Posts Tagged ‘mobile marketing 101’

| Marketing Experiments Blog

So, you’ve done all of this, right?

1)      Made sure you understand what your current site looks like through a variety of mobile operating systems. Is it good? Is it even adequate? (User Agents)

2)      Understand what people use your current site for? What is the top content overall, and top content immediately preceding a successful call to action. (Analytics)

3)      Understand your target audience? (Internal discussions)

4)      Lastly, determined if the benefits of building a mobile site or redesigning your current site outweigh the expenditure.

If not, refer back to our previous blog post, but now we’re moving on to actual mobile website design recommendations.

Now let’s say you’ve made the decision to create a website specifically for mobile devices. The main thing you need to understand about mobile devices is the difference in usability:

  • They have much less real estate
  • Buttons are harder to click
  • People will be zooming in to see any small features
  • When a potential customer clicks on a box to enter text a good portion of the screen is covered by the keyboard

So, you need to make your page as easy to use as possible. I can’t stress that enough! While there may be TONS of great content on your site, you need to keep your mobile site as easy to use as possible.

Usability is key

A big part of that is avoiding the urge to overload the mobile version of your website with too much information. There are lots of great technologies, such as sliding drop-downs, that give you different ways to lay out your top navigation without cluttering the entire page. Remember, you want to make it as easy to use as possible, and minimize the number of steps it takes a user to reach their primary objective.

Now, that’s tricky since you won’t always know what that objective might be for unique visitors. You just need to ensure that all the high-level detail, and top relevant content from your desktop version is available on mobile. Again, this is where all that research you did in part 1 pays off.

Understand how people use mobile devices

When someone is using a mobile platform they’re not usually looking for the full user experience they find on the desktop. Typically people are looking for very specific pieces of information on their phones, for example local movie times or restaurants in the area. Historically, a very deep, in-depth sales process is not effective through a mobile platform, but that is always changing with updates to technology. As phones continue to become more advanced, people are becoming more and more likely to want to jump directly to the desktop version of the page.

Ecommerce is something unique, but most product- and service – based companies really want to view the mobile site more as a starting point for the visitor. You’re going to want to make sure you’re driving traffic back to your fully featured website, since that’s where all the details and highly specific content will stay. Give them a teaser, and then encourage them to go back to the desktop version where they can set up their profile or do other activities.

It’s really hard on a mobile device to punch in your email, password, user name and change your preferences and settings; all of that stuff is more easily done with keyboard and mouse for the majority of users. You really want your mobile site to be a jumping off point – this is what we do, what we offer, this is the top-level stuff – but not get into nitty gritty on mobile. Drive that to desktop. As we covered earlier, make it easy and obvious to view the desktop version on your mobile device.

Segment by operating system

Using metrics you can also segment mobile visitors by OS. If your traffic is 90 percent iPhone, you obviously want to ensure your site works on iPhone before you move onto other devices, right?

You can also eventually offer different content and pages based on the individual user’s OS system, but you first want to focus on getting a page that just works.

So, to sum up, most people are using mobile devices to hunt and find specific information, unlike a typical desktop experience where you may be browsing with no real goal in mind or for the sake of entertainment. In this case, just ensure that:

  • Your content is easy to find, access and read
  • It’s the right content

By doing so, you should be set to keep the visitors on your site or drive them to your preferred call to action.

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| Marketing Experiments Blog

When they asked me to write a blog post on mobile websites I thought they were crazy. I mean, when was the last time I actually developed a mobile app or website? Oh yeah, never.

But the more I thought about it,  the more I realized that I’ve spent so much time on my phone, I am actually very well informed and can help you and your company start off on the right foot in the mobile space. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony is a humble guy. He is one of our top optimization research analysts, working with The New York Times among other Research Partners.)

And, I’m sure many marketers may be attracted to the idea of going mobile. Especially since, according to the Nielsen Company, smartphone users are projected to account for more than 50 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers by the end of the year.

So, if you’re one of those marketers thinking about creating a dedicated mobile site, this is my beginner’s take on what it takes to create a successful one before you take the leap …

Step #1: See how your current page looks on mobile platforms

I’m sure you or someone you know has an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc. If you don’t have each of these devices handy, there are some really cool tools that you can use to see how your website would actually look and behave on just about any mobile device.

