The world has gone mobile, and any good marketing campaign must acknowledge that. Phones have replaced computers, televisions, and many other devices as the primary way to access information. To effectively reach and engage with your customers while positioning your company to embrace some of the biggest emerging technologies of our time, a mobile-first mentality is a must.
You’re probably reading this on your phone
Mobile marketing is vital because … well ... we just can’t put down our phones. There are far more mobile devices than computers in the world today, and in 2015, the number of mobile telephone subscriptions eclipsed the number of people in the world. That was almost five years ago. The UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Bank, and the UN have estimated there are roughly 5.28 billion “mobile broadband” subscriptions as of the end of 2018, and a little less than half of them — 2.38 billion users to be exact — check Facebook on their phones at least once a month. According to Statista, the Americas have a mobile broadband subscription penetration of 97.1 percent, and Europe isn’t far behind at 93.6 percent. Smartphone users perform more than 150 activities a day on their phones. According to Forrester Research, the mobile phone has become such an essential device for most people that no other device will overtake its massive scale and popularity in the next ten years.
Being just ‘mobile-friendly’ is no longer enough. Now it must be your core. For example, you shouldn’t think of your website’s mobile version or your app as a secondary experience, but as fully functional tools that are central to your brand’s experience, and make sure your email newsletters can easily be viewed on a mobile screen. To reach customers, marketers must create campaigns that are mobile from the ground up. “I think a mobile-first focus on screen size, instead of the possibilities of personal interactions, prevents CMOs [Chief Marketing Officers] from thinking holistically about mobile as a core component of their engagement strategy. The sad reality is that most brands are still not mature at integrating and implementing mobile into their marketing strategy,” says Thomas Husson, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester. Being mobile-first is meeting your customers where they are, literally and figuratively, so they can engage with your brand.
Living in a mobile world
Consider how to leverage mobile marketing to drive personal, informational, immersive, and ultimately engaging experiences that drive your target audience to purchase your product or pay for your experience. In many ways, consumers have been conditioned by mobile experiences to expect a level of convenience and personalization from which there's no going back. They expect immediate gratification and intuitive experiences on mobile devices. This new way of life has significantly impacted our behaviors — the way we search, how we prefer to engage with brands, and the overall experience we've come to expect whether we're reordering supplies or refinancing a mortgage.
If social media is at the core of your marketing strategy — and chances are it is — then so is mobile marketing. Mobile is social. Social networks and their users have embraced the mobile-first digital mentality like none other. Some social media platforms are mobile-only, like Snapchat, or they are primarily mobile, like Instagram, which requires a mobile app … unless you want to use the bare bones website version.
A mobile-first marketing strategy can incorporate mobile payments through platforms such as Apple Pay or QR codes. You can ping your customers when they’re in the vicinity of your store. You can alert them of a sale, a new product, or a service upgrade instantaneously. Short-form videos are ideal for mobile environments, as they are often consumed in the fast pace of daily life. They can be as short as Snapchat and Instagram Stories but are getting increasingly longer in length. There has been a 133% increase globally in long format video viewing on mobile, with Europe being the leader here. On average, mobile users are spending 30 minutes a day watching videos, and they’re sharing them across their social media accounts too.
What’s on the mobile-first horizon?
Mobile has already shown itself to be a foundation for many current and future technological innovations. Going mobile helps prepare you for the Internet of Things. Smartphones are already at the center of the constellation of devices, accessories, appliances, and home goods that all communicate with each other. These include smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart speakers, TV streaming boxes, lights, security cameras, door locks, and even your car. The smart home is inherently mobile.
If you’re not mobile, how will you embrace other marketing technologies like augmented reality, artificial intelligence, voice-based assistants, visual search, and more? “It is still fascinating to me to see how many marketers wrongly think their company has fixed-mobile basics or believe they can leapfrog to AI, voice, and other new technologies,” says Husson.
Engage the mobile world with CPL
Creative Propulsion Labs designed an app and website for Tupperware, creating a streamlined way for party hosts to keep track of parties and products, allowing them to easily interact with the web site and app with a fresh new user interface. Hosts have the app easily at hand to make sales and enhance their guests’ experiences while throwing their Tupperware parties.
With Built Story, CPL helped the client turn traveling into a social network with this innovative and exciting application that gives users the ability to choose from thousands of user-generated tours, or create their own and earn. The challenge was to map out the world and upload all of that data into one stylish, user-friendly application. This would hardly be possible without a mobile-first mentality.
Check out our post on the evolution of mobile marketing. It breaks down many of the ways marketers can ensure their content is optimized for mobile, as well as embrace the biggest mobile marketing trends such as apps, wearables, and the gamification of marketing campaigns. Or connect with us @creativepropulsionlabs, and let’s get the conversation started.