Your business needs a mobile strategy – it’s just that simple. If you don’t believe me then consider this – there are now more searches performed via mobile devices than desktops throughout the world.
Mobile devices accounted for 55% of traffic in the US at the start of last year and 47% of that was app-based. In addition, according to ComScore, the average user spends around 30 hours a month searching the web via mobile. Simply put, the web is changing. And if the web changes, your business also needs to change.
We consume information via apps on our phones, make purchases through the browser on our tablets, and read the news from a real-time updating widget. In fact, an average user checks his or her smartphone every 6 minutes.
Frankly, the whole way we interact with the Internet has changed. When you read a magazine, interact via social media, play games and even set your alarm to wake up, you do it through an app. We’ve moved far beyond browsing via search bar and inputting commands via keyboard. Therefore, your business needs to implement the right mobile strategy to target your increasingly mobile customers.
It’s not enough anymore to limit communications to websites and blogs, or for that matter even to utilise social media alone. Mobile strategy needs to be included, considered and adopted alongside and also independent of your desktop strategy.
So, what should you consider?
Mobile devices come in a whole variety and range of sizes and styles. From low-res 3.2 inch screens to 4K 5.5 inch ones, and larger desktop screens, too. Your content should appear just right regardless of desktop or mobile access. This means implementing adaptive or responsive design.
These considerations don’t end with the website alone. Good design includes email marketing, social media campaigns and any content that appears on a screen.
Often underutilised, location awareness is a very powerful tool that marketers can potentially use to provide tailor-fit and targeted information to mobile users depending on their location. Technologies such as GPS tracking, iBeacon and others allow businesses to deliver highly appropriate content that can be just the right fit for the individual’s context. With these, you can provide information on deals, products or services according to a consumer’s interests and proximity.
Mobile coupons can be tied in with location awareness to provide customers with highly relevant coupons or offers in a certain place at a particular time. For example, through iBeacon, consumers can receive push notifications about offers or coupons when they walk within a close proximity to a product. Of course, there are dozens of other uses for this technology, but coupons are one of note.
Alternatively, loyalty apps can be used to seek out the nearest stores offering deals, offers or vouchers on a particular item. Both these examples have been shown to be a draw for businesses and also great for upselling.
Needless to say, most mobile strategies are content driven. We consume so much of our content through mobile devices, and even otherwise rich and bandwidth-heavy resources like video are now being streamed to smartphones and tablets. There are few things as irritating as slow or non-loading sites or apps that freeze in the middle of loading content, because of unresponsive servers.
Given the need for unobtrusive user experience, it will be important to deliver such rich content without delays or hiccups. For best delivery results, you will want to consider running your application from a distributed infrastructure – otherwise known as a cloud-based setup – in order to better scale. Content delivery networks or CDNs will be essential in ensuring least latency when delivering cached content (such as videos, photos and other media).
If operating in a multi-server environment, performance is also to your choice of load balancing service, which can dynamically distribute traffic according to server load and capacity, as well as the content of the packets and transmission.
Traditionally, load balancing is done either through an on-premises appliance or with a DNS-based technology. However, these can either be expensive or too basic. A cloud-based approach to load balancing, would be ideal, in terms of scalability. Such platform as a service (PaaS) solution are also tend to be less costly, due to their economy-of-scale pricing models.
Like desktop advertising, mobile advertising offers amazing opportunities for businesses to reach a larger audience and get more people to engage and convert. Using mobile advertising as part of your mobile strategy, such as through mobile advertising networks, can be a great way to reach out to more people.
Case in point: 58% of smartphone users prefer free apps with ads rather than shell out a nominal price for the premium version or pay for in-app content, according to a survey by Zogby Analytics. According to the same study, most smartphone users would prefer seeing mobile ads tailored to their specific interests.
Mobile and Productivity
Mobility has also ushered in plenty of new opportunities for employees to be more productive. Email is a fantastic form of communication, but is limited by itself. Productivity applications like Trello, Asana, Basecamp or even Google’s own enterprise tools have their own mobile apps that make collaboration far simpler and more intuitive. Cloud suites like Office 365 make content and document sharing, as well as virtual meetings and professional networking a lot easier, regardless of the device, OS or platform. In turn these greatly enhance productivity, allow ease of access on-the-go and facilitate work in the modern environment.
Ensuring your business has the right mobile strategy is a necessity that can bring immediate and long term gains to customers, employees and your business as a whole.