by Heidi Schwende, Featured Contributor
WE SAID IT BEFORE and we’ll say it again: nobody can predict the future. What we know is that to succeed in the business world, you need the ability to adapt, react and embrace the ebb and flow of your market. In the digital marketing world, keeping up is a wild ride of tools, technologies, rule changes and an evolving set of best practices. You may not be able to see the future, but you can certainly guess and prepare for it.
Here are a few ways you can bridge the gap to whatever comes next:
Start Monitoring Consumer Technology
First, we want to highlight that consumer technology is shaping the way marketers and brands engage with their audiences. It might seem like an obvious point, but given the number of companies that don’t know what their mobile audience is doing, it’s not as evident as we’d like. The second point is that marketers need to keep their ears to the ground when it comes to consumer technology, so they’re at least aware of the next mobile device or piece of software with the potential to turn the world upside down.
The brands and businesses that end up having the most success with the newest technologies and strategies don’t have crystal balls, they’re just more willing to embrace change. Being an early adopter of a game-changing platform or technology is the kind of thing we’re talking about; go after the future, don’t wait for it to come to you!
Become Your Own Mobile Customer
The level of technological advancement humanity has achieved in the last 30 years is astounding. You likely own and use all of the latest gadgets and devices in your home and office, maybe even to buy products and services. Yet when it comes to integrating one of these devices with the business world, it suddenly seems like the hardest thing you’ve ever done.
A simple solution: put yourself in the shoes of your customers and have a mobile experience with your own brand. What’s it like? Satisfying? Frustrating? Were you surprised by the experience or was it what you expected? The answers to these questions are a great place to start, especially since you’ll usually know right away if there’s a problem with your mobile customer experience.
Create The Content Your Audience Wants
The thing about smartphones and tablets is they have so many different uses, it’s hard to generalize an audience as “mobile” and simply be done with it. A company’s mobile audience could be incredibly unique and should be targeted as such with any mobile campaigns. For example, some tablet users tend to watch a lot of video content, whether it’s on their morning commute or just relaxing on the couch at home. Whatever the case, it’s a bad idea to target this audience with 1500-word blog posts, because they won’t read them. But there’s nothing wrong with 1500-word blog posts in their own right; you see where we’re going with this?
In order to cater your content to your audience, you need to know:
- The percentage of your audience that comes from mobile
- The exact breakdown of devices used to access your content
- How much time your mobile audience is spending with your current content?
- What form of content is accessed the most?
- What form of content is accessed for the longest durations?
The more you know, the better you can tailor your content. You wouldn’t make somebody steak for dinner without asking whether they like steak, just as you wouldn’t make a suit for a person without first getting their measurements. So why would you ever create content without understanding who, what and where it’s going to be consumed? Get all the details, then create the content your audience wants. It’s the perfect recipe.
We understand that there are more need-to-know digital marketing stats than you could ever keep track of, but we feel the recent numbers on mobile usage and activity top them all. Here’s a look at the most important mobile marketing statistics:
- Tablets are the fast growing communications device, with a year-over-year increase of 20% of households in 2013 vs. 2012
- Tablets are also the most preferred device for accessing the Internet, coming in at 8% more than smartphones (the second most preferred device)
- In early 2014, Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC usage
- The number of mobile users that shop (20% in 2013 vs. 24% in 2014) and the amount they are spending is on the rise
You probably didn’t need the stats to know that smartphones and tablets are everywhere and they’re being used for everything. Posting on social media, surfing the web, giving presentations, taking pictures, playing games, watching movies and charging customers for products are just a few of the things you can do on a tablet or smartphone. What you can do is figure out a way to reach the large sections of your audience who are using smartphones and tablets to engage with your brand or business. What are you waiting for? Your mobile audience is out there – go see what the future holds!
Sources: WSI World, econsultancy.com, search engine watch.