Last week, Google held its annual Think Mobile event, part of its drive to get businesses 'mobile optimised' through its Get Mobile initiative. According to Google, mobile searches have grown by 400% over the last two years, with 84% of UK users claiming to have looked up local information on their phones. Despite this, recent IAB figures show that even out of the UK’s top 100 brands, only 37% have mobile optimised sites.
Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous. Mobile is the also only medium that people have access to every waking hour, always on their person, so it’s vital that businesses get it right.
Here are ten ways to kick off a mobile strategy:
1. Assess the mobile landscape
Every marketing strategy must be underpinned by thorough research. For mobile, you need to plan for your audience’s mobile capability and uptake of technology. This should cover factors like whether your audience is using smartphone devices, or ancient Nokia 2100s. Are they downloading games, BBMing friends? Do they know where their MMS inbox is?
2. Give people more of what they love
Use your initial research to accommodate your audience’s needs. If they’re texting, downloading apps, playing games, using social media or taking pictures, any or all of these can be incorporated into your activity.
3. Get the mobisite right
Companies often want to jump feet first into building an app before getting the basics right. The mobisite should always be a priority above anything else – it’s a consumer’s first impression of your business.
4. Consider mobile as part of your whole marketing strategy
Your mobile strategy needs to tie in with your business / digital strategy to get the best out of your overall marketing performance. Mobile shouldn’t be considered a separate bolt on.
5. Think multiplatform
Mobile can work with all your other marketing platforms: outdoor, TV, social media, online… all of these can house a mobile call-to-action, if appropriate for the audience.
6. Give something back
If there’s an element of your business that could nurture loyalty, work it into an app, giving you a great direct line to your customer.
7. Don’t be blinded by technology
It’s not all about using the latest clever technology regardless of suitability. If your audience is using an older handset model (as an older audience might), a text voucher will work better than an augmented reality app.
8. Mobile advertising can be effective (if done correctly)
While it’s true that people don’t want to be distracted into clicking a banner and being diverted away from what they are looking at or doing, mobile can be an effective channel for advertising. By being creative with adverts, making them personal, interactive and engaging (take the MicroLoan Foundation ‘Penny For Life’ digital poster, where those donating via text message would see their gift in coins fall into the poster) mobile advertising can really boost a mobile strategy.
9. Do you need international focus?
Is your site intended to be used outside of the UK? If so, you need to consider country-to-country differences such as variations in mobile technologies available, translations needed and understanding the social media profiles of each market.
10. Don't just clone existing campaigns
Ultimately, as with any marketing campaign, mobile is all about being engaging with your audience. Replicating a TV ad in a mobile banner or bashing out an ill-conceived app won’t engage users. Mobile holds a world of opportunities and it shouldn’t be wasted on a one-size fits all approach.
Clive Baker is managing director of Movement