Mobile 5 Min Read

Is Your Marketing Mobile First?

Written by Tim Edmundson

Want to hear something that sounds outrageous, but is completely true? Global shipments of smartphones grew zero percent in 2017, according to the highly anticipated Internet Trends 2018 report produced by Kleiner Perkins. It’s a hard fact to get your head around, but in a way it makes sense. From ten year olds to card-carrying AARP seniors, everyone has a smartphone now. When was the last time you even saw a flip-phone?

So we’ve possibly reached the high water mark for smartphone ownership. What does that mean for mobile marketing? Not much, really. In fact, this isn’t anything to be worried about at all. Mobile is a channel with nothing but potential — let’s look at why your marketing must keep mobile in mind.


Mobile is the New Internet

With smartphone ownership pretty much hitting its peak, it’s tempting to believe we’ve hit a point where mobile ad growth hits a wall. But that just isn’t the case.

That’s because the important metric when it comes to smartphones, and mobile as a whole, is the time spent using the devices. Time spent browsing the internet on mobile has increased exponentially year after year, with US adults spending an average of three hours and 17 minutes on mobile devices per day in 2017. What’s more, according to Pew Research, a growing number of Americans rely on their smartphones as their sole source for online access. Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access the internet, and your marketing should be ready for that.


Multitasking with Mobile

The data certainly tells a good story when it comes to mobile use, but let’s look at it anecdotally for a second. Think about the last time you were watching TV, or streaming something on Connected TV. Were you strictly watching your television, or did you have your phone or tablet in hand, browsing the internet during commercials or the boring bits? I’m willing to bet you had your phone in your hand.

Now for data to back up the anecdote. According to the Video Advertising Bureau, 65% of Connected TV viewers using a second screen (such as a smartphone) while streaming will look up a product they see advertised. That means they’re going to end up on your site, and are primed to fall into your retargeting campaigns. The fact that a consumer can see something on TV, then immediately research it, is a powerful one. Your marketing better be ready to take advantage of it.


Mobile Ad Spend is Growing

Forrester recently released their mobile marketing report, and it gives a great picture of how marketers at large are viewing mobile marketing. According to their research, mobile will contribute 86% of the growth in total digital ad spending in the U.S. until 2022. The reasons for this vary, but generally speaking, marketers want their ads in front of users and mobile is where users are. Research shows that 70% of media time, and 79% of social media time is spent on mobile.

This is an area where going with the wisdom of the crowd, i.e. the collective opinion of a group of individuals, is spot on. Intelligent, hardworking marketers are putting money toward mobile, so you should consider doing the same.


Optimize Your Site for Mobile

It’s clear mobile advertising will only get bigger in the coming years, so you need to ensure you’re sending consumers somewhere they can convert. The problem is, many consumers don’t actually convert on mobile, with only 1.14% doing so in Q4 of 2017. What can be done to address this? Combat the common reasons why users fail to convert on mobile, according to the comScore Mobile Hierarchy report:

> Security concerns | 20.2%
> Cannot see product detail | 19.6%
> Navigating is difficult | 19.3%
> Can’t browse multiple screens / compare | 19.6%
> Too difficult to input details | 18.6%

By optimizing your site to address these issues, you eliminate an enormous amount of reasons consumers have for not converting on mobile. Just don’t get too down if you’re conversion numbers don’t immediately jump  — consumer habits trend toward using mobile to research products, and it may take awhile before users are comfortable converting on their phones.


Take Your Marketing Mobile

The trends point toward a more mobile internet, and you need to take that into account when you approach your marketing. From the type of creative you run, to the layout and optimization of your site, it’s important to remember that a lot of people will be exposed to your brand on mobile. By making mobile a priority, you set yourself up for success.