by Ray Larson
It is still all about mobile and will be for a long time to come. For some, the screen gets smaller with iWatch’s limited viewing. For others going for the “phablet,” the screen has gotten bigger. No matter what the size, mobile is what everything seems to be about, but having real effectiveness on mobile devices is more than just making your look “okay” on mobile.
Why Mobile-first? Is the Buzz Right for your Business?
Mobile-first – a new buzz word in marketing. It’s not just about marketing but more about how people are using their devices. At least 25 percent of Internet users access the web only through their devices – they never even see a desktop.
Mobile users need information on the go. Fast-paced life, short text-speak, everything has to be easy for them on the device – or they will lose attention.
You already know that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. This means that the site needs to be viewable on a mobile device and easily navigated. Going “mobile-first” is a bigger step. Rather than just having desktop design with a simple alternative for mobile devices, your website is designed to be used on mobile devices, first.
The rationalization is that it is better to start with the simple for mobile and add on for desktop.
In today’s world “content” doesn’t just mean text. It means graphics, videos and buttons. Choosing which things are more important is easier when you start with a clean slate. When you design your site for mobile, first – that’s what you are doing. Check out the clean advice at Venture Beat.
Point is: While 25 percent of Internet users are only going through mobile – mobile-first doesn’t work for everyone. Banks have found that most users want to access info from a desktop – so even though they have a mobile-friendly site, most of their efforts go into the desktop. The decision to put most of your effort into the mobile design or into the desktop design depends on your customer and your product.
Don’t overlook SMS Marketing
Unfortunately, even though a lot of us still use email, especially when sitting at our desks, email is becoming a business communication tool for a lot of people.
With over 200 million mobile devices in active use in the U.S., taking into account that the very young and many of the elderly aren’t freely into mobile yet, pretty much everyone has a mobile device. You have your website geared up for mobile….but what you may not know yet is “what next.”
What might be next is integrating text into your online marketing. Kind of like we have been using email marketing, text messaging can help drive conversion rates. Surveys of stores using SMS marketing messaging for coupons report redemption rates of 50% or more with a higher per-purchase expenditure.
The good news is that text is used by nearly everyone. A recent Pew Research report indicates that 97% of cell users reported texting at least once a week and 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. You can’t get much faster than that. Consider texting at Retail Dive.
Point is – An SMS campaign may fit into your business model and it can help drive sales but not every message needs to be a sales pitch. You can use messaging to deliver info about events, sales, transactions – and coupons, consider the coupons. The key to SMS success is timely and valuable content.
Is there an app for that? Does my Business Need an App?
If you are asking “is there an app for that?” – the answer is probably yes. With mobile devices taking up so much of our time – app development has become a huge industry. Companies sometimes have to decide whether to invest in iOS or Android – and even Windows has gotten into the game. Apps are even appearing on newer desktops (which is actually confusing a lot of people).
Companies like Amazon have capitalized on app development to increase sales from mobile devices, game makers have gone public based on in-app purchases and free apps often include advertising services.
App development can be a way to boost mobile engagement and for some businesses it is a must. It may seem like a good idea but for a lot of businesses it will be a gimmick. If it isn’t useful to mobile users – to perform a repeated activity frequently (like ordering pizza while at college), it might be downloaded but then deleted. Read more at Entrepreneur.
Point is: It might sound cool to be able to say “we have an app for that” but if your business only needs to provide information – hours, location, inventory – it probably isn’t necessary or even advisable and you should spend your money on making your website look better on mobile.
Verve Mobile Acquires Fosbury. Geo Mobile Marketing!
Who is Verve Mobile you ask? Good question – they are the “leading location-based mobile marketing platform.” Basically, they drive customers into stores with location-targeting and are used by some of the biggest brands in and outside the U.S. Verve capitalizes on the idea that most purchases start on digital devices but actually happen in brick and mortar stores.
Verve Mobile just acquired Fosbury. So who is Fosbury, you ask? Another good question – Fosbury is a big player in the “wallet” space and “beacon” marketing with Apple Passbook and both Google and Samsung Wallet. Their location services allow them to send targeted messaging about nearby businesses to mobile users who are out and about.
The combo is set to allow Verve to integrate wallet and beacon functions so that businesses can get and hold customer attention – ultimately driving them to a cash register, in the store or online.
Point is: You may not know about Verve or Fosbury or how Chobani Yogurt is using either, but if your business is location-specific, it might be worth checking out location-based messaging. Beacon-triggered marketing is expected to drive nearly $45 billion in sales next year.