Mobile – How, Not Why

Mobile is here and no-one can deny this is the way of the future.

For some time, we’ve spent much of our discussions regarding mobile convincing clients this was going to be the next big thing – but now the conversation has shifted from “why should I?” to “how should I?

Previously, many advertisers rejected mobile; writing it off as a fad or just a tool for social engagement. This has led to companies refusing to allocate budget to the development of any mobile properties, citing a lack of visibility or ROI. However, according to a recent report by the Australian Marketing Institute, almost 40% of Australian marketing executives expect their marketing budget to increase in 2012, with advertising campaigns increasingly targeted at mobile devices.

So, what’s changed? Lots.

Mobile devices have become smarter and more sophisticated, allowing users to do more with greater ease. They can click on an ad and be dialled into the advertisers call centre with just one click. They can manage all their banking through a basic app. Essentially, they have their world in their pocket.

Advertisers can leverage this ‘ease-of-use’ to learn more about their audiences habits and advertise and promote their services to complement these habits. For example, many high street retailers are leveraging the power of Facebook’s mobile app, by offering shoppers a discount when they ‘check-in’ to their store. They can then use this as a database for enticing shoppers to keep up to date with store offers and exclusive deals. Banks are offering their customers calculator tools to show their monthly repayments on a home loan or car loan, or how much money they can make on a term deposit – all on the go. And with the emergence of ‘Mobile Wallets’ such as Google Wallet, the sky is the limit.

With mobile use increasing at a staggering rate, the challenge for advertisers is to be continuously innovative to satisfy users’ needs. Below are some key do’s and don’ts for any mobile strategy:

Do:

  1. Create a “Mobile Friendly” site – your audience will appreciate it and Google has started to penalise advertisers with non-mobile friendly sites with poor quality scores in the Adwords campaigns
  2. Invest in mobile – not just in advertising dollars, but especially in staff – mobile is here to stay and the sooner you have dedicated resources the better!
  3. Embrace flexibility – from systems compatibility (e.g. building for iPhone or Android) to customising user experience – you must keep an open mind and test, test, test.

Don’t:

  1. Spam or Overload. Whether by email, SMS, pop-ups or otherwise – just don’t do it. We hate it, OK! (Oh, and let us unsubscribe if we want).
  2. Don’t forget a call to action. This is a general rule in marketing your product through any medium, but it’s crucial for mobile where users can easily be diverted to something else more interesting. Plus, telling users what to do might just help your bottom line….
  3. Don’t forget about screen size. We all suffer from fat finger syndrome, so help us to get where we want to go.
  4. Don’t just think about selling – it’s also about engagement, learning and getting leads. The sales will come, believe it.
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