There is an old joke: There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who know binary and those who don’t. There are also two (switching back to decimal) kinds of search marketers in this world: those committed to mobile marketing as part of their everyday stratey, and those who consider mobile as an afterthought. The latter of these two types of marketers will quickly get left behind.
This is not just an exaggeration. The statistics for mobile usage are astounding, representing a significant shift in user behavior:
The ease of mobile search and the ability to find product information, prices and reviews while in a store has led to “showrooming,” with 39% of walkouts influenced by smartphone usage. “The four walls have become porous,” says the Wall Street Journal. Indeed they have, but smartphone commerce isn’t only confined to the physical retail environment. Tablet and smartphone users are also much more likely than desktop or laptop users to be interacting with digital media during prime-time television hours. This is also when consumers are more likely to be on social networks, where 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
These are my mobile takeaways for search marketers:
1. Mobile is local. When a third of mobile searches come with local intent, it is important to offer consumers what they want. And even if the intent wasn’t local to start off with, you might encourage a consumer to act locally. Write copy that is highly localized. Make that copy geo-targeted.
2. Mobile is immediate. Even if they may not close the deal on the phone, users are searching when they are ready to purchase. Make it as easy as possible for the user to take action. Create calls to action. Bid appropriately.
3. Mobile is different. Consumers on mobile devices are often at either the very top or bottom of the purchase funnel. Either they’ve just started thinking about a need or want, or they have done all of their research and are ready to pull the trigger, given the right information and right incentive. Make your information available for those interested in social interaction and browsing as well as those who are in the store and ready to buy.
4. Mobile is social. All media is becoming more social. This is a trend that will change the way we all interact with advertising and content. Embrace that frame of mind in your mobile ads.
Knowing that a consumer is using a mobile device is an important piece of information when you’re communicating through paid media. Who consumers are when they’re at their desks is very different from who they are when walking down the street. This was put very succinctly to me recently in this way: “When you are standing on a corner of New York City and search for ‘pizza,’ you aren’t interested in the theoretical concept of pizza – you actually want a slice of pizza now.”
Help your mobile customers get a slice of whatever you are selling.