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The internet used to be intrinsically linked to a physical device. The PC at work, the laptop in the lounge, but this is no longer the case.  

In my house alone I have seven separate devices I could use to connect to the internet in one way or another, be it the mobile in my pocket, the tablet while I watch TV, or via my games console.  

I may be interacting with your brand on all of these platforms, and I expect a positive experience.

I am not alone in this. Mobile devices now account for 8.49% of global website visits and iPad sales now exceed 55M worldwide, 5M in the UK. 

People no longer consume your content in a single way on a single device, so you need to understand how your customers are engaging with you and what that means for your marketing efforts.  

How do people interact with your company on the various platforms available and what do they expect from you? 

Difference device for different times of the day

Time of day analysis shows that mobile and tablet usage peaks between 7am-9am and post 6pm with tablets showing the highest spike post 9pm.  

You should be asking yourself what do customers want from me at these times of the day and how should I engage with them? Post 9pm for example, people are unlikely to interact with any immediacy.  

A phrase coined by Denuology is that of the sloucher, the content consumer in a relaxed frame of mind, usually on a tablet device. They know your call centre is unlikely be open so pushing them to call is going to be fruitless.  

Why not suggest they put an enquiry through instead, or offer them a call back function?

Mobile is still growing

Mobile users too offer a unique opportunity. Whilst offers and couponing on desktop PCs has had some success it has a major flaw. You can’t carry a desktop PC into a store!

A mobile is obviously a different matter and with active mobile coupon users in the US expected to reach 35m, and mobile commerce estimated to be worth US$1 trillion by 2015 this is an area that can’t be ignored.  

You should also look to utilise the mobile core functionality and ‘click to call’ technology as unsurprisingly a lot of people browsing on a mobile, want to interact with you on the same device.

Fragmentation will continue

Multi platform internet usage is here to stay and is only going to get more fragmented with Analysys Mason predicting there will be 16bn Internet connected devices by 2020.

Devising an approach to marketing and customer interaction across these different platforms is an essential step in maximising the opportunity this presents. You need to think about your customer and how they engage with you.  

What are the points of interaction throughout the day and how do people want to be engaged with?  Building this information into a multi platform approach is no longer optional, its critical if you are going to survive in the always on world.

Rob Weatherhead

Published 11 June, 2012 by Rob Weatherhead

Rob Weatherhead is Head of Digital Operations at MediaCom and a contributor to Econsultancy. He can also be found on at www.robweatherhead.co.uk and on LinkedIn and Twitter.  

3 more posts from this author

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Petar Subotic

There's difference between multi-channel marketing (where you have multiple channels), and cross-channel marketing (where those channels work together.)

Same goes for platforms, we need to stop looking at all these platforms as individual "multiple" instances and instead focus on the "cross-platform" experience flow a that best utilizes each device's capabilities and contexts.

Just, rather ironic nomenclature used.

over 4 years ago

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Rosie

Multi-platform also can mean multi-headache with the need to maintain each platform and ensuring they actually work.

over 4 years ago

Helen Trendell

Helen Trendell, Managing Director at ThoughtShift

Measuring results across the entire customer experience is where the challenge really begins.

Multi-attribution modelling is a very good place to start, although developing loyalty programmes where customers need to use their customer ID to collect rewards across all channels provides much richer data about how customers really interact with your brand.

over 4 years ago

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Dominic Duffy

An interesting article that highlights the challenge in publishing across multiple devices, in multiple formats and via multiple delivery channels.

over 4 years ago

Kevin Galway

Kevin Galway, Owner at Ecommerce Consultancy

Responsive Web Design - that's the way forward.

There's a huge amount of companies that haven't even embraced mobile designed sites yet. Those that have failed to address this already may as well have their desktop site re-designed with mobile & tablets all taken in to consideration within the design process. That will mean one CMS to manage all their channels.

There are other things to consider such as conditional content (displaying different content dependant on the screen size of the device) for instance, but any half decent CMS and developer should be able to cater for this.

Ok so it wont be cheap in terms of design and build, but with mobile/tablet usage growing almost daily it would be prudent to undertake this exercise on their road maps.

There are already some good examples of RWD already out there, such as The Boston Globe, and Starbucks.

The design challenge will come with ecommerce sites and product pages, and more heavily designed sites than those mentioned, which offer quite a vanilla black text on white background.

However RWD is the way forward to deliver a positive and fluid experience across multi-device touchpoints.

over 4 years ago

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Montenegro

Quality articles or reviews is the secret to interest the users to pay a quick visit the website, that's what this web page is providing.

almost 4 years ago

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