Laptops and tablets and smartphones, oh my! No matter where we go, we are digitally “connected” in some way shape or form and that isn’t planning on changing anytime soon. In fact, Cisco forecasts “by the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.”
Connecting to anyone at anytime, anywhere is a luxury in today’s digital savvy world. Consumers are accustomed to getting information at their fingertips and it’s fair to say those habits cross over to the B2B world as well. Business professionals want to be up-to-date on the latest industry news as well as research information as it relates to their business. An eMarketer article shared findings from a 2011 Compete/Google study that “28% of U.S. B2B C-level executives used a mobile phone to research business purchase, compared to 25% of those outside the C-suite. On tablets, those numbers were 21% and 12%, respectively.” Are we surprised? We shouldn’t be. It’s fair to say those numbers have most likely increased over the past couple of years as well. These folks are not chained to their desks for 8 hours a day—in fact, they are mobile and any communication that is limited to reaching them only while they sit at their desk is certainly a missed opportunity.
For that reason, digital marketers today are already thinking—or should be—about how best to incorporate mobile into their integrated marketing strategies. There is a plethora of tactics to choose from when it comes utilizing mobile: advertising, email marketing, SMS messaging, content marketing, search marketing and social media to name a few. The mistake a lot of marketers make is thinking that campaigns transfer seamlessly over to mobile. Here is where they are wrong.
People accessing mobile devices are consuming information differently than if they were viewing the same information on a desktop computer. For starters, they are dealing with smaller screens and are usually multi-tasking which typically leads to having shorter attention spans.
Therefore, when implementing a mobile tactic, special attention needs to be given to everything from design to subject lines, calls to action, keywords, landing pages and content. Does it make sense to promote that lengthy whitepaper in your mobile campaign? Most likely not—which is why it’s essential to think of creative ways to communicate your message that are mobile-friendly. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Is your content interactive? Shareable? Tweetable? Visually appealing? Readable? Videos and infographics are just a few examples of effective ways to promote content via mobile.
Or how about that email you worked so hard at designing with all the fancy graphics? That’ll look fine, won’t it? Wrong! It will not look nearly as good or be as effective on a mobile device. You’ll be lucky if the email is opened at all if your subject line is too long. Designing emails with the mobile device in mind and keeping the copy concise with a clear call to action will improve engagement and ideally generate more conversions. This infographic provides best practices for email design and includes tips on mobile email design as well.
And if you’re lucky to grab the attention of an on-the-go business professional with a compelling mobile search ad or banner ad, it’s also important to lead them to a mobile-friendly landing page where they can quickly and easily access information. If you send them to your main website, it’s likely the load time will be too long and the content so small it’s hard to navigate. Check out this infographic to learn more interesting statistics on load times from mobile devices.
Being accessible through all channels is critical in reaching today’s business audience and mobile can no longer be a secondary thought for the B2B marketer. I predict mobile will continue to prove to be an influential touch point in the B2B buy cycle. Smart marketers, who truly want to provide value to customers and prospects actively researching information via their mobile devices, will know to think through the implementation of mobile tactics differently. Context is crucial—relevancy and simplification are key.
Stacy Scheets, Senior Campaign Manager