The way we use our mobile phone is changing how we work, rest and play. Importantly mobile phone popularity is making businesses rethink their overall marketing spend.
Consider this. The number of mobile phones will exceed the world population to 7.3 billion by 2014. Three-quarters of organisations surveyed say that mobile is important or critical to their objectives. So if your business has a website, a mobile strategy is more important than ever.
Mobile strategy – missed opportunity?
An intelligent mobile strategy can help build brand loyalty, increase website traffic and boost your bottom line. 40% of users will turn to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience; so you need to capture their attention while you have it. The key will be to decide between having a Responsive Website Design (RWD) – a website optimised for mobile viewing – or having a Mobile Application (MA). Either one must make your business money to ensure a viable return on investment.
Responsive Website Design (RWD)
Mobile websites (optimised for viewing on smartphones) can work very well if developed in the right way. Google research found 57% of mobile users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. RWD works using an internet browser, but changes visual appearance depending on the device the browser is running on. A mobile optimised site has large images and the navigation is clear and easy to use. The whole experience is completely different to a standard website. For example, if the load time of your website is deathly slow on a smartphone it could be due to the way it’s been designed; users may leave before it loads the first page. RWD is faster than a standard design, a Mobile Application however, is faster!
Mobile Application (MA)
There’s a phenomenal demand for Mobile Applications. In 2012, mobile apps downloaded around the world increased by 104% to 60.1 billion. An MA needs to be installed onto a mobile device, it does not need to connect to the internet and can have extensive phone features. A new report from Compuware suggests that 85% of consumers favour apps over mobile websites. The most common reason is that apps are seen to be more convenient, faster and easier to browse. With around 41 apps on their phone, it’s no surprise that they are a vital channel for keeping customers engaged.
RWD vs MA
The choice between building an RWD or an MA will be unique to your business. If you choose the MA route you must have a specific interaction you want your user to engage in. However, if you simply wish to display your existing website as it exists on all devices, follow the RWD route, it’s cheaper and will not need to go through an approval process. Remember, if you pursue the MA route it’s vital you monitor how your brand is performing to ensure you’re delivering the experience users expect. And whether you choose RWD or MA, consider 90% of mobile users are looking for an address and contact information when they visit a mobile website; so make sure they can find it in one or two clicks and that holds true for an app too.
Harnessing the right mobile technology will help bring your brand even closer to your customers. The wrong decision will drive customers in the wrong direction to your competitors. So assess your goals and resources and don’t ignore your on-going marketing activity, particularly when 86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching the TV. Wraparound online (website) and offline (print advertising) marketing is essential. Mould mobile strategy into your existing marketing to ensure it complements and enhances what you’re doing already.