Marketers and advertisers shudder when they think about the great consumer rush to mobile. With a smartphone's tiny screen and a mobile consumer's fleeting attention span, marketers face an enormous challenge capitalizing on mobility.
Yet marketers have no choice; they must seize the mobile moment, says a new Forrester report..
People are consuming mobile content more than ever — mobile apps account for more time spent with media than desktop and mobile Web combined — but they don't want to see display ads. Only two percent of online shoppers want to see offers from brands on their mobile devices, a Boxever survey found. Popular mobile media apps such as Buzzfeed, Facebook, LinkedIn, New York Times and Twitter don't support display ads.
So display ads are out for marketers.
Responsive design doesn't cut it
Even worse, marketers (and CIOs) have been treating mobility like a desktop extension. As a result, mobile users have to perform finger acrobatics to resize content meant for larger screens. Mobile users are on the move and looking for quick information on their mobile devices; they're not going to put with this for very long. From a technology standpoint, marketers need to put mobile first.
"Marketers who believe that responsive Web design will answer their prayers had better think again, as dynamically resized media won't address a customer's context in a mobile moment," says Forrester analyst Ryan Skinner in a report, Boost Contextual Reach with Content Marketing for Mobile.
Mobile marketing content itself is an entirely different animal. Messages need to be short, concise and relevant. Mobile users won't tolerate being bombarded with marketing pitches. This means marketers can spam customers with long-winded email like they do on the desktop.
Tailoring the mobile message for mobile users
Mobile users are, of course, on the move. When a mobile user searches for something to watch, the user is likely looking for a movie in a theater, not on a television set. Instead of, say, a desktop app that serves up recipes, the mobile app might be a shopping list for getting all the ingredients. Marketers must tailor their messages to the context of the mobile user.
One of the mistakes marketers make on mobile is delivering content that markets products. The smartphone is very personal, and mobile users don't want to turn their device into a billboard for advertisers. They'll hate you for it. Marketers who don't heed this advice and continue to push products over mobile are doomed to get abysmal conversion rates, not to mention turned-off customers, Skinner warns.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
For starters, people will read or view content on their mobile devices more readily than on the desktop. For instance, customers engage with companies on social up to 10 percent more often from their smartphones or tablets than from PCs, Forrester says, which means valuable branded content in social feeds gets more exposure and engagement on smartphones.
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