How often do we use mobile devices?
As a society, a large part of our daily interaction with and consumption of digital media takes place through our smartphones, especially when it comes to social media usage. In the digital space, mobile has become an enormous part of our lives. It offers enhanced capabilities to everyday life and allows us to accomplish things faster and more conveniently. We’ve grown so accustomed to using mobile for so many different things that we practically rely on it. This is what makes mobile marketing such a powerful opportunity.
Think back to your last purchase.
Did you do any research? Compare products? Where did you buy? Online? In a store? How did you find out where to go? I would bet that you turned to your mobile device to help you make one or all of those decisions.
Nowadays, you don’t see many consumers who stroll into brick-and-mortar stores to inquire, find information or even to buy something. Most use their phone to do the research, submit the quote, find the best deal and so on. This is the case for all purchases too, regardless of cost – whether it’s you buying your first car; your parents searching for a vacation spot; or your younger sister looking for the right paintbrush. Consumers are relying more on mobile for every step of the way.
The Rise of Mobile Search:
Today, significantly more searches are made on mobile devices than on desktop computers or tablets and the gap is growing. Google confirmed that mobile searches surpassed desktop searches back in May of 2015, so the switch in priority from desktop to mobile indexing is long overdue.
“After two decades of growth and development, mobile devices now bring the largest chunks of traffic to online businesses, and their influence on search is only going to expand further.” - SEJ
Google is now attributing more weight to mobile as an SEO importance factor. It’s now more important than ever for content to be responsive on all mobile platforms and identical to the content on your desktop site. Even more, mobile also has a close connection to a variety of other high-impact search factors - like pagespeed, navigation difficulty, page design...etc. Since mobile usability is directly related to the experience that someone is likely to have on a website, it should be an integral part of every business’s digital strategy. Websites that are not mobile-friendly or mobile-optimized will miss out on crucial ranking points, inevitably tanking their ranking potential.
"People are 5 times more likely to leave a website if it isn't mobile-friendly." - Google
The Purchase Decision:
The proliferation of the mobile device has made it easier for people to quickly find information and address their needs on the fly. The evolution has transformed the way consumers make purchase decisions and spend money. The stages that people typically go through leading up to a purchase (AKA The Buyer’s Journey) has become fragmented. It’s rare today to see consumers take a steady, linear path to a transaction.
People are moving faster and converting quicker, and it’s because of mobile
Mobile is rapidly accelerating the purchase decision - the mobile marketplace has grown rapidly and will continue to do so because consumers love the luxury of instant gratification. People prefer to buy things on the go and from the couch and smartphones are their buying tool of choice. According to an Impulse Buying Report by Invesp, impulse purchases represent almost 40% of all money spent on e-commerce transactions.
The Buyer's Journey and Micro-Moments:
The increasing influence that mobile has on consumer behavior is causing a major shift in the way businesses are engaging consumers. The proliferation of the mobile device as the go-to search and buying tool, has unveiled a myriad of opportunities for brand-to-consumer interaction that just didn’t exist before. These points of interaction or “Micro-moments” (a term coined by Google) happen when people turn to their device to fulfill an immediate need. They can be viewed as potential steps a customer might take in pursuit of this particular need. Brands are recognizing these moments as opportunities to engage consumers with valuable information in times of need. It’s easiest to break them down into four categories, “I-Want-To-Know”, “I-Want-To-Go”, “I-Want-To-Do” and “I-Want-To-Buy”.
The idea is to be where consumers are at in critical times, consistently. Not only for the “I-Want-To-Buy” instances but also for the ones where information, suggestions or advice is needed. Think of these situations as great ways to build trust for your brand. If you can help consumers easily find answers to questions, they will perceive you as a credible source, which increases your chances of seeing them again.
If brands choose to neglect these moments relative to their customer needs, they will get left behind. Consumers may be loyal to a particular brand to a certain extent, but never as much as they are to themselves. If there’s a better service or show of support, it won’t take much for the customer that you worked so hard to retain, to switch teams.
Tips for crafting your own mobile marketing strategy:
- Understand that your customers interact with their mobile devices much differently than they do with their laptops or desktop computers. Your mobile marketing strategy will require a unique approach; you need to re-think how you want to engage your customers on this platform.
- Think “Micro-Moments”: this has been a buzzword for a decent while now; the key here is to map out the journey that customers take when trying to fulfill a need. Breakdown each of the 4 “I-Want-To” moments and come up with specific ways where your business can provide value to the consumer. These touchpoints are important opportunities for you to show up and offer help. Whether it’s information for research, how-to tips, or providing a price quote, the more ways you can engage customers along the buyer's journey, the better your sales pipeline will be.
- If you’re not tailoring your website, adjusting your social channels or optimizing your entire digital presence for mobile – then you need to get up to speed, literally. It’s not enough to just be mobile-friendly anymore – you need to completely alter your digital strategy so that you think “mobile first” every time you post or make an addition to your pages. Start by updating your website and assets so that your content is accessible across all formats.