In an earlier column here, I talked about how few email marketers are actually optimizing their emails and websites for mobile, despite “knowing” that it’s the right thing to do, even despite numbers showing that it’s becoming the only thing to do. And as we round out 2014, the situation hasn’t changed dramatically.
It’s curious, because keeping up with what customers want is at the heart of good marketing. Anticipating what they will want is at the heart of great marketing. And yet so many online retailers are lagging far behind.
I’m not about to address the psychology of this resistance: the absurdity of it is enough to make Occam want to slit his throat with his own razor. But I do want to talk about the CRM advantages you’ll enjoy when you transform your business into one that isn’t just mobile-friendly, but one that embraces mobile, one that innovates using mobile.
Because, whether you like it or not, mobile is the new black.
In this last quarter of 2013, Apple has so far sold 33.8 million iPhones and 14.1 million iPads. And that’s just one smartphone and tablet vendor. ABI Research says that Samsung sold even more than Apple. These are a lot of customers buying, upgrading, and using mobile devices.
These are your customers.
And your customers have changed. They want to do eight things at once. They want to be able to do tasks quickly with a minimum of steps and hoops through which they must jump. That was absolutely true when they were accessing your emails and your website on their desktop and laptop computers, and it’s about a 1,000% more true now that they are accessing on mobile devices. Even if they are not standing in line or on a train—and studies are showing that most internet shopping, even while done on a mobile device, is still happening mostly at home or at the office—they are still expecting extreme ease of use and immediate responses.
So what can you do? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Create an app. 64% of app users say that they view brands with apps more
favorably than those without. Creating an app is a great way to build brand loyalty—and make buying from you a lot easier in the bargain.
2. Customize for wearables. This may well be the Next Big Thing: already Sony and others are creating “watches” that access apps, notifications and more. And it’s not just watches: we’re starting to see fitness bands and computerized eyeglasses and more. Believe me when I say that Google Glass is just the beginning.
3. Optimize your cascades for mobile. This doesn’t just mean making sure that your email cascades fit (and render well) on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones: it means making sure that you are getting the right data sets from your customers and responding to them in real time, while the customer is still on the device and your brand is still top-of-mind.
Maybe instead of saying, “optimize your cascades for mobile,” I should say, “optimize your brand for mobile.” It’s a different CRM mindset: it means emphasizing immediate responses to the data you’re acquiring about prospects, subscribers, and customers.
I’ve written a lot about the Internet moving at the speed of thought, and I’m here to tell you that mobile is the speed of thought on steroids. You need to be prepared with customer acquisition solutions, transition marketing, and ongoing email marketing with social engagement that can respond immediately to actions taken by your customers on their mobile devices. That’s when you’ll be optimized for mobile … and perhaps even beyond.