Brand marketers are keenly aware that smartphones have become the most important platform for reaching consumers in recent years.

Yet, when it comes to devising a mobile marketing strategy, many find it difficult to know where to start and how to ensure that their brand is truly ‘mobile ready’.

To help, Econsultancy recently held a Digital Outlook 2019 event in Singapore and Elizabeth Taylor, Senior Trainer for Econsultancy, offered attendees a practical overview of how marketers can keep their brand’s mobile marketing in line with consumer expectations.

To illustrate mobile’s unique capabilities, Ms. Taylor offered a few examples of how brands are using mobile to attract consumers. One company which has fully embraced mobile’s potential is Sephora.

To help its customers shop for cosmetics, Sephora has created an app which customers can use to see how various kinds of makeup will look like on their own face. Dubbed the Virtual Artist, the allows Sephora customers to explore new looks with a swipe of a finger and, of course, to buy with a click.

Why mobile?

Ms. Taylor then listed a few reasons why mobile is a great way to reach and engage consumers.

1) Mobile is ‘always on’

Mobile should be a focus for marketers as it is most consumers’ ‘always on’ computing platform. Recent surveys indicate that most adults check their device as soon as they wake up, carry it with them through the day, and keep it within arm’s reach through the night.

2) Mobile messages are read quickly

Mobile is also a great way to connect with consumers. ComScore/Statista report that 90% of mobile messages are read in less than three minutes and most (82%) consumers use their mobile device to research products in store.

3) Mobile traffic > desktop traffic

Statcounter, a web usage data company, reports that mobile, with over 49% of global traffic is at least, if not more, popular than desktop for accessing websites globally.

That statistic, however, hides the fact that in many countries mobile traffic far exceeds both laptop and desktop. ComScore, in their report Digital Future in Focus, reports that in India and Indonesia, mobile traffic is at least 4x greater than desktop/laptop traffic.

And, the report continues, in every market, the average minutes on platform per month on mobile far exceeds time spent on desktop.

digital-outlook

The mobile consumer

So what do mobile consumers expect? In a word, speed.

A recent report from Think with Google states that as a page load time goes from 1 second to 3, the probability of a bounce increases by 32%. For a page that takes 5 seconds to load, the probability of a bounce nearly doubles (90% increase).

While these load times appear to be extremely high, another Google report, conducted with Webpagetest.org of nearly 1 million web sites, found that the average time to load a mobile page was an astounding 22 seconds.

Despite this gap in consumer expectations vs. reality, consumers are buying on mobile devices more than ever. According to Flurry, a mobile data analytics company, the use of shopping apps in Southeast Asia has increased by 240% in the past year and more than half of all ecommerce sales volume is now on a mobile device.

So how can marketers use mobile?

Ms. Taylor offered attendees several suggestions for what they can do to ensure they can meet the demands of the mobile consumer.

First off, marketers must ensure that they optimize their mobile website for speed. While there are many things which they can do to make this happen, the result should be that the site loads in less than three seconds for most of their consumers.

Next, marketers need to be sure that their website is optimized for Google’s new ‘Mobile First’ Indexing, which ranks mobile-optimized websites higher than others. To make their website more mobile friendly, marketers will have to become familiar with Google’s many requirements and enlist the help of the web team. They can, however, start the journey toward mobile optimization by visiting Google’s ‘Mobile Friendly’ test tool which provides feedback on a website’s mobile readiness.

Finally, marketers need to acknowledge the fact that, according to Flurry Analytics in 2016, people spend less than 20% of their mobile time in browser. To reach mobile users, then, marketers must explore how to connect with consumers via messaging apps or develop an app themselves. Both are difficult to get right, but if brands can make life easier, more convenient or more entertaining via mobile, they can capture a greater share of their customers’ attention than if they only have a website.

Hellmann’s, the mayonnaise brand, succeeded in this area by helping Brazilian consumers cook with their products in real time via WhatsApp.

The future of mobile marketing

Ms. Taylor concluded by highlighting three technological developments which marketers should monitor to keep up-to-date with advances in mobile marketing:

1) Artificial intelligence

According to a recent Econsultancy survey, around half of all marketers globally are now using artificial intelligence in marketing, with ‘analysis of data’ as the most popular application of the technology. For mobile, marketers could leverage AI for voice recognition or automated offers to increase engagement with mobile consumers while in-store.

2) Voice assistants

Pointing out that 2016 figures show that nearly 1 in 5 of the 3.5 billion Google daily searches are now voice searches, Ms. Taylor told attendees that marketers need to prepare their sites to handle voice search as well. This will involve adapting websites and product catalogues so that responses are easy to understand and navigate via audio.

In conclusion, marketers in attendance were urged to take a new look at mobile in 2019 so that they can better understand the capabilities of mobile platforms for marketing and use it to satisfy the new wants and needs of the mobile consumers.

Learn more

Download Econsultancy’s Mobile Marketing Best Practice Guide.