Here’s Why Your Customers (and Google) Want Your Business to Go Mobile
If your business isn’t on mobile like yesterday, it needs to be. As Marketing Profs points out, 1.2 billion people, use mobile devices. Of the 3+ billion people who access the Internet, mobile device usage is big (80%). If we look at devices, there are currently about 7+ billion mobile devices on the plane. That number could explode to 50 billion Internet-connected devices and higher in a little over 3 years, according to RCR Wireless News.
It goes deeper than that, however.
As Social Media Today reports, over half of your customers will consider having less contact with your business if they have bad mobile experience. Having an attractive mobile-friendly site reverses this trend. As a survey mentioned in a Forbes article points out, over 60% of customers will consider engaging with a business more if they have a well-designed mobile-friendly site.
Already ahead of the trend, Google has made a not-so-subtle push for businesses to improve their mobile-friendly sites. Google changed its algorithm to favor mobile-friendly. In other words, your site gets a higher boost in SEO ranking if features a mobile-friendly or responsive design. (A site that uses responsive design can adapt to work well on any device.)
In short, customers (and Google who wants to advertise to those customers) wants your business to be good at mobile.
Beyond Mobile Marketing: Why Marketing Needs to Embrace Omnichannel Marketing
As a customer, you might embark on a journey like this.
- You come across a potential present for a family member on your desktop computer.
- The next day, you decide to check on that present on your Smartphone at work.
- You decide that you want to buy the product so you buy the present.
- A couple of days later, you’re on your desktop computer to check an email from the store you bought the present.
This kind of consistent experience across devices is what marketers call omnichannel experience.
Creating this omnichannel experience is convenient for customers, but it can be difficult for a business. For businesses that make the effort, it is worth the effort. Customers are flocking to businesses that offer a consistent experience across all their devices.
Embracing the Omnichannel Strategy: How Your Business Makes the Upgrade
Every business can take steps to build their omnichannel presence. Technology is a huge part of omnichannel marketing, but the most important aspect is how you use that technology.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind so your business can start its upgrade.
1. Upgrade your mindset from mobile-friendly to mobile-first
Businesses need to think from a mobile-first perspective, not mobile-“if we have the budget for it” policy. Customers are very comfortable using mobile devices. In fact, they prefer it. With the increasing rise of devices, this demand for mobile-friendly experiences across all devices will only increase.
What can you do now? Start with observation. Look at the customer experience of a business on different devices (including your own). Compare the customer experience of a business on a website versus the mobile version. Notice what’s different and what’s the same. Take notes on how you think these changes impact the customer experience.
2. Understand your customers
Once you have the right mindset, you need the right data to back it up. Many businesses jump on the “let’s go marketing” bandwagon without understanding their customers. This is a fatal mistake. (Think about Blockbuster!)
To understand customers, focus first on behavior instead of opinion. Customer opinion is important, but customer behavior is a better evaluation of success. In the past, marketers were content to get 10’s on customer service surveys and testimonials. This won’t work in the fast-paced world of the future.
Here are some of the things you need to understand:
- Who are my customers? (Go deeper than demographics and categories. Focus on your customer’s lifestyle.)
- What popular devices are my customers using?
- How do customers interact with my website, social media, and/or app?
What can you do now? Look at the data you are collecting on customers. Think about the assumptions you are making about consumers. (For example: “If I create a customer service app, my customers will use it.”). Look at the data and see if it matches your assumptions.
3. Build the right work environment (make sure they aren’t trapped in silos!)
In the past, marketing and advertising were limited to a single department. That department worked on a calendar, churning out campaigns, initiatives, and promotions. In the fast-paced world of tomorrow, this approach is too fixed and too predictable. As shared above, staying too predictable is a recipe for a slow business disaster.
Instead, your entire business needs to get comfortable with having less control. As new technologies develop and old ones evolve, businesses will need to count on more than their “marketing department” to save the day. They will need an entire business that is dedicated to improving the customer service experience (both inside and outside of the company) across any device.
What can you do now? Look at some of your everyday business procedures. Think about some of the things you could automate to save time and money. Are these processes taking longer than you expect them to? Start thinking of potential ways your business might be able to improve their efficiency. Also, look at your organization chart and your actual performance. Think about ways that you can share knowledge to make smarter decisions.
4. Optimize for customer conversion no matter what technology you are using
Despite all the technology that’s out there, there is one principle that will not change. That principle is customer conversion. No matter what kind of business you are in, every business has to convert strangers into paying customers to survive.
Businesses that sit on their assumptions about customers will quickly find themselves losing customers. Those businesses that will survive test and experiment. What are they testing and experimenting with? The customer service experience. With the technology we have now, businesses are able to test out almost every part of the customer experience. They can see where customers clicked, track eye movement, predict sales and track customer loyalty, and do so much more. This technology will increase in the future but it will be useless if a business has not adopted a mindset and environment that is OK with rapid experimentation and learning
What can you do now? Learn what customers want and then make it easier for customers to get what they want. This is the principle of optimization. How do you know what customers? Ask them. Test out stuff. Test some more. Almost every aspect of the customer experience can be tested and improved. Leverage that power and use it to continually improve your business so that it can continue getting customers.
Almost Every Business in the Future Will Be Tech, So Get Ready
Almost every business in the future will have a technical aspect, which means it can be subject to disruption The key to surviving this disruption is staying flexible and being open to learn. Adopting a mobile-first approach is one approach to that preparation because it prepares you for the new world. In that new world, screens and devices will be everywhere. It’s up to your business to prepare for the future now. or get lost in the process.