Mobile has changed the way people engage with email, social and web browsing. B2B marketers will have to adjust as well.
According to the Pew Research Center, 58% of American adults have a smartphone and 42% have tablets. Of smartphone owners, 81% use their phone to send text messages, 60% access the Internet, 52% check their email and 50% download apps. No online marketer can ignore the shift to mobile. Mobile Internet and data is growing at 1.5x per year and projected hit 30% of Internet traffic by 2015.
While potential buyers are shifting their time and attention to mobile, marketers aren’t responding. Only 45% of marketers have a mobile-optimized website, according to Adobe. Only 25% of marketers test their email for accurate mobile rendering, according to marketing automation platform Pardot.
One of the reasons that mobile is not becoming a part of every marketer’s tool set is that mobile is different. It has its own challenges, metrics and objectives, different from the web. Marketers must learn new tactics and acquire talent to succeed.
New skills required
To succeed in the mobile web, marketers need other ways to engage. For example, while PC users download and read whitepapers, long content and forms are hard to digest on a 5-inch screen.
Welcome to the App Economy. According to Flurry, apps account for 86% of the time people spend on the web compared to just 14% of time spent on mobile browsing. This shows the importance of apps to succeed in the mobile web.
Mobile apps don’t need to recreate all the functionality of your web experience, particularly at first. You may decide to have a portfolio of apps or a single one to concentrate your efforts. The app store is the new SEO.
Hubspot created a mobile app that allows users to access their platform from iPhone and Android phones, analyze data, connect with leads and track progress. With this mobile app, you can stay on top of your marketing campaigns on the go. Salesforce.com started with a portfolio of apps and consolidated them down to one in the Salesforce 1 platform.
When creating a mobile app, metrics are different. You need to track downloads from the App store. But downloads aren’t enough. Retention is critical. Research from Loyalitics indicates that 20% of apps are only opened once and 60% of apps are opened fewer than 10 times.
Email is the workhorse of B2B marketing on the web. It remains a significant driver of B2B lead generation and engagement. Most marketing automation platforms use email as their main channel for leads.
However, emails viewed from mobile are very different from emails viewed from a PC. Emails need to be mobile-optimized and fit the small screen. Emails aiming to send people to a landing page with long forms will fail in conversion. You need to optimize the entire experience.
In addition, you need a content strategy suited for the mobile web. Native advertising puts your content alongside organic content. High quality, relevant marketing content, boosted with advertising, can generate more clicks than organic content. The shift to content marketing has been running for some time, but mobile has made your ability to create quality content even more urgent.
Finally, you’ll also need new sources of data. For example, you’ll need to track downloads and usage from vendors like App Annie. You’ll need to build dashboards to track your campaigns across multiple mobile networks. Some but not all of your web vendors have made the mobile shift.
As consumers shift to mobile, marketers need to respond in kind. Mobile marketing requires a new set of strategies and tactics. Email alone won’t work anymore. Welcome to the world of apps, native advertising, and optimization for the small screen.
Staying in place isn’t an option. Comments are welcomed!
About Brian Goffman
Brian is an Internet executive with general management, marketing, sales, and product management background in mid-to-large-size organizations. Currently he is a venture partner at Technology Crossover Ventures, a growth-stage venture capital firm. At TCV, he works with the firm’s partners to evaluate new investments in consumer Internet and software, and advises leadership teams at existing portfolio companies, with a bias to disruptive products that upend existing business models. Prior to TCV, he led the global enterprise marketing team at LinkedIn across Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Sales Solutions.