Paul McNulty, CEO of 3D Issue, the digital content platform, discusses the future of mobile marketing and how businesses can exploit the dominant industry trends
The highest quality marketing campaigns have a longevity that spans multiple years or even decades.
In the 1990s as the mobile phone industry boomed, Orange marketed itself with one of the most recognised phrases of all mobile network operators. For 20 years consumers were subjected to the tag-line, “the future’s bright, the future’s Orange,” up until the company merged with T-Mobile to become EE.
Although the industry protagonists have changed, the future of mobile marketing certainly looks bright.
The last ten years has seen a raft of innovation in mobile marketing, driven by the growing use of mobile devices for online communication and consumption. As desktop PCs were replaced by laptops, the increased adoption of more convenient and portable hardware has seen laptops replaced by smartphones as the dominant tool for conducting online activities.
The gradual shrinking of hardware has seen a move towards even smaller screens. Apple’s foray into the smartwatch industry with the Apple watch allows users to view messages and notifications just by glancing at their wrist. However new hardware brings new challenges for developers.
Mobile content is now being created at an almost exponential rate. Content marketers are tasked with attracting traffic and generating leads and customers from mobile audiences. Using a host of tactics including blogs, videos, content hubs and apps, the approach is an attempt to tap into the trend for accessing information from mobiles.
The value from mobile marketing is highlighted by Facebook which makes 62 per cent of its advertising revenues from mobile, despite only around a third of its users logging in via a smartphone. The need for mobile content was highlighted in research from We Are Social who found as of January 2015 the number of unique mobile users is 3.649 billion, an estimation that half of the world’s population has a smartphone.
The surge in mobile use has seen a shift in developers focus to thinking mobile first rather than refitting a desktop website to a mobile platform. By choosing a mobile first approach, new websites can be designed for faster loading. The removal of lots of cascading style sheets (CSS), typically present in code for larger screen versions creates a mobile optimised product.
This optimisation allows for proper font display on the smaller screen and mobile friendly swipe movements to view the next page rather than having to pinch and zoom and scroll.
To try and satiate the demand for mobile content, marketing teams have started building content ‘hubs’ to deliver an aggregation of multiple sources. A ‘hub’ is a tool that allows users to gather, filter and directly deliver the most relevant content from the swathes of information streams they subscribe to.
A web-based ‘hub’ is hugely beneficial for marketers who want to provide instant access to content quickly and simply. It is easy to generate multiple hubs from online content and share them using unique URLs. Quality hubs can also populate apps so that content is delivered in the most efficient manner to a mobile audience.
Savvy publishers are now creating branded enterprise apps for showcasing content. The key to a successful app is its design and usability.
The ingredients for success are a professional look, customisation and being fully adapted to all mobile platforms. Expert app developers will be able to build and place a customised app on the relevant app stores based on the design specifics given to them very quickly.
The core aim of marketing is to lead customers towards the products that they can purchase from your business. Thanks to ecommerce, marketing can now lead to a purchase in a matter of clicks and often without the need for data entry from the customer.
This process has now evolved and social commerce, or ‘scommerce’, is now entering the marketplace. Scommerce has seen sales become a social game where people compete against one another as viral marketers and collaborate as purchasers to get the best deals.
As with many functional processes, the move towards ‘gamification’ is a growing trend for mobile marketers. The most successful teams will put an app in the hands of consumers to engage with via their mobile device on the bus or sat in a coffee shop.
The migration to a mobile focused strategy isn’t unique to marketing. Most services are seeking to exploit the changes in user behaviour, but this understanding of behaviour is key to a successful business.
Implementing a robust yet flexible mobile marketing strategy will create a much brighter future, one where your business can promote everything about itself, everywhere.