A few decades ago, it would have been nearly impossible to imagine the smartphones that are now such a huge part of our lives. We might have guessed that phones would become more advanced, perhaps, as well other consumer appliances like televisions, radios and cameras – but to combine those features into a rectangle smaller and thinner than a deck of cards? It would feel more like science fiction than logical speculation. Today, that’s exactly what we have. In fact, we’re so dependent on the all-knowing, all-seeing presence of this convenience-defining device that we’ve developed something called “digital reflexes,” a phenomena that causes us to automatically physically reach for our phones when we have a question or need.
As marketers, the existence of that digital reflex should be our cue that capturing “mobile moments” – that marketing sweet spot where time-based customer needs and attention overlap what your company is able to provide – is one of the most important things we can focus on. A recent survey by Google found that 70% of consumers do research before a purchase, or purchase outright, on mobile devices. In B2B marketing, this is an especially important point, as the purchasing decisions made in that mobile moment, or because of it, can lead to months and even years of repeat business.
Mobile marketing is fundamentally different than digital marketing as a whole: conflating the two is a mistake that could hamstring your ROI. Just because both methods use screens to reach potential customers doesn’t mean they should be treated the same way. Think of it this way: when was the last time you hauled your desktop setup out on the subway, or brought your flat screen television into a fast food booth? Phones go where most digital devices can’t, which is part of the reason they offer so many opportunities to connect with your audience.
Always consider mobile device weaknesses and strengths. The transitive nature of phone-glancing, for example, lends design aspects like image timing and font size more weight than they’d have for television and traditional digital ads. While it’s still important on a traditional computer, page load timing is make-or-break on a mobile device. While touch-screen monitors do exist, the physical gesturing and control inherent in smartphone and tablet navigation is unique to the platform, and presents a promising new engagement frontier for forward-thinking campaigns. Branded phone apps are a short, low-entry path to immediate, ongoing engagement off of a mobile ad – always consider this as a parallel goal for driving sales, and as a handy metric for measuring success as well.
A mobile moment isn’t just about time – it’s a multi-dimensional point where components like a viewer’s GPS location, other installed apps, previous engagement measurements and other factors all come into play, hopefully placing your brand experience squarely in the center. Focusing on only one of those aspects leaves your marketing efforts feeling like “just another ad” – but when you hit several at once, your potential customer experiences a more organic connection. Striving for engagement is no longer an uphill battle, and the conversational floor is open to your pitch and sales pathways. Make sure you’re focusing on a multi-point strategy for mobile that involves these points; just showing a banner ad isn’t going to cut it for attention-fickle mobile users.
Mobile device marketing campaigns are at the cutting edge of consumer engagement, and if you want your brand to be there too, make sure you’re small screen-ready. Both challenging and rewarding, the crafting and implementing process of mobile moments should be part of your marketing plan, no matter what product or service you have to sell. If you’ve been treating mobile as a mere extension of digital, consider this your wakeup call: it’s time to change up your strategy.