It’s apparent to everyone in digital marketing that all businesses need a mobile strategy, yet a number of brands are still dragging their feet.

In a talk at Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing event, addictive founder Simon Andrews looked at where brands should be focusing their mobile efforts this year.

Noting that 80% of brands still don’t have a mobile optimised site, Andrews said that the opportunity was now too big to ignore. "You are losing money by not doing it properly now – if you’re not doing it then someone else is”.

He said that on average 18% of the population in a given market uses 3G, and predicted that within the next eight years nearly all consumer behaviour would be driven by mobile.

The key areas that need to be mobile optimised are:


As mentioned, only 20% of brands have a mobile site, which means they are likely to see huge bounces rates, diminished time on page and are unlikely to sell anything via mobile.

It’s a no-brainer, your site has to work on mobile devices or your business will suffer.

Andrews said that even among those with mobile sites, often they have poor content or are difficult to use.

He gave the example of NetDoctor which, after realising that more than half of its mobile traffic came from Google, made sure its mobile site had exactly the same content as the desktop site.

Users expect to see all the same ailments as they would on desktop, so we built it using the same backend.

While NetDoctor assumed conversions would be low on smartphones, it saw the value of mobile as a customer acquisition tool and instead revamped its call centre so mobile customers could still make a purchase.

Andrews said that a mobile optimsied site may also impact search rankings.

Google says mobile sites will perform better in AdWords and rankings. So eventually you may drop down the search rankings if your site isn’t optimised.


Andrews said that the three most valuable keywords in mobile search, as on desktop, are mortgages, insurance and loans.

We searched for these on mobile and found that people are paying top dollar for these keywords then sending people to a site that didn’t work on mobile.

This is clearly a missed opportunity. Similarly, there is a lot of innovation going on with mobile search - such as showing stock levels for nearby stores in the SERPS – which brands need to be aware of to offer a better user experience. 

As inventory is typically cheaper on mobile than on desktop, there is room for brands to trial new campaigns for lower cost.


Mobile allows consumers to check their email constantly, yet a lot of email marketing isn’t optimised for smartphones.

Research from digital agency Steel found that 36% of consumers read email on mobileFurthermore, data included in an infographic from Return Path shows that 41% of Europeans would either close or delete an email not optimised for mobile.

However, stats from our Email Marketing Census 2012 found that with 39% of companies said their mobile email strategy was “non-existent”, and 37% said their strategy was “basic”.

A huge number of brands are wasting a lot of effort and missing out on conversions simply because they haven’t optimised their emails for mobile.


Social media is one of the primary functions of smartphones, with more than half of Facebook and Twitter users logging on through mobile. Facebook was even forced to issue a profit warning after admitting it had failed to come up with a successful mobile ad strategy.

Therefore, brands need to make sure they factor mobile into their social strategy.

If you’re putting links on Twitter that don’t work on mobile, then you’re losing traffic.

Similarly, many Facebook apps are built in Flash, which obviously won’t work on iPhone. Andrews said brands need to think about what they need to do to get their social experience to work on mobile.


Display advertising on mobile is still relatively new, but Andrews suggested that all companies that are buying display on desktop should be doing the same on mobile. There is a great deal of inventory but low demand so costs tend to be lower.

The average cost for mobile is around 70cents, whereas desktop will cost more than $3. You should be trialling campaigns and learning from it, as if you’re not then someone else is.

Ad strategy

With the increasing use of apps like Blippar and Zeebox that connect TV and print to mobile, Andrews predicted that in future most traditional ad formats would become a digital experience.

Zeebox was downloaded 22,000 times during a single episode of Dancing On Ice, and was worth £15m to Sky as they can now sell ads through it to connect traditional and digital marketing.

AR and connected TV apps are becomingly increasingly popular and brands need to be aware of the opportunities.


Andrews said HTML5 will become ever more vital as it changes the way businesses can build their websites. Brands also need to be looking at how they build their mobile and Facebook apps as HTML5 can save costs by using the same code across each device.

You can build responsive, flexible websites, and make the same site work on any device as it renders differently depending on whether the user has a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

David Moth

Published 14 June, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (9)

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simon andrews

simon andrews, founder at Econsultancy Guest Access TRAININGSmall Business Multi-user

You can get my slides on the addictivemobile blog - just to say that the brand that had dusted down the call centre was a financial services business - not Netdoctor

about 6 years ago

John Waghorn

John Waghorn, Content Marketer at Koozai Ltd

Good post, companies really do need to get their mobile campaigns into action sooner rather than later so that that they have the chance to generate profit through alternative marketing channels. If you look at how mobile phones are marketed these days they are designed to do more for us whilst we are on the move, so companies should take advantage of this and make mobile a prominent focus within their marketing campaigns. Creating a decent mobile website is the first step in this process and from there you can focus on building apps and really begin to push the different formats of your site.

about 6 years ago



Thanks for the post.

I am really surprised that while mobile is said to be the 'word of 2012' only 20% of brands have their websites optimised for mobile! And while most brands focus on the hardest strategies (I mean apps, qr codes and augmented reality are harder to make) they just simply forget about the website and email as well as link optimisation that actually should be the first thing to be done when 'going mobile'.

about 6 years ago

Matt Barker

Matt Barker, Joint Managing Director at Stream:20

Good that articles like this continue to promote the Mobile agenda.

Can we assume that the quote,

'Users expect to see all the same AILMENTS as they would on desktop...'

should actually read,

'Users expect to see all the same ELEMENTS as they would on desktop...'

? :-)

about 6 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

@Matt, no, you cannot make that assumption. He was talking about NetDoctor, which lists ailments that users want to research :)

about 6 years ago

simon andrews

simon andrews, founder at Econsultancy Guest Access TRAININGSmall Business Multi-user

@Matt @David - you're both right - for NetDoctor we knew we had to have all the ailments on the site - and in general we believe a mobile site must have all the same elements as on the desktop ;)

about 6 years ago

Andrew Tonks

Andrew Tonks, Senior SEO Account Manager at Red Blue Blur Ideas

80% of brands still don’t have a mobile optimised sites - I find that incredible!

For most brands engaged online, I would expect they would optimise their sites for cross-browser compatibility so why would you not put the same emphasis behind cross-device compatibility?

Surely for most brands, the improvement in conversions and therefore profits realised by having a mobile optimised site would justify the time and budget needed to create a mobile site?

about 6 years ago


John Dean

With the explosion of smartphones, androids and iPhones, many people carry their whole lives on their phones and spend a lot of time using it for a variety of things. I would have thought that a lot more than 36% of people read emails on their mobiles but regardless, that is still a considerable amount. Some companies are still naive about social media so it may take a while until everyone stops dragging their heels.

about 6 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Great post. This year is the year to get mobile right. Two tips:

1. - Get amazing mobile trend data from

2. - Test how good your mobile site is with this free Google tool

about 6 years ago

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