Industry experts, pundits and thought leaders state year after year that “This is (finally) the year of mobile.” They point to triple digit percentages of growth in mobile usage in comparison to the previous year. They use the continued advancement of mobile advertising technology and banner ads to drive conversions as a supporting idea. Lastly, their statements say something about the increase in revenue for businesses generated by mobile devices. Yet, year after year, companies continue to build websites, landing pages and other digital destinations for a desktop experience while neglecting the different needs of a mobile user’s experience.
Why the Disconnect?
We get it. There are definitely still barriers for businesses when it comes to understanding the benefits of having a mobile website, let alone a mobile marketing strategy. One of the biggest hurdles is that 65% of consumers still prefer to use a desktop or personal computer for activities they conduct on their smartphones. Nonetheless, most digital companies offer a desktop and mobile version of digital assets they build for their clients. The reason they do this is because consumers are utilizing mobile platforms more than businesses realize, despite the slow adoption of businesses building mobile destinations for their customers to interact with their products.
During the recent Presidential Ball, President Obama and the First Lady danced to Jennifer Hudson's rendition of "Let's Stay Together." The scene was captivating, the incumbent President dancing with his First Lady, the love of his life. Both people were mesmerized in their own world. They were dressed in a wonderful tuxedo and custom-made dress. Whether you agree with the President's views or not, the image of a loving husband and wife dancing to a beautiful, romantic song was fantastic.
Anyone would want to capture this image for an example of “true love.” And that is just what hundreds of attendees did—all with their personal smartphones. Just look at the foreground of the image. Everyone in the image was photographing or recording this moment. Keep in mind that the image above is a snapshot of a ballroom. One can probably make a relatively accurate assumption that there were plenty more people like this engaging in these same behaviors.
Transformed Behavior (Here Come the Numbers)
Smartphones and mobile devices have dramatically changed consumer behavior. Smartphone penetration has risen to 44% of the population and these smartphone users are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices. 66% access the internet every day on their smartphone and most never leave home without it.
These statistics have not escaped the notice of Fortune 500 companies either. Intel recently announced the ramp down of their desktop motherboard production for a ramp up in their mobile motherboard production in the upcoming three years. Why? Because the mobile business is completely disrupting the personal computer industry.
Let’s take another large company, Apple. Last quarter, Apple sold 4.2 million Macs missing analyst expectations by nearly one million units. Apple’s Mac business was down 16 percent year over year compared to the overall personal computer business being down 6 percent.
Do You Need a Mobile Strategy?
Yes, without question. Now what does a mobile marketing strategy entail? Only you can answer that question. However, we believe there are certain foundational elements that need to comprise any mobile marketing strategy.
Recognize that this is different than your traditional website. Therefore, your mobile website should address the platform it will be viewed on. Is that platform a smartphone or is it a tablet? Both platforms have different experiences and expectations of the user. For example, review http://www.3birdsmarketingnews.com on your desktop. Now view the same web address on your smartphone or tablet. Can you see the difference? Are your experiences unique to the platform?
Visible and actionable call-to-action buttons. The mobile customer wants to be able to easily access your service specials. He wants to easily be able to connect to your location with his smartphone’s navigation, preferably within the click of a button, so he can come to your dealership now. He wants the phone number visible so he can touch it and immediately dial your dealership. Do not make these actions hard to do or the consumer will visit your competitor with the press of a button.
Don’t place the cart before the horse. If you don’t have a mobile base, do not conduct mobile advertising. Posting ads on mobile platforms should direct someone to an appropriate mobile destination, not a clunky desktop version on a mobile platform that the individual must try to re-size to fit their mobile screen. Make sure you take the proper steps to properly build your mobile strategy.
If you need help with determining how these areas of a mobile strategy apply to you, please call us at (877) 285-1094 or reach us at http://www.3birdsmarketing.com/contact/ and, if you’re at NADA, stop by booth #185! We would love to meet you and be pleased to help you. In the meantime, check out our new mobile newsletter.
Andy Warner serves as Director of Automotive Strategy at 3 Birds. He was formerly an e-Commerce Director for a top Ward’s e-dealer group, and has more than 10 years of high-level automotive experience on both the dealer and vendor side.