It’s no secret that mobile is the future of marketing. So I won’t restate that truth. However, I will beg you not to underestimate the statement. It’s easy to do. Marketing is all about connecting an audience with products and services. We do this by knowing and understanding the audience.
That audience is changing. All of it. Not just 18 to 25 year olds or affluent professionals. All of it. We are now perpetually in motion and it’s all thanks to our phones.
We aren’t embracing mobile
The concept of mobile is unnatural to us. Thousands of years ago, people learned life was easier if they stayed in one place, harvested crops and domesticated livestock. Since then, we’ve evolved the concept to the point of infallibility. We’ve swapped trade for a monetary system, commercialized food production and engineered endless technological advances to make stationary life simpler. The idea is so baked into our ethos that it’s become a core tenant of marketing: place. The physical location of a good or service.
But we made one mistake. We got too good at developing and refining agricultural, industrialized society. You can get in your car and drive as far as you’d like in any direction. As long as you have a wallet and credit card, you’ll find food and shelter. Add a smartphone, and suddenly you have a traveling stationary life – a new form of nomadic living.
People aren’t just looking for your product or service from their computer chair in a home office. This is no surprise. But look a step further and you can see nomadic living in everything about how audiences interact with your product or service. Are your mobile users at work, on the couch watching TV, sitting in traffic or in a hotel room? What do they want to know in those times and places?
We’ve heard marketing teams talk about responsive redesigns as failures because mobile bounce rates don’t change. But mobile users are often only looking for a name or address. They will go to a page, get the info they need, leave the site and register as a bounce.
Sometimes marketers miss opportunities in lead generation because a site doesn’t cater to customers on the move. This can mean a lot of things. Maybe you’re asking for information that’s too cumbersome on a mobile device. Even if you think your mobile strategy is buttoned up, consider this scenario. True was recently at SMX Advanced (a search marketing conference for SEOs and search engine advertisers) where Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team and overall Google guru, asked a room full of top digital marketers if they felt they had outstanding mobile strategies. Every hand in the room shot up. Then he asked if their lead-gen forms were coded to autofill on mobile devices. The majority of hands slowly receded and everyone looked kind of embarrassed.
This post isn’t a roadmap to a better mobile strategy. It isn’t even a lesson in mobile marketing. It’s a strong recommendation to re-evaluate your audience and learn how and why they move. Because they are going somewhere. If you can’t help them get there faster, then someone else will.
Author: Tyler Norris [Google+]