Monday, November 21, 2011

Go Mobile

Mobile is delivering on its promise at the moment. The technology is in place and people are engaging in droves, on smartphones in particular. but many businesses still hasen't started walking the mobile road yet. Most have not yet meaningfully engaged with mobile consumers and adapted their strategies to capitalize on the mobile opportunity. But, not too late. Here are some steps that businesses should take today to build the foundation of their mobile marketing and commerce strategy.

Thinking Local
Mobile searches have more ‘intent’; but what does that mean? It’s a way of saying that when people are looking for information on a mobile device they intend to act on it fast. Mobile users search for information because they want to take action. After looking up a local business on their smart phone, 61% of users have called the business and 59% have visited. Because of this, location is exceptionally relevant to mobile users, and should be especially important to marketers. If people intend to act fast on the information they find on mobile, they’re more likely to take action somewhere near their locations. So,as a business, to try to reach a mobile consumer, understanding geo-targeted advertising campaigns and products is critical.

You need a mobile specific site
That giv's your conumers a great mobile experience when they visit your site on their mobile phone. And what’s a mobile specific site? It’s a website that’s been designed specifically for a smartphone, and it prioritizes what’s important for a user on the go, it features elements that are easy to see and interact with.
A mobile optimized site isn’t a desktop optimized site. In fact, it may be just the opposite: websites that look great on the desktop may be illegible, or require endless zooming-in, or may not work at all on mobile. The mobile web is not a smaller, portable version of the desktop web. When designing a mobile site, think as a customer. Make site navigation easier, put key action-items front and center, and build for the on.the.go user. Think about the mobile behavior of your customers and design for it.

Be more ‘Personal’
200 million videos are viewed every day on Mobile YouTube, an increase of over 3x from last year.65 million minutes (over 125 years!) of Angry Birds games are played every day on mobile. We’re glued to our mobile devices, and engaged like we’ve never been before. There’s an opportunity to connect with consumers in ways that are both special, and only possible, because they’re on mobile.

Track your mobile site
The web looks and feels different on a mobile device and people engage with it differently, at different moments of the day, and often with different objectives. Google sees a 50% spike in usage on weekends for Google Maps for mobile and in general, mobile engagement increases in the evenings and on weekends, when people are away from their desks, or on the go. So, mobile is distinct from desktop; your mobile site tracking should be distinct as well. When you separate your desktop and mobile website data, you’ll better understand the users visiting your site, what phones they have, and what actions they are taking. You can then use this data to optimize your website and improve it, along with your campaigns.

We’re in the earliest chapters of mobile’s history. Change is in the air and hopefully will be for a long time. Just remember, before 2007, the iPhone didn’t yet exist, and neither did Android handsets, or any app marketplaces. The rate of change in mobile over the last five years is astounding and you need to have a fast development cycle to stay ahead of that change. The tactics and strategies that work today may be very different from what works months, or even weeks from now.

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