to be. So, you’ve got to grips with your website, you’ve integrated it with your wider marketing strategy, and you’ve now got a new channel to play with. How does this fit in with everything else?
In addition to reading the other mobile focused article in this newsletter which will guide you in deciding the best technical route to follow, here are a few strategic considerations to bear in mind in this new mobile ubiquity.
1) The most personal device – Mobiles are used by everyone, everywhere – and carried on their person in a way that no technological device can match. When the phone rings, when you get a text, or when you get an email, you interrupt what you’re doing to respond. This mean that too many marketing messages have the additional tendency to provide annoyance instead of value. Think about how personal mobile use is and plan your experience accordingly.
2) Where do they read your emails? – Allied to this point, we’ve been hearing for years that email is in decline. Well, last year, use of mobile email actually went up – and this may even reverse the decline of email in the longer run. Given the small screen and shorter user sessions that mobile users manifest, check if your content works on the smaller screen. Newsletters should not be essays with content simple and to the point.
3) When do people use it? Mobile use comes into its own, when it’s… mobile. At Vexed we see in the sites we host that mobile sessions are short, driven by utility and to the point. Make sure your sites reflect this and serve this in how they are designed.
4) You know where they are. Both apps and browsers on mobile devices are now capable of ascertaining user location (with permissions collected). This offers new opportunities – everything from targeted offers through to real time traffic information. Used sensitively this can vastly improve the targeting of your customer messages.
5) The second (third, fourth) screen Users at home are increasingly using different devices at the same time. Each new device into the mix alters the way that the previous devices are used. Increasingly, consumers expect a relevant, consistent and connected advertising and content experience across screens. Make sure every channel provides its own value – and can stand on its own. A recent Microsoft white paper provides some great case studies for further reading here.
Next read the mobile options you have in our other mobile article this month.