Get In Front of the Mobile Web Explosion

October 1, 2013 Gary Ritkes

mobile websites

How many times have you heard that “mobile marketing is the future” or “mobile is the new frontier in digital marketing?”  Well, as President of a Marketing Resource Management company that prides itself on adapting the latest technology to the channel marketing dynamic, you are now going to hear it from me…with proof.

The Mobile Marketing Association or MMA (not to be confused with the no holds barred fighting style) published in May of this year a study finding that the “mobile marketing ecosystem generated $139 billion of incremental output to the U.S. economy in 2012,” a significant increase over the $48 billion in net sales registered for 2010, but significantly less than the $400 billion projected for 2015.

Just as it was hard at one point in the past to conceptualize how pervasive online commerce would become, it is now difficult to imagine how important mobile commerce, mobile marketing, and meeting your potential customers in the mobile space is and will be.  First let’s try to sensitize you to how important this shift is and then I will give you actionable insight so you can avoid becoming the Borders of the mobile commerce age. 

Is it really that important…Yes

The MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Study found that in 2012 marketers and retailers spent $6.7 billion on mobile marketing, a number set to increase to $19.8 billion by 2015.  The projected increase in spend doesn’t seem to be overzealous as the study found that “…mobile marketing has yet to experience the law of diminishing returns.”  To the contrary, upon calculating the Marketing Impact Ratio (MIR) the numbers proved “…those that spend more on mobile achieved the highest impact ratio and thus gained the most value for their mobile marketing investment.”

One study doesn’t prove all, I understand, but that study is simply a reflection of the undeniable reality we experience every day; 85 percent of us have cell phones, 84 percent of us keep our cell phones within 3 meters of us at all times, and on average we check our cell phones 150 times per day according to Pew and Forrester, respectively.          

You say, “That is great Gary, but it still doesn’t prove people are using their cell phones in the discovery process or to buy things.”  Google and Ipsos OTX surveyed 5,013 adults in a study called The Mobile Movement: Understanding Cell Phone Users, which suggests they are.

Discovery

  • 95% of cell phone users have looked for local information
  • 88% of those users took an action within a day, indicating immediate information needs
  • 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business
  • 82% notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and a third notice mobile search ads

Purchasing

  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info, to locating a retailer
  • 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones

Okay, I hope by now you are convinced of the imperative to get in front of mobile marketing.  Now let me tell you how.

Local Search – Optimizing for mobile keywords is different and your local search strategy has to reflect that. Search engines can determine if your website is mobile ready or not, and don’t forget your network partners have to be coordinated and registered in the correct business listings. 

Mobile Website – Make sure your network partners have mobile websites, not just websites that render on a mobile device.  The mobile web is different from the regular web and requires different technology and design to maximize conversions.  (i.e. including call extensions on the site)  

Mobile Pay-Per-Click – Again, mobile PPC strategy is different from Desktop.  Keywords are different, bid strategy is different, etc.  Don’t worry, once you hash out the right strategy it can be slightly modified for each network partner in a scalable way.

Apps – This could take some tinkering with, but it can pay off.  There are obvious apps like the location based foursquare, but also hundreds of less prominent apps that may carry out functions that fit well with your promotions.

This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diving into the world of mobile marketing.  Applying mobile strategy to channel marketing is an exciting challenge for any distributed organization and we here at SproutLoud thoroughly enjoy pushing the boundaries of marketing technology to drive discovery and sales in the B2B2C dynamic.   

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About the Author

Gary Ritkes

Gary Ritkes, President of SproutLoud, oversees all Business Development and Marketing for the company. Gary, a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology, is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS), which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He has served as a board member of the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation chapter and other national industry associations, including the DMA and AGA.

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