Sometime in 2014, the amount of time users in the US spent online using their mobile phones exceeded for the first time the time spent on desktop devices. The gap has gone on growing since then.
It would be easy to assume that what people do on their mobile devices is of little interest to business advertisers. It would also be wrong. According to research by Online Publishers Association, 15% make purchases (15% of online users is a huge number, well worth any advertiser’s time, including yours) but almost all access content of one kind or another. That something we’ll want to come back to in a moment.
And the fact is that business executives are the front runners in mobile adoption. What that tells us is that marketers have to be promoting their business or brand online 24/7. An IDG Global Mobile Survey supported this 24/7 view. The question they asked was:
At what time of day do you research products or services for your business using your smartphone or tablet?
Here are the answers:
Work Hours/In The Office
Note the important words in that question: Research; Business; Smartphone/Tablet. It’s Business to Business decision-makers who rely on mobile devices for research, which they carry out before, during and after office hours. Here are some more interesting IDG findings:
- 92 percent of executives own a smartphone used for business.
- 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.
- 93 percent of executives will purchase that product via the Internet using a laptop or desktop.
- 86 percent use their tablet and 72 percent of executives use their smartphone to conduct research for products or services for their business.
And, as we see from the table, executives rely upon mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) to conduct business research more frequently in the evenings than at any other time.
It follows that delivering a quality mobile experience will confer a competitive advantage. This is a big shift. It’s not simply that the mobile marketing effort is a useful addition to the marketing you’re doing anyway; mobile should now be where you direct the main marketing thrust and other things follow from it – not the other way round.
It’s not just about closing the sale. We said earlier that we’d want to come back to this: that the 15% who are placing an order are, of course, a target you can’t ignore but the majority who are looking at content are also an opportunity. Sell your brand. Let them see who you are, what you do and how good you are at it.
The immediate message is that every form of online marketing has to be adapted so that it looks good whatever device is being used to access it. But mobile marketing involves more than that. Here are some of the key areas:
- Developing different (and possibly more aggressive) forms of advertising
- Personalizing ad campaigns
- Accepting that engagement is the most important metric when you analyze what’s happening on your site.
That first bullet – “different forms of advertising” – includes “native advertising” and that’s something we’ll be posting about next week. We also plan a post on the importance of engagement over all other factors. Let’s make a date to meet, here on this blog, a week from today.