Industry pundits have been predicting for some years that “this year” (whichever year they happen to be in) is The Year Of The Mobile. We’re not sure that any year is going to stand up to that sort of hype, but let’s label 2013 “The Year That Mobile Really, Really Matters”.
Let’s overwhelm that simple enquiry with a deluge of data:
In October 2012, Statistics New Zealand announced that more than half of New Zealanders are now accessing the Internet via a mobile phone. That official benediction confirms what other researchers have been reporting:
- 36% of Kiwis have shopped online via a mobile device during the past 12 months (NZ Online Shopping Survey, PwC and Frost & Sullivan, July 2012)
Nielsen New Zealand’s “The Year That Was” report on 2012 notes that smartphone ownership has grown by over 11% in 2012 (1.7 million New Zealanders now have a smartphone) and there has been 52% growth in the number of people using their smartphone features. Tablet ownership has more than doubled to reach 395,000 and electronic book readers are now owned by over 5% of New Zealanders.
And from the study “Our Mobile Planet New Zealand”, Google/Ipsos OTA Media CT, May 2012:
- 59% of smartphone owners access the internet on their smartphones at least once a day
- 80% of smartphone owners use their phones for communication
- 55% to stay informed
- 86% for entertainment
- 38% of smartphone owners search on their mobiles every day
- 66% have researched a product or service on their phone
- 53% have searched for product information
- 35% for information on restaurants, pubs or bars
- 27% for travel information
International research (reported in the book Go Mobile by Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner) confirms that mobile means money:
- 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action
- Over half lead to purchase
- Mobile coupons receive 10 times higher redemption rates than print coupons
- 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour (mobilemarketer.com)
As you’d expect, mobile searches are used for enquiries on the go:
- 74% of smartphone users use their phone to help with shopping
- 79% ultimately make a purchase as a result
All in all, it’s now not merely nice to have but essential that your website is mobile-friendly.
How does your website stack up ?
- Do you have a mobile version of your site that’s designed for today’s modern cellphones? Early mobile versioning software was very text-based, but today’s searchers (the post-iPhone generation) expect visual pizzazz, even on the ultrasmall screen.
- How does your site actually look on a mobile phone? Does it support or denigrate your brand?
- How quickly does the site load? 60% of mobile web users say they expect a site to load on their mobile phone in three seconds or less — and 74% won’t wait more than five seconds before moving on.
- Are there any broken or hidden images? iPhones and iPads don’t display Flash files, so if your website relies on Flash you have a problem.
- Is the site easy to read on a small device? Users hate having to zoom just to read the basic content.
- Are links easy to click on with thumbs? We live in a touchscreen world, but human thumbs haven’t shrunk.
A few more numbers to shape your thinking. Yahoo! has assembled a collection of compelling statistics:
- 75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly site
- 76% want mobile pages to fit their screens better
- 74% want the option to navigate to a full site
- 69% say they want mobile sites to have bigger buttons
- 52% say they’re less likely to engage with a company if their mobile experience was bad
- 48% of users become annoyed with sites that have not been optimised for mobile devices
- 48% say that if a mobile site isn’t working well, it’s an indication of the business simply not caring [which, when we think about it, is a horrible thing to say]
Okay, we think you get the drift.
Once your website is a mobile wunderkind, however, what else can marketers do to take advantage of mobile opportunities?
According to xAd‘s “Mobile-Local Performance 2012 Year In Review“, advertisers now have the power to reach audiences in the following ways:
When users are in or around specific businesses or locations
POI (POINTS OF INTEREST)
Ability to target users that are in or around areas of interest which may or may not have a stated postal address available for the entire target area such as airports, colleges and universities, marathon routes, etc.
The ability to leverage anonymous geo-specific behavioral data, such as past mobile searches and visitation behaviors to target users at the exact moment when they are in need of your products or services.
Ability to serve targeted ads to audiences that are attending a specific event such as sports game, concert or industry conference.
In 2012, xAd found that the most popular form of mobile audience targeting in the U.S. was, unsurprisingly, Place-Based (67%) followed by behavioural targeting (20%).
What Categories Are Best For Mobile Marketing?
According to xAd, the most-searched-on-mobile categories of 2012 were:
3. Health & Beauty
5. Professional Services
6. Financial/Insurance Services
8. Real Estate
10. Business Services
So how effective can mobile marketing be?
Calvin Klein used place-based and geo-behaviour-targeted advertising to promote the availability of its products at local retail stores. The resulting campaign exceeded the client’s CTR benchmark by 26% while helping to increase local sales during the campaign period.
From The Drum:
Debenhams UK reported that it had generated an additional £1m in sales in five months through a smart phone app that allows customers to scan QR codes in advertising and store windows, and ‘snap’ product barcodes to display information such as customer reviews.
H&M saw a click-through rate of 2.3 percent when it geo-fenced (i.e. served mobile marketing messages based on the geographic boundaries of) stores locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to generate excitement around the David Beckham Bodywear line.