If you’ve skimmed the vast array of blog posts commenting on 2017 marketing trends, you’ve likely noticed a heavy emphasis on the notion of ‘mobile first’ marketing. Under this model, companies and causes place their primary emphasis around planning for the mobile user experience. Which begs the question: how does this ‘mobile first’ mindset impact an organization’s marketing strategy?
Putting it into context
The emphasis on ‘mobile first’ is far from surprising. The number of online searches conducted from smartphones has surpassed those conducted from desktop devices, an increasing number of nonprofit donations are made via mobile, mobile advertising budgets are surpassing online ad budgets, and the volume of e-commerce purchases via mobile continues to rise. As the way people consume content changes, the way content is presented must also evolve to meet these needs. And, did I mention that Google is testing mobile-first indexing?
Does this mean my business needs an app?
‘Mobile first’ does not mean that every business needs an app. While an app may prove to be an invaluable resource for some brands – and a tool for driving revenue – it is not necessarily the right fit for every organization. Remember, for a client or prospect to download an app, there needs to be an incentive, a draw, a value that they can’t get elsewhere. So, if you’re going to take the time to invest in developing an app, be sure to do your research and let data inform its key features and attributes.
Whether mobile or desktop, content is key
Regardless of the channel through which you are marketing your company or cause, high quality content is key to success. Whether its photos or video, status updates or emails, your content should demonstrate a keen understanding of your target audiences’ wants and needs. However, with mobile top-of-mind, brevity and clarity become increasingly important.
Many brands excel at mobile marketing by bringing loyalty marketing into the fold. Take Starbucks for example. Not only can you pay from your smartphone and pre-order from your device and skip those often-long lines, you can track your “stars,” participate in games and challenges to earn extra rewards, and track your progress towards receiving your next loyalty incentive. It’s easy, it’s built around the needs – and mindset – of its users, and it’s consistent with the overall brand experience.
Another great example is Target’s Cartwheel app. Not only do users gain access to exclusive offers, but they can track their cumulative savings from using the app and earn badges for being a loyal customer – and Cartwheel user.
If not your own app, perhaps someone else’s
A number of media outlets – both print and broadcast – have embraced the mobile first mindset developing their own news apps to put a wealth of timely information at their readers’ and viewers’ fingertips. Just as one can buy advertising in the print/online/broadcast counterparts of these publications, one can also buy advertising within their apps. In some instances, this is a logical extension of an existing buy with the media outlet and in other instances it is an effective stand-alone mobile marketing tactic. Think about it – in many ways it’s the same as running News Feed ads on Facebook and sponsored tweets on Twitter.
When planning for an optimal mobile user experience, many of the same fundamentals that go into planning for a positive online user experience still apply. You want content to be easy to access, you want to demonstrate a keen understanding of the target audience and you want to remain consistent with your overall brand. As you consider how to adapt your current marketing strategy to deliver an optimal experience for mobile consumers, let data inform your strategy and ensure the changes you implement can generate measurable outcomes that will allow you to gauge the success of your efforts.