How to take the right approach to “going Mobile” for your business.

 

In the US today, recent industry studies cite that nearly half (47.7%) of mobile phone users are on a smartphone. This is over 1/3 of the population now and is forecasted to approach 2/3 by 2016. Not surprisingly, mobile marketing and advertising are following suit, showing huge growth rates (53% year over year in 2011) as the adoption of mobile technology empowers the growing “smartphone class” of consumers. So it is alarming to see concurrent studies reveal that 79% of mobile advertisers don’t have a mobile-optimized website.

 

“While business do need to get smart quickly about their mobile presence and promotion, they need to fight the trendy urge to just quickly grab the mobile ‘Shiny Object’,” advises Kevin Hourigan, President and CEO of Web design, Web development and online marketing agency, Bayshore Solutions. “Smart and successful companies will take a strategic approach to incorporating mobile as an important element in their online marketing.”

 

What are the strategic foundations being Mobile?

First and foremost, you need to have a solid core Web presence that includes a mobile experience Mobile . Just whipping up a mobile site so you can check that off the “Yes we have it” list is short-sighted and detrimental to effective integrated marketing.

 

In order to build the right mobile site for your business, you need to do your strategic homework up front. Simply re-sizing your website content for a mobile screen is the classic wrong approach. To build the correct mobile website, you need to first analyze your target customers, their buying cycles, and online interaction personas.

 

You’ll find there will be distinct differences in the circumstances, priorities and information needs between your customers on a desktop computer versus those accessing your online brand via a mobile device. These strategic insights will lead you to very distinct tactical choices in keyword selection, user interface items and possibly even different conversion actions associated with your mobile web presence.

 

Knowing what your customers are seeking in their mobile interactions will assist you in building a tailored and effective mobile experience for them – and one that brings them more quickly to the business results you desire. Beyond the mobile website design, this guidance will positively influence your ongoing mobile marketing, and ensure it compliments and supports your other online and offline marketing initiatives.

 

When my mobile website is built, what’s next?

Having a live and functional mobile-friendly website is the starting point.  Next is developing the right mobile marketing strategy for your mobile site in order to generate the results you want from it. Defining that desired result for a mobile customer is key.  Depending on the profile of your mobile target customer, these “results” could be sales transactions, or a step in the direction of completing a sale such as a request for quote or information, a phone call to your company, an appointment scheduled, etc. Some organizations may even consider viewing a specific web page, downloading a file or engaging with a mobile custom app as desired results of target customer’s mobile visit.

 

Aligning the metrics to track the correct results, then developing a marketing strategy that drives desired mobile attention and action is the next step. Studies show that customers on a mobile device tend to be in a later buying stage: narrowing choices, seeking price comparisons, or obtaining directions to get to a store versus conducting initial general research about a product or service. It has also been shown that typical mobile customers are more heavily affected by “Local” dynamics: addressing the question “Where is the closest solution to what I need right now?”

 

When you have a clear picture of your mobile customers’ situation and immediacy relative to your product or service, you can key in on different tactical elements of your online marketing to best reach and serve them. Keywords relevant to their mobile-situational searches, ad placement on specific websites, local directory listings and enhancements, integration with social media profiles, platforms and custom apps, etc., are tactics that can be tailored to your mobile-specific marketing plan.

 

How do I bring it all together?

Although your business’ mobile website and marketing may have slightly different emphasis, metrics and content, because of the focus on the mobile segment of your target audience, it is essential to make the connections between your mobile web presence, your overall web marketing, and even your traditional marketing initiatives as well. Integrating campaigns and proper communications between those implementing them will promote consistency of messaging and quality of experience for your customer throughout all their touch points with your business: mobile, desktop, and traditional.

 

Making the effort to strategically create and connect marketing channels, while ensuring best practices in Mobile (and all) marketing tactics, is a distinguishing factor of businesses who are successful. A strategic approach, defined and aligned goals, and using the correct metrics to gage performance will transform a simple mobile presence into a powerful marketing asset for your business.

 

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