When computers started to gain popularity and companies started moving their brands online there were very obvious struggles; pages that did not load correctly in certain browsers, annoying pop up ads, and poor UX.
Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
These mistakes seem to be happening all over again with the move to mobile platforms. As users of mobile technology we have all seen pages that are not optimized for mobile, intrusive ads that pop up or “hang out” in the middle of our experiences, and apps or sites that don’t cater to our needs.
Why is mobile so important?
Consumers are more ready to make purchases with as many as 90 percent of all smartphone based local searches, depending on the category, leading to consumer action within the day, according to xAd-Telemetrics.
People are constantly connected to their mobile devices, which gives marketers the opportunity to be closer and engage more often.With the growth of mobile expected to be exponential for the upcoming years, it is important for companies who want to stay relevant to have a great mobile presence.
There are people out there who are doing it right and we should look at these examples to figure out how to avoid history repeating itself.
Mobile optimized sites
According to an article on Forbes, 72% of users say a mobile-friendly site is important to them, but a nearly unanimous 96% have visited sites that aren’t.
Every site and site builder had to start somewhere. Back when the internet first started, there weren’t as many coders or easy to use tools. But now, we have many resources to help build a mobile site and tools like WompMobile to assist.
There is no excuse not to optimize and have a crappy mobile site can turn users off.
WTF Mobile Web shows examples of what not to do. But here are some tips on what to do:
Tip #1 – Don’t overload. Your mobile viewers are not accessing your page to get your life story. They can ask Google for that. Use only the most necessary details. Ask yourself: what could the viewers of my site be looking for? Why would they be accessing my brand from a mobile device? How can I help answer their questions?
Tip #2 – Scale your damn images. Users shouldn’t have to drag their finger all over their screen just to see a whole image.
Tip #3 – Remember you are designing for a smaller display. Like tip#2, you want to make sure users can read your text without having to pinch and zoom a lot.
Tip #4 – Put your most important information at the top. This one goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway because a lot of websites still put their contact info at the bottom of the page. No, I do not want to scroll all the way down just to almost miss seeing your phone number or address in .05 font.
SolveMedia has found that you are 116 times more likely to survive a rattlesnake bite than to intentionally click on a mobile banner ad!
If marketers have learned anything recently, it is that traditional marketing is not the most effective strategy for acquiring customers and creating a high CLV. So why are there so many intrusive ads in mobile? My guess is that this disease stems from not knowing yet what to do with mobile.
This article from Forbes, “Will Mobile Revolutionize Advertising–Or Kill It?” talks about the problems with ads in mobile. Brian Wong, co founder and CEO of mobile app rewards network Kiip, thinks marketing in mobile will turn on rewards, not anything that resembles interruptive ads.
There are options to create awareness and liking besides intrusive ads. These alternatives may also create a preference. Rewards, like Wong mentioned, is one. Rewards teach us the lesson that focusing on the user is key. Watch this creative mobile campaign.
This campaign worked because it gave consumers something they wanted and gave the brand a a connection with consumers, creating a more favorable image.
Relevant Apps and Sites
The theme of relevancy has run through this post quite a bit.
Be relevant on your mobile site and in your ads.
In a recent survey, 61% of 1,100 U.S. adult smartphone users said that if they don’t find what they’re looking for (probably within about five seconds), they’ll click away to another site.
So how do you keep users happy? How do you get them to stay? The simple answer is “be relevant”. The more complicated answer is also “be relevant.” It’s a short phrase to say, but can take a lot of time to act on. You need to think about what your users are looking for.
One way to be relevant is contextual relevance, which means creating communications with a user that is relevant to the location of the user and what the user is most likely trying to do. Location based advertising is growing and becoming more sophisticated.
Another way to be relevant is to give the user something to do. Make your site or app actionable. Are you selling stuff? Create an app where consumers can easily buy your product. Are you a restaurant or service? Have a GPS locating map to tell users where you are. Give them your phone number to call. Give them a mobile formatted menu or service list. Are you trying to get donations? Make it easier on the people donating like the Obama campaign did.
In the end – Mobile is a space that is not being used effectively. Some brands are making the mistake of reverting to arcane marketing strategies. The nature of mobile is very futuristic and for marketers to be innovative we can’t be pulling out old tricks from an historical time.