Mobile Websites and Marketing: a quick look at the Mobile Ecosystem

The mobile web is the consumption of the Internet on a mobile device. It is a subset of mobile computing in general. Mobile websites are simplified version of the normal website designed to accommodate the needs of mobile device users who are hampered by smaller screens with lower resolution, a lack of a mouse and a reliance on touch screen navigation. Mobile Marketing is the effort to advertise to the users of mobile computing devices using a mixture of new and old technologies to engage them: mobile website, instream advertising while they consume media, text message marketing, QR codes, location detection and augmented reality.

More specific definition is the following: “using interactive wireless media to provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas, thereby generating value for all stakeholders”.[3] – Wikipedia

Next year, in 2013, it is predicted that Smartphone usage will hit the tipping point, ie. more than 50% of phones will be smart phones. People’s “downtime”, during travel or waiting for an event to occur, is often given over to mobile computing.

Consumer preferences are as follows:

  • Among people who own both, 88% spend more time using their Smartphones than Tablets
  • Tablets are gaining market share because people prefer to read and consume content and web sites on the larger screens that Tablets provide
  • Tablet visits to web sites will surpass Smartphone visits in 2013
  • Tablet use is more home based and Tablets are often shared the family

Both Smartphones and Tablets have been designed intentionally with an “app” focused architecture in an effort to both speed development by 3rd party developers and to control the way in which content is consumed. This is the paradigm shift that differentiates mobile web consumption from the web browser-focussed approach on desktop computers. App provide a “silo-like” experience in which the experience is more linear and controlled.

BallardGem.com = 24% of total traffic is from mobile devices. Of this 67% is from iPhones and iPads.

MikesAutoHB.com = 17% of total traffic is from mobile devices. Of this 58% is from iPhones and iPads.

JohnThomasPainting.com = 19.3 % of total traffic is from mobile devices. Of this 84% is from iPhones and iPads.

Desktop computers are not “going away” but people are moving their files, work and computing time to online based systems many of which can be accessed and worked in via a Smartphone or Tablet. Here is an interesting graph.

Mobile Search

The results are slightly different in appearance (map significance elevated in page) and tailored to the mobile experience (update precise location button). Bottom line: traditional SEO still works but is being threatened by device maker’s intentional mediation and insertion of their own agenda into the results.

Pay Per Click Advertisement

Works in the traditional way but now with DOMINANT screen real estate. Essentially the majority of the screen on a Smartphone is taken over by the PPC ad default sizing.

Text Message Marketing

Because a person who “opts in” reveals their cell phone number to you they are a more likely potential client but the trick will be to get this valuable “opt in” in the first place. Serious inducements may be required. These should be time-based so they don’t “hit it and quit it” leaving you with their having “opted out” after getting the reward. Think Loyalty Programs, Frequent Buyer rewards, etc.

QR Codes

Can contain URLs, text messages (up to 160 characters), SMS messages, phone numbers. A person can then visit your site, email the text message, send an SMS text message (even opt in to your Text Message Marketing program), or call you immediately when your number pops up on their phone. The creative uses of these are endless.

Instream Advertising

The easiest reference point for people is probably those ads that pop up over a YouTube video when you’re watching videos there. There are other streams, like Twitter and Facebook, that have or will shortly have this type of ad.

Location Aware Ads

Foursquare, Facebook, Google all have the ability to present ads to people as they visit a location or even just come close. The caveat is that people must have their phone set up to reveal their location and not everyone does or people turn it off and on according to their preference.

Augmented Reality

Super cutting edge uses camera/video function and location awareness to overlay user generated, relevant content and even ads for people that have been to or are at a new location for the first time. You have see this to grasp its implications. The ideal venue for this would be in the Google Glass Project glasses.

Need help with a mobile version of your site or mobile marketing? Call us at 949-722-6119 today!

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