Both Firefox and Safari offer easy ways to change your user agent and see what your site would look like through other browsers. For Firefox, download Chris Pederick’s User Agent Switcher. You can find more mobile browsers in the comments section.

For Safari, just enable Developer Mode (Preferences, Advanced, check the “Show Develop” box) and select your user agent from the Develop menu. While this isn’t a perfect representation of your site, once you shrink your browser window to the size of your mobile device it’ll be very close impersonation and plenty to get you started.

This is really going to help us answer some common questions you encounter while going mobile such as:

  • Is the website too cluttered?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Are the buttons clickable with my big fingers?
  • Is it easy to find the best and most relevant content?
  • In the end…is it good? Heck, is it even adequate?

I’m going to assume that here, for most of you, what’s going to happen is that you’ll realize it’s not really optimized for a mobile platform. This is to be expected. You’ve spent a lot of time optimizing your site over the past few years and you’re just now looking towards mobile, right?

Step #2: (Really) understand your target audience

This includes who they are, and what they come to look at. Some of the key statistics you’ll want to pay close attention to include:

  • How many visitors come from a mobile device?
  • What is the mobile device of choice?
  • What pages do they most frequently visit?
  • What is the top content overall, and top content immediately preceding a successful call to action?

These questions will be integral when you actually begin planning out your mobile site. You’ll want to have an internal discussion with Sales and Customer Service about your target audience. You’ll also want to use your analytics to determine what people currently use your site for.

There are plenty of tools out there that can give you these statistics, but the tool of choice for many companies is Google Analytics because it’s a free tool with relatively quick implementation, a robust support network, and the ability to collect a plethora of great data. A properly set-up Google Analytics account can get you most of the information you desire for free, you just need to know where to look.

Step #3: Assemble a mock-up mobile page that meets your visitors’ expectations

This is the step where you’ll be happy you looked at the most highly viewed content in the site and what visitors do immediately preceding the call to action. This will be your most relevant content, and content you want to ensure you include while making it easy to find.

On a personal note, please be sure to give people an easy-to-find button where they can be switched to the desktop version of the site. Nothing is more frustrating than when you want to see the desktop version of a site but keep getting automatically redirected to the mobile site.

I personally run into that problem quite often. I play a lot of Fantasy Sports, and when I wrote this it was football season. I use ESPN and when I get redirected to the mobile version of the site I can easily see my team and league, but can’t easily get to a lot of the research and analysis that I’m trying to find. You know, all that nitty gritty stuff you’re looking through on Sunday morning, while you’re setting your final lineup. I always had to hunt for a way into the desktop version of the site to get what I really needed and it was remarkably frustrating. Sorry, just needed to vent for a minute.

Step #4: Decide if the benefits outweigh the costs of development

Now that you’ve taken these simple steps, you need to decide how, or even if, you should make a mobile version of your website. There is no one right answer; it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis that takes into account your overall business strategy.

Don’t just jump into creating a mobile site because it’s the next hot thing — or because the CEO just got an iPhone and loves playing with his new toy. You must determine if the benefits of building a mobile site, or redesigning your current site, outweigh the expenditure to truly get results.

Now that you’ve made the decision whether or not to proceed with a mobile site, what should it look like? My time is up, so we’ll have to cover that next time in part two.

 

by Adam T. Sutton, Reporter

Technology always increases in power and decreases in price over time. The multimillion-dollar supercomputer of yesterday is today’s five dollar pocket calculator. Mobile phone technology is no different.

More people carry smartphones than ever before:

o 31.9% of all mobile subscribers used a Web browser on a mobile device in the three months ending in May 2010, according to comScore. That’s up from 26% in comScore’s September 2009 three-month average.

o 30% downloaded a mobile app in the three months ending in May, compared to 6.7% in the September 2009 three-month average, according to comScore.

“We’re definitely past the discussion of whether mobile is mainstream. It’s here,” says Matthew Snyder, CEO and Founder, ADObjects, a mobile strategy consultancy and agency.

Snyder has worked in mobile and consumer electronics for more than two decades. He spent 12 years with Nokia and eight years with Sony, based mostly in Japan, a mobile technology hotspot. He now helps companies understand how mobile channels can improve business and marketing performance.

We spoke with Snyder to get his take on what marketers need to consider before testing mobile marketing initiatives. Here are the five insights he provided:

Insight #1. Start with a mobile Web presence

Snyder is a strong believer in the Web. The cornerstone of any mobile strategy should be a Web presence, he says, whether it is a single landing page or a full mobile site. Even if a marketer is experimenting with sending SMS messages, these messages should include a link to a page where mobile users can learn more.

