Back in the 1990s mobile phone operator Orange produced what was one of the most recognised and repeated slogans of that decade’s mobile boom. “The future’s bright, the future’s Orange,” it proclaimed and used for more than 20 years. These days the Orange brand has been subsumed by EE, but the connection between mobility and a rosy future has never been stronger – especially when it comes to mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing has taken an innovative leap over the past decade. More and more people are turning to mobile for most of their web browsing and online communications. The computer screen, which was once the portal for many tasks, is now being replaced by the more convenient, portable, and accessible smartphone screen. Indeed some screens are getting even smaller – just look at the Apple watch which was launched last week. This iPhone-compatible watch will mean you can check messages and updates from your wrist. It is perfect for those of us that like to check notifications constantly and will provide a new format for developers to wrestle with.
The amount of content now created with a mobile audience in mind is constantly expanding. Content marketers are creating blogs, videos, digital editions, content hubs and apps designed around gaining traffic, leads and customers from the mobile sphere. In doing this they are tapping into a growing trend for accessing information from mobile which has seen Facebook make 62 percent of its advertising revenue on mobile with roughly a third of users only logging in with their phones.
According to We Are Social, as of January 2015 the world’s population is 7.210 billion and the number of unique mobile users is 3.649 billion – that means more than half of the world has a mobile device.
Rather than transforming a desktop website into a responsive mobile site, developers are now advising us to think “mobile first” so sites are designed to be viewed on phones, with later development for larger screens. In this way the website can be designed for faster loading times for small devices without having to deal with lots of cascading style sheets (CSS) just to load, as would be the case if it was large screen first.
So what does this mean when you look at a screen? Well, in the case of tablets and mobiles, if the content is mobile-optimised then you’re likely to be able to swipe across to view the next page, rather than having to scroll on a computer screen.
Mobile content distribution
A significant new trend in creating mobile content for marketing purposes is a “hub” where content is aggregated from a number of different sources. The idea is simple: people are faced with so many news and information streams in the modern age that they need a tool which will put them all together and allow them to filter for the content that is most relevant.
The main attractions of using this web-based tool are the accessibility, speed and ease of use. You can generate lots of hubs from your online content, and share them with a unique URL. Hubs can also populate apps, thus putting your content in the best position for a mobile audience.
Publishers are creating branded business apps to showcase their content. There are a few key design app principles to stick to and your app can look professional, customised and fully adapted to all phones in no time. Expert app building teams need little more than your logos, images and design specifics to generate a fully customised app and will then arrange for it to be made available on iPhone, android and other app stores.
The principal aim of most marketing is to point customers towards products they can buy. With plenty of ecommerce solutions available, your marketing can lead to a sale within a few shorts clicks, without a customer having to pick up the phone, input a URL or reach for their credit card. Now ecommerce has been joined by s-commerce – where sales becomes a social game with people competing against each other as viral marketeers and joining co-buys to get the best deal. This “gamification” is set to be a major trend as mobile marketers compete to create the app that people fiddle with on their phone, at their desk or on the bus.
In the move towards mobility, marketing is hardly bucking a wider trend. Software vendors are producing mobile solutions for all sorts of programmes, but nowhere is the mobile imperative more pervasive than in the business world. If businesses can successfully reorientate themselves to a mobile marketing strategy then their future will look that much brighter.
By Paul McNulty, CEO of 3D Issue.
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