First came digital, then social and now the mobile revolution is taking the world by storm.
In many countries, there are more mobile phones than people, homes with electricity, even toilets. There are more mobile users than all the TVs, PCs and landlines in the whole world combined! And everyone knows that mobile search will surpass desktop sometime in the next 2 years.
Despite these figures, many marketers are still struggling to figure out what to do and how best to address this emerging channel.
But you do not need to be overwhelmed. There are 4 simple steps you can take right now to take advantage of the amazing potential of the mobile marketing trend.
Step 1: Create a Mobile-Optimized Website
Google estimates that 79% of the largest search advertisers do not have a mobile optimized site. And as much as 25% of all web search is conducted on a mobile device.
Creating a mobile-optimized website should be job 1 for marketers in 2012. Some items to consider are how to allow for mobile usage scenarios. Mobile web users are probably not looking to navigate your site or read lots of text. They likely want to find something quickly, email it to their inbox and go. Think about creating a simple mobile navigation “veneer” stripped of all text. Ensure the search experience is optimized. Add click-to-call and click-to-email functionality and include social sharing buttons to enable connectivity.
Development also needs to consider the platforms that will be supported. Android, Apple iOS, the re-emergent Microsoft and the declining Blackberry RIM platforms should all be considered.
Step 2: Content
The use of mobile devices and the real-time expectations of today’s consumer is putting downward pressure on the length and size of content. The trick to this step is not necessarily to create mobile content, but to think about mobile across the entire content creation process. Terms like “chunking” and “modularization” need to be considered in your content supply chain so that content can easily be used on mobile landing pages and your mobile site.
And marketers should consider whether their mobile users are willing to give up personal identification to access high-value content like white papers. Asking for an email might be an appropriate request due to the common user scenario of wanting to consume the content later on their PC. But asking long-form registration questions could be tricky. Marketers should test the content and registration approaches to determine the right balance between quantity and quality of leads.
Step 3: Mobile Advertising
With mobile search growing at rates like 5-6 X per year, and as much as 25% of all searches happening on mobile devices, not having mobile-optimized search landing pages is simply a huge missed opportunity. Mobile search advertisers report higher click-through rates and higher levels of engagement with mobile search. Some studies even suggest it is as much as 4-5 times more effective than other forms of online advertising.
And of course there is the opportunity to combine geo-targeting and mobile search marketing. Airports are one great example of an opportunity to reach a captive professional audience with mobile ads.
Step 4: Consider Games, Apps and Tablet Ads Carefully
According to Comscore, the mobile web user has come to expect both mobile search and app interfaces almost equally. So marketers should consider whether gaming or other apps can provide some unique value to a particular user scenario for your target audience.
With apps, advertisers can gain a significant increase in the amount brand affinity and user engagement but I would suggest thinking long and hard whether that can be achieved without venturing too far afield from a B2B Marketers core value or brand proposition.
And finally, marketers should consider advertising on tablets, which are projected to continue growing in adoption at unprecedented rates. Vendors to consider for tablet advertising include iAd, AdMob and Flurry. One consideration is the amount of analytics enabled on each platform and ensure the buying model they use matches your objectives.
I hope these simple steps help you achieve mobile marketing success in 2012. Have I missed anything? If you’ve already ventured down this path, please share what you have learned with us here…