As the world quickly shifts to being dominated by smartphones, businesses have been notoriously slow to keep up. Two-thirds of the US population own smartphones with internet access. Looking strictly at adults, 77 percent of the adult population owns a smartphone, which is up from 35 percent in 2011. In the 18 to 29-year-old range, 94 percent of the population owns a smartphone.
With mobile technology adoption rates like this, companies that aren’t prioritizing mobile in their business plans are falling behind. Not every business needs their own native mobile application, though. No business is exempt from thinking mobile, though, even if they aren’t a good candidate for a native mobile app. Google is even helping push this by penalizing websites in search results on mobile that are not mobile-friendly.
Having a mobile strategy in your business plan means you have thoughtfully considered how your brand appears to a customer or prospective customer on a mobile device. The first and most important step to your strategy should be to make sure your company’s homepage is easy to navigate and useful to visitors regardless of the device they use to get there. This means Flash animations are a big no-no because these features do not work on mobile. Flash was the exciting new thing years ago, but both Apple and Google have made it clear that Flash is a thing of the past by choosing not to support it on their mobile devices.
Your website should also be responsive, meaning it adapts layout and sizing to the user’s device. Text that is too small to read on a smartphone drives most users away. Awkward scrolling also irritates users. Check out your website on both a smartphone and a tablet. Anything about interacting with it that you would describe as “annoying” needs to be addressed.
Define your audience
Once you’ve ensured your mobile presence is functional, the next step to your mobile strategy is to determine whether or not your mobile presence is hitting the appropriate audience. A mobile visitor to your site or native application is looking to get the information they are seeking quickly, complete a transaction if applicable and get back to whatever they were doing. This means your audience is not looking for the detailed biographies of each of your employees, they aren’t seeking case studies and they aren’t interested in complex graphs or charts. While that information may be important to your company, prioritize the content that someone on a mobile device will seek.
Another priority for your mobile strategy is to determine whether or not a native mobile application is beneficial for your business, whether or not you already have one. If you already have a mobile app, but your analytics show few downloads and few daily active users, the app may have missed the mark. You can either choose to overhaul it and deliver an improved experience, or you can choose to pull it from the App Store. A bad app is far worse for your company image than not having an app. If you don’t have an app already, consider if it’s a good fit for your product or service.
Mobile should absolutely be part of your marketing and advertising efforts, too. Profile your ideal customers and find out what they like to do on their mobile devices. If they’re big into social networking, run ad campaigns targeted through those channels to mobile users. Over half of searches for products on mobile convert to sales, so find out where your customers are searching for your product and pay for priority placement there. Even if you don’t have a mobile app, your customers are on mobile. Speak to them where they are.
Regardless of your business, to compete in today’s market, your business plan must reflect a mobile-focused society. Make sure customers can find the information they need from you quickly and easily. Invest in a custom native mobile app if it’s appropriate and wise for your business. Make sure your advertising focuses on digital efforts. Start your mobile strategy today if your company doesn’t have one.
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