Does Your Brand Measure Up In A Mobile Environment?

by Damir Saracevic, Catalyst

Take the mobile marketing challenge:

  • Do you have a mobile-friendly site?
  • How about mobile-friendly landing pages and email?
  • Is it easy for mobile customers to interact with you?
  • Are you losing sales when frustrated mobile customers just “give up?”

Many are saying that 2010 is (finally) the “Year of Mobile.” More and more, your target audience is interacting with your brand on-the-go. According to a recent Gartner report, by 2012 Smartphone sales will surpass laptop sales and comprise 37% of all global handset sales (up from 14% in 2009).

That puts enormous pressure on marketers to think about the way customers interact with you on their phones. Unfortunately, too many marketers focus their mobile strategy on apps and SMS. What gets lost in the shuffle are the other online touch points – particularly email and landing pages.

A recent report from the Radicati Group projected that, by 2013, more than 1 billion consumers will access e-mail on their mobile phones. That has huge implications for your email marketing strategy.

Let me give you an example of a less-than-satisfying mobile experience I recently had while stuck in the airport. I had just enough time to catch up on some email, not enough to pull out the laptop . So I pulled out my iPhone® to catch up on some emails. I was what you would call a “captive audience. “

I had several emails from retailers that interested me. But only a few provided a mobile version. Most forced me to scroll more than I – even with time on my hands – had the patience for, resulting in a subpar experience. My friends at the office tell me it’s even worse on a BlackBerry®.

When I clicked the link to “learn more,” I was taken to the retailer’s main web site — which was not optimized for mobile, and which didn’t have a mobile viewing option, forcing me to scroll down through all the page names, image names and code until I lost all hope of finding the products I was looking for. Thus I abandoned my search. And the retailer lost a sale.

Perhaps more important … I had a negative brand experience, bad enough to keep me off that retailer’s site indefinitely.

Some retailers have, indeed, been prescient enough to develop mobile sites – but they often forget about optimizing the rest of their customer communications for mobile.

We recently developed an integrated communications program for a new product launch that included mobile versions of emails, landing pages, a mobile-optimized microsite, and the option to receive product updates via text message/SMS. Anyone who opted in for SMS was automatically directed to the mobile-optimized sites.

With so many customers using their phones for email and to surf the web, you simply can’t afford to overlook developing an integrated mobile strategy. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and experience your brand from a variety of mobile devices and communications channels. How does your experience measure up?

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