Digital Marketing Digest
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What's Wrong with Mobile Marketing?

There are rare instances today when an executive is not attached to a smartphone, tablet or mobile device. Other than the odd meeting or a trip to the pool, a mobile device is always within reach.

But why have so many companies, including such heavy hitters as Facebook, missed the mark on mobile marketing?

We have a theory: Instead of looking at mobile as another way to “hawk” products or services, we need to consider how to use mobile content strategies as a way to make it easier for people to consume content.

What is right and what is wrong when it comes to mobile marketing?

This week in the Toronto Star, the front page of the Business Section highlighted an article called, “Mobile Advertising’s Hard Sell”. The article talked about why mobile advertising has not taken off and cited Facebook’s recent comments in the lead up to it’s IPO as an indicator that marketers still have a long road to hoe with respect to realizing the dream of this advertising space.

I was very discouraged by the article because it seems analysts have completely missed the point. It is not because the screen is too small, the programs not rich or that companies are “slow” to adopt advertising programs. It’s because people don’t want crap on their mobile devices. If it’s not useful or relevant to my daily activities, why would I want content, that likely is costing me airtime or bandwidth charges, pushed to my mobile device?

It doesn’t matter how much you love a brand or a business, if they are not sharing information that is useful to helping me run my business on a daily basis, it has no right to be on my phone.

Mobile Marketers have it wrong. Stop thinking about pushing “brand” and start thinking about how to help executives consume information in a timely, easy format.

Get the Basics Right.

  1. How easy is it for people to access your website using a mobile device?
  2. When you send out an email campaign to your customers and prospects, how does it appear on a mobile device and can people, from their device, easily:
    • Like
    • Respond
    • Share
  3. Does the process you use to share content and engage with customers, factor in mobile or are you still sending too much information and trying to “sell” with your content?


A Startling Discovery.

We recently launched a new web presence program for Arbrux Manufacturing (www.arbrux.com). Thirty days into their program we analyzed their traffic stats and discovered that:

  • 14% of their web traffic came from mobile devices
  • Mobile visitors were looking at 2:31 pages and spending 1:10 minutes on the site
  • 85% were new visitors to the site

Why we were surprised…

The stats on Arbrux’s site were double that of other sites we manage. Arbrux sells the products they manufacture to distributors (B2B) and direct to end users (B2C). Many business owners will say their customers are late adopters of technology and are not actively using websites or online tactics to make buying decisions. But check this out:

  • 88 people visited with an iPad
  • 41 with an iPhone
  • 7 with Sony Ericsson
  • 4 with Motorola Android
  • 2 with HTC Android
  • 1 with Acer Android

However, the bounce rate of people visiting with a mobile device was higher which was likely due to:

  1. Not easy to move from page to page on a mobile device.
  2. People were just looking for contact information.
  3. Not easy to submit a quote request from a mobile device.

These are all issues that are easily fixed and the data to make decisions about mobile agility is all sitting in Google Analytics.

Marketers have to stop making marketing decisions about what they want to “promote” and start understanding how customers and prospects want to interact with content, particularly on a mobile device. Mobile advertising will likely never take off but the agile flow of content from website to mobile device is a marketer’s biggest opportunity.

Do the Simple Math

  • Log into your analytics account and see what percentage of your site traffic is coming from mobile devices.
  • Take that percentage as a percentage of your marketing activity (example 15%) and ensure that 15% of your marketing time, money, resources and testing is attributed to understanding the flow of content on a mobile device.
  • Then think about the information you would consume on your own device.

Simple Logic

Your everyday activities as a business owner or business executive are likely a good reflection of your customers. Think about the type of content and how you consume information and apply that to your own marketing program. This is the opportunity for mobile, not a smaller screen to sell soft drinks. Marketers need to wise up.

Here is a useful video from Marketing Profs about using mobile to connect with B2B executives. Take away the tips when thinking about any content marketing strategy for your business and make sure you include mobile consumption.

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Responses (3)

  1. This is one of your best posts Marie and you hit the nail right on the head with mobile marketing. Especially when it comes to b2b. People need to separate mobile advertising. This is not about advertising or pushing spam to devices. As you said, it’s about making sure the target audience is able to engage with your content, however delivered, in an easy and readable way on their mobile devices. Great job.

    Nikki Gore on May 31, 2012 at 11:32 am
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  2. Once again, it all boils down to content marketing. And mobile is indeed a very powerful SUPPORT in the consumption of meaningful content. But you are 100% correct – if marketers don’t leverage the power of mobile in a way that facilitates better, faster and more efficient consumption of content, they are missing the opportunity altogether.

    Ruth Zive on May 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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  3. I have to agree too, this is a very good article on mobile marketing education. Thank you for sharing.

    kensley on June 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm
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