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Let’s talk about “Mobile”

June 6, 2011

Everywhere you turn, everyone is talking about mobile, with the business world  buzzing about mobile tools, technologies, and channels. But when we say “mobile” what do we really mean?  Are we referring to text messaging, which has remained resistant to advertising and are we including the iPad as a large mobile device, or a very small laptop? It's hard to say, because the very definition of mobile itself is shifting all the time, alongside the rise of tablet devices.

So, marketers really need to be giving serious thought about how, where and when their customers will be accessing online content. One thing for sure, is that at the centre of all mobile marketing is email; the same reliable messaging platform that has been changing marketing for some considerable time. Research repeatedly indicates that one of top uses of smartphones is for consuming email.  Whilst data doesn’t yet exist as to how consumers are using tablets, the good news for email marketers, is that data already flags email as a key activity on ipads and other similar devices

We must be mindful to remember that the real story on mobile isn't about all the trendy new devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers. What is most important isn't that we're changing our technology, but that this technology is dramatically changing us. More than just an exciting new medium, mobile is driving an entirely "new normal" by completely overhauling the way we communicate, connect, work and live.

Whilst B2C businesses have been diving into mobile at a frenzied pace; lots of B2B businesses have been falling behind. Whether this is because they're sceptical, or they're waiting for others to move first, or they're paying attention to other media. Whatever the reason, if B2B's have no plans to integrate mobile into their marketing mix, they will be missing a golden opportunity to reach and engage their business audiences.

Mobile is so vital for the business audience, because it is the one set of media most used by business professionals and so B2B businesses should set their sights and budgets on mobile if they want to be where their audiences are. If we're witnessing a revolution in the way our audiences work and live, then marketers should revolutionise their businesses too.

It's the all encompassing one-to-one platform that marketers have been searching for, as it is always switched on, always on you and it's customisable in every way, from the ringtones you choose for each caller, to the apps that you download, to the alerts that you set to organise yourself. Someway between their impressive processing power and never ending features, today's smartphones have morphed into personal computers that also "just happen to ring."

Mobile's unique one-to-one nature is particularly important for B2B because, unlike B2C, the business environment is punctuated by high-priced offerings, long sales cycles, and complex contracts and it's success has always been based on how adept  companies are at building and maintaining strong relationships with their buyers.

B2B’s need to review all their current and planned initiatives to identify how they can improve success rates by integrating mobile tools, components, and channels. For example: If you're running a print advert, could you include a call to action for your audience to "text for more information"?  If you are publishing a whitepaper; how about also turning it into a series of brief pieces that are more easily digested by mobile. And consider if you can take the content that you're delivering in text form and produce a set of short videos or audio podcasts that can be much more easily consumed by your audiences in the mobile environment.

In this changing business landscape, marketers will of course also need to optimise all their web content for mobile; across websites, landing pages, e-newsletters and campaigns, allowing for every single type of mobile device. Designing for the small screen will also prove to be an emerging art. Smart marketers should make a choice about their audience. If metrics show a wide variety of devices are being used, consider designing a few versions and segmenting your sends. If your metrics show a clear pattern with a few platforms taking precedence, optimise for these platforms only.

B2B marketers need to assess and determine strategies for how mobile can really enhance their current set of offerings or advance their overall business, or both. Then B2B's can really start to leverage mobile technologies to extend the core value proposition and relevancy of their brands.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your mobile email marketing strategy with one of our Digital Marketing Consultants, please call 0161 817 2929 or email [email protected]. We're always here to help.

Posted by Jenni Malley

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