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Getting Real About Mobile: Avoiding “Shiny Object Syndrome”

Everywhere you look, businesses are talking about the growth of mobile—and how it's changed the fundamentals of communication and commerce. In fact, by 2015, more people will use a mobile device to access the Internet than a computer. 

As marketers, we need to consider how this phenomenon changes the game. When assessing mobile, most of us immediately suffer from “shiny object syndrome.”   We get distracted by the idea of flashy, expensive mobile apps and SMS campaigns. But let’s get real for a minute. Whether you’re a marketer for a B2C or B2B business, think about the mobile basics first before you approve that large purchase order for a shiny new app.

Look at how you use your iPhone. When it comes to games, social networking, music and maps, your first choice is likely an app. But in most cases, you tend to pull up a browser, right? According to mobiThinking, once they’ve been downloaded, one in four mobile apps never get used again. So as marketers, we need to stop thinking about having the coolest mobile app, and start thinking about the ways customers use these devices on a day-to-day basis.  

Even as mobile commerce continues to accelerate—making up almost 10 percent of 2011 Black Friday sales—some brands and companies still aren’t covering the basics. B2C businesses have a much higher percentage of customers who are shopping and browsing via mobile devices than B2B, but many B2C brands still have less-than-ideal mobile experiences.

So next time you think about spending a lot of money on a new mobile marketing campaign, think of the basics first and ask these simple questions:

1.  What percentage of your customer digital interactions and web visits are coming from mobile devices? How are they trending?

2.  How well do your important web presences render on popular mobile devices? What is the experience like? How are your bounce rates from mobile devices?

3.  Are your email campaigns optimized for mobile? Do you have an email platform that provides mobile previews?

Keep these basics in mind, but don't be afraid to experiment. The important thing to remember when designing for mobile is to prototype and iterate on your site. And of course, be sure to measure and monitor the results. If you prove enough mobile ROI, you can pay for that shiny new app you’ve been after!

 

4 Responses

  1. Bryan Kramer says:

    So yes! Especially “shiny object syndrome.”  Right now that is a very important statement. Most marketers have too many options. Especially mobile. And I completely agree about prioritization of an app vs. mobile enabled site. Needs to be addressed with the questions you asked before proceeding. They both have a place, just ask the right questions. Great blog Tami!

  2. Nico says:

    Good summary, a mix of core services plus some experiments help the mobile roadmap. Having said that, we now have some clients seeing >50% of their traffic on mobile devices, and >70% of their emails opened on mobile devices – time for "trying a few things" is rapidly running out, this is the here and now.

  3. Great point Nico.  As an 'always on' user myself, I'm often surprised the basics are often missed!  

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