Here are four types of mobile Web presences Snyder sees:

1. Mobile versions of existing sites

Companies have built mobile websites which offer nearly the same features as their traditional websites, but which are adapted to a handheld format. A textbook example is Facebook’s mobile website (see Useful Links below).

2. Plug-in-based mobile sites

Similar to the first category, blogs and websites based on WordPress, Drupal or similar open-source platforms can use free plug-ins which format sites for mobile audiences (see useful links below).

3. Mobile landing pages

As the name suggests, these single-page entities can be created quickly to add a mobile-Web presence to a marketing campaign.

4. Dedicated mobile sites

These sites are standalone, multi-page entities, not mobile versions of a traditional website. They have their own designs and strategies to meet the needs of mobile visitors.

Insight #2. Consider all mobile options

Mobile networks and devices provide a range of ways to reach an audience — such as text, voice and email. When your team is considering how best to incorporate mobile into its marketing, consider all the major possibilities:

– Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS is capable of sending minimal, text-based messages to your audience, which can include links to call a phone number or visit a website.

– Multimedia Message Service (MMS)

MMS is similar to SMS technology, but can also send content such as images, video and audio files such as ringtones.

– Voice

Mobile phones have click-to-call functionality that enables audiences to reach you directly, or to click to request a call from your team.

– Web

Similar to traditional Web browsing, the mobile Web is continually adding pages of content designed for easy access from handheld devices.

– Proximity marketing

Smartphones with GPS and similar technologies are capable of broadcasting locations. Some marketers are taking the opportunity to deliver ads to mobile users in specific locations, such as when they’re near brick-and-mortar stores.

– Applications

Computer programs specially designed for smartphones are widely available and have their own marketplaces. Some marketers have directly integrated campaigns into their audiences’ phones by designing and offering a branded mobile app.

– Content

Branded content — including ringtones, images, videos and ebooks — are just a few of the many different types of digital information marketers can provide in a mobile format.

– Email

As any business professional with a Blackberry will tell you, email is a mobile channel. People frequently receive and send digital letters through handheld devices.

Insight #3. Mobile does not stand alone

Mobile marketing does not succeed as an isolated channel, Snyder says. Instead, it works best when integrated with other channels and tactics to form a cross-platform strategy.

Examples include:
o Combining SMS or barcode calls-to-action in traditional advertising
o Mobile apps that integrate with television shows
o Mobile coupons for in-store sales

Mobile promotions should also be integrated with other channels. For example, mobile content should be promoted on your website — e.g. if you’re advertising a free whitepaper download and it’s available in a mobile format, mention this in your website ads.

“Mobile, in general, is the glue that connects all media,” Snyder says, “As smartphones become more prevalent, the more they will be associated and attached with existing media channels.”

Insight #4. Mobile requires a well-planned strategy

It can be tempting to quickly test proximity marketing or a mobile website just to see what happens. But mobile marketing initiatives should be carefully planned, Snyder says. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money, and possibly damaging your brand.

Areas to consider:

– Overall marketing strategy

Mobile devices are extremely personal. Owners carry them everywhere, and during all stages of the buying process.

Given mobile’s “constantly-connected” attributes, you must understand the impact of making mobile information available throughout your entire marketing strategy. Your team should know:
o Which specific goals you want to achieve
o How the tactic will help achieve those goals
o What possible negative impact it could have

– Usage cases for your audience

Determine the ways in which your audience would, or already does, interact with your company on mobile devices. Put yourself in their shoes — how could they use a smartphone to learn more about you?

By checking your website’s analytics you may find mobile visitors are already accessing your site.

“I’ve seen anywhere from 5% to 20% of existing websites getting hit by phones today,” Snyder says.

– Media buying and budget

Your team also will have to consider where mobile marketing fits into its media budget and priorities. You will have to gauge investment and potential return while ensuring the overall media plan is capable of meeting its targets.

Some mobile channels are inexpensive to test. For example, your team could easily add a call-to-action to your traditional advertising to ask viewers to send you an SMS message or visit your mobile site. Others are more expensive, such as mobile applications, which can cost between $20,000 and $100,000 to develop a quality product, Snyder says.

from Marketing Sherpa