If there’s any remaining doubt about how mobile phones have permeated our lives, pay close attention the next time you’re in a public restroom – airport, shopping mall, sports arena – and note the individuals using their phones to text, email or talk.
Don’t worry: this conversation isn’t headed for the toilet and it won’t be a rant against non-stop mobile phone usage. Instead, I’m going to suggest ways marketers should capitalize on the remarkable extent of mobile usage.
It would be natural to assume that mobile marketing – responsive design, targeting customers on social media – is mostly the province of marketing technologists who focus on optimizing delivery and presentation of content. That perspective would be limiting – and incorrect.
The phone is a device that every marketer must leverage to create engagement and demand. That’s a business imperative – call it the mobile imperative – if ever there was one.
For marketing ops, there are several measures you can take to meet the mobile imperative. They fall into the categories below.
In an inbound marketing context, it's fairly obvious to note the importance of responsive design in achieving engagement using websites and registration forms. More subtle are website and landing page elements that are squarely in the purview of marketing ops. Examples:
- Place calls to action (CTAs) at the top of a page so the visitor can click from the first screen
- Present condensed registration forms (three to six fields with radio buttons) that can kick off progressive profiling
- Ensure it’s possible to move data in real time from your web or mobile data capture system to your CRM or marketing automation system. The mobile user operates in real time, so your systems must support data fluidity.
In an outbound marketing context, the top priority is making email and landing page templates fully responsive so they render without manipulation in mobile clients. In addition, ensure the media partners you work with to run demand generation campaigns design forms that comply with your user experience guidelines – especially when it comes to form fields – on the mobile platform. Include the mobile platform and mobile websites in any retargeting campaigns.
The mobile imperative as it applies to social media can be summed up in one word: Facebook. You’re certainly aware by now that over half of Facebook users access the social site exclusively from a mobile device. That means the dominant social platform is now approaching one billion deeply engaged mobile users. Facebook organic and paid marketing campaigns both offer compelling options for social engagement and demand generation. Marketing ops practitioners should ensure UX, content type and call to action are all in line with the preferences of Facebook users.
Account-Based Marketing Campaigns
What better way to expand your base of target-account contacts than reaching out via mobile – in social media, in email, via website ads or retargeting? For existing customers or prospects in target accounts, engaging via mobile is an ideal way to augment your cross-channel marketing strategy. Bottom line: be sure to check the “mobile” box whether you’re running a net-new or existing prospect ABM campaign.
Customer Data & Insights
As a marketing ops practitioner, you have a direct line of sight into a treasure trove of mobile demographic and behavioral data – from your own systems as well as those of demand-gen partners. Seize the initiative by enlightening your marketing colleagues with insights into the mobile preferences and activities of your customers.
For those customers who've opted in to SMS/text-based contact, leverage that major "in," but do it respectfully, even sparingly. There are few things more personal to some B2B and B2C contacts than the permission to text them, so treat that channel with the priority it deserves.
Some critical considerations were raised above – including form length and calls to action. A couple more UX considerations:
- Don’t over-emphasize sharing. Mobile users aren’t overly big into sharing – so don’t waste precious, limited real estate on sharing widgets and icons.
- Make links easily distinguished from one another and therefore, easily clicked.
- Avoid the ultimate annoyance of making users resize or adapt content and pages for clean display. There’s mobile display and then there’s what users really want: mobile-optimized display that fully conforms to their screen – no adjustments needed. Ensure you’re in the latter category.
With mobile, marketing ops pros have a unique opportunity to engage and interact with customers on a highly personal device for engagement and demand generation. There’s no time like the present to capitalize because the mobile phone is only going to become more dominant.