I’ve been hearing this sentiment for quite a while now: “We are becoming a mobile-first world.” While I knew it was inevitable, prior to this year, the channel was still growing. Looking at web traffic data, mobile was certainly gaining ground, but by a percentage of total traffic, desktop still maintained the lion’s share – especially when it came to online purchases. This broad metric is largely dependent on the individual industry, but averaged out, desktop was hanging on. That is no longer the case, so the question now arises: Are you leveraging mobile appropriately now that we are finally in a mobile-first world?
Laura Beaudin, global marketing practice lead of Bain & Company, says most likely no. The consulting firm has found that companies spend just 13 percent of total media budgets on mobile advertising and the content used is often upcycled video or print content that was produced for another medium, which leads to poor mobile campaign performance. In other words, companies spend 87 percent of their media budget on mediums that are shrinking.
That is mind-blowing.
Adobe, in its most recent Digital Insight report, suggests that the smartphone market is finally becoming saturated and the adoption rate is slowing down. Overall Internet traffic in the United States has grown just 0.1 percent during four years (ADI 2016 – Slide 4). There are fewer and fewer new eyeballs online and people are spending less time on websites overall, so marketers need to become more tactical and develop stronger mobile strategies.
Simply put, companies that build a solid foundation around mobile will be positioned to capture more of the market than their competitors who are not doing the same. There's a lot of room for improvement.
It’s no surprise that consumers’ first point of contact with many brands is on a mobile device.
In fact, 69 percent of mobile device owners will conduct a mobile search first if they need something. That presents a powerful opportunity for your brand to help save the day and ultimately find new customers. Worth noting is that 76 percent of people who use their mobile device to search for something local will visit a related business within 24 hours.
Here’s the thing: How and why a person uses their mobile device differs greatly from desktop. How they navigate a website and for what purpose are different. Their attention span will be different; there’s more distractions around them when on mobile. Their reasons for visiting your site will be different.
For a number of reasons, the interactions on mobile will be different from desktop, so why use the same metrics from the past to get an accurate representation of your overall marketing efforts? Major brands are now treating mobile as its own channel instead of the little brother or sister of desktop, and therefore using different metrics, such as loyalty, to measure KPIs. If you aren’t doing the same, you better start.
Beaudin goes on to mention that 79 percent of consumers use their mobile device during the awareness and consideration phases of the buyer’s journey. However, less than 10 percent use that same device to make a purchase during the decision phase. As marketers, we should be considering the mobile channel as a primary driver in brand awareness and product consideration, and the desktop as the medium to make the conversion. Content should be created with this in mind so targeted audiences receive the proper ad depending on their place along the buyer’s journey.
Most companies don’t have the ability to track cross-device transactions. Are you curious about the power mobile has on your business? Bain used 535 marketing campaigns and found that for every $100 in revenue that could be attributed to a mobile display ad, an additional $90 should also be attributed for purchases made on another device. If you are using conversion tracking and are able to see how much revenue was generated by mobile ad campaigns, make sure to multiply that figure by 1.9x to accurately understand what mobile is doing for your business.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to weigh mobile as its own, and very powerful, channel and to create content made for the medium, instead of just repurposing videos or print ads from other channels. That goes for website landing pages, too. Responsive websites were a great solution for multiple screen sizes, but now it's time to consider the content those screen sizes display.
It’s a paradigm shift that every marketer needs to make and so far, most are slow to adopt this mindset.
Your mobile presence is the first impression and often happens at the consumer’s time of need. How do you want to be remembered?