Are You Ready for the “Year of Mobile?”

Written by Tim Edmundson

There’s a new group of addicts loose on the streets and growing in numbers. They’re all around us . . . you may even be one of them. That is, the “mobile addicts.” Symptoms include:

Total panic when you misplace your device

Taking your phone to the bathroom

Sneakily checking your phone during social situations

Going to sleep and waking up looking at your mobile device

So even if you’re not guilty of this behavior, it’s clear there’s been an explosion in mobile traffic across industries and platforms. That’s a lot of eyes on mobile content for the capturing.

Mobile traffic accounted for 15% of all internet traffic in May 2013 and it’s growing at a rate of 1.5x per year. It’s expected to maintain that velocity, if not accelerate, according to KPCB.

This year, top retailers are seeing a major uptick in customers accessing digital properties exclusively on phones and tablets. While “the mobile-only shopper,” is a growing trend in e-retail, it is still not enough to lift their conversion rates.

Mobile users may not be making purchases from their mobile devices, but they are researching purchase decisions on them. 68% of mobile users are at home, where they’ve got access to plenty of other large-screen devices and fully functioning websites with checkout.

We know this trend isn’t a secret so you either already are, or soon will be, spending your ad dollars specifically against mobile. According to eMarketer, US advertisers will spend over $28 billion on mobile advertising in 2015. Here is what you should keep in mind when spending those mobile dollars.

Know your goals. First, know your key performance indicators. The most popular for mobile include: cost per install, cost per launch, cost per loyal user, cost per purchase, cost per sign up (or other action), and paid vs. organic user ratio. You’ll want to spend differently if driving installs, purchases, or sign ups.

Don’t focus on the shopping cart alone. Conversions tend to be lower on mobile devices. Smartphones convert at one third to one quarter the rate of desktop or tablets. But like we’ve already said, just because they don’t make the purchase on mobile, doesn’t mean they haven’t been influenced on their mobile device. Mobile shoppers tend to be higher in the funnel, they research their purchases while they’re on the go.

Behavior on mobile is different than on desktop. People are more likely to check the same sites and apps multiple times a day on their mobile devices– giving more opportunity for exposure. This means your ads need to change too to avoid brand blindness.

No one likes to squint. Smaller screens mean less real estate – design your mobile ads with that in mind. Less is more when it comes to copy and design elements. Keep it simple and recognizable as your brand. Focus on one quick message or promotion.

Chances are you’re probably reading this in bed right now. So hopefully, after your first cup of coffee, you’ll be empowered to mount a serious offensive with your mobile marketing money.