5 (and a half) things to consider before developing a mobile marketing strategy or app

As mobile device usage increases amongst architects, engineers and on-site professionals, it’s the perfect reason to start thinking about developing a mobile app as part of your sales and marketing toolbox.

A vast amount of information is expected to be accessible by all professionals at any time, any where during a project. Information such as drawings and version numbers, product datasheets, installation docs, structural information, right through to site plans and schedules. At any time during the build phase of a project a builder or engineer may require information and will most likely use a mobile or tablet device in order to try and source this information prior to maybe calling you directly.

Traffic from mobile devices to the Pauley Creative website increased by 551% in 2011 compared to 2010. Think of all those people who have viewed the site on a mobile device. What was their experience like? A pleasant one or was the site so badly presented on a mobile device that they never came back again to read more content? We’ll come onto that later.

A client of ours saw mobile traffic to their website increase by 284% in 2011 compared to 2010. The rate at which mobile visitors to construction product manufacturer websites is growing is astonishing. After conducting many audits on websites, the biggest growth I have reported every single time for every single client is the growth in mobile traffic.

mobile_device_comparison

Has mobile traffic to your website increased by this much?

Before we go on, let’s clear one thing up…

“A mobile device is not just classed as a mobile phone. Mobile devices also include tablet devices such as iPads, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet or the Blackberry Playbook.  It is predicted that sales of tablet devices is about to explode and will over take sales of desktop PCs by 2015.”

Nick Pauley – Managing director

Back in November, we launched a new site for another product manufacturer client and the below graph shows the rate at which mobile traffic has increased in just 5 months.

mobile_stats

Mobile device traffic growth in 5 months

So, if you are required to put together a business case pushing for the need of a company app then you may want to start looking into some of the data in Google Analytics to help you back up your theories and plans.

Here are 5 things to consider before developing an mobile marketing strategy which will help you focus on the key things to gather, think about and plan before launch.

1. Mobile traffic grew by 550% in 12 months

As we have already asked above, at what rate is mobile traffic growing to your website? Is there enough growth to warrant a mobile marketing strategy? Is the quantity increasing and likely to increase at such a rate for the next 3-5 years. Many marketers survey customers and ask “Do you use a smartphone for work?” and most may say “Yes”, BUT they may not necessarily want to view your site on a mobile or have the need to when they can use their desktop in the office.

2. Which sources are my mobile visitors coming from?

There may be a small percentage of visitors coming to your website from a mobile device to just have a general browse but there may be a large percentage who are looking for something specific. In Google Analytics you can segment your mobile traffic and have a look at where they are coming from. Are they coming from Google? What did they search for and what page did they land on? Did they get the information they required? Was it a pleasant experience?

mobile_sources

Sources of traffic from mobile devices – Google wins again!

If 7.70% of visitors are coming from a referring website then was that website mobile friendly? If it was ,then it’s your website that is the stumbling block in your visitors’ journey. Remember, if your company is on Twitter then most of your website visitors may be coming from social sources and from a mobile device. You may also be using QR codes to drive traffic through to your website. Again, QR codes are for mobile devices so how does your website look once they’ve scanned the code?

3. What are mobile visitors looking for in particular?

So if the majority of your mobile traffic is coming from search engines, as the above data shows, then what are they searching for? Again, you can use Google Analytics to understand what information people need from your site whilst on a mobile device by using advanced segments.

mobile_search_terms

All the various search phrases from a mobile device

If you don’t know what Advanced Segments are in Google Analytics then let me explain in this episode of MDiTV. As you can see from the above example of search terms, there are a mix of information based search terms and location based search terms. What should your mobile marketing strategy be focusing on? Delivering the right content in a mobile friendly way or making it easier to find stockists of your product within a given location?

4. Native app, Hybrid App or Web based app?

Before you go delving into the world of mobile marketing you will need to know the difference between a native app, hybrid app and a web app. A native app is an app you download and install onto your device and is coded with specific programming language and are fast, reliable and powerful. No phone signal is required for a native app and can be used offline. A hybrid app relies on a framework and offer cross platform compatibility so you can use the phone’s hardware such as contacts or GPS for maps making this option ideal if you are wanting to integrate a map. A web app runs like a website but but is tailored to match every web enabled phone, like Wikipedia mobile page and requires a good phone signal (3G or Wi-Fi) to work at all times.

Website design is evolving every day and if you are not already familiar with ‘Responsive Website Design’ then I suggest you research into it. Responsive website design is where the website actively responds to the device and browser resolution the website is being viewed on. It automatically detects the size of the window and automatically re-sizes and re-formats the website to be viewed in that window.

The tricky part is that there is no best choice but very much depends on what your requirements are and what you want the app or website to do.

apps-vs-browser

So what do people use mobile apps and browsers for?

5. If you are developing an app what device will you develop for?

iPhones may be the largest used device amongst your audience but Android is growing rapidly too. How many of the Architects, Engineers and Builders you know use iPhone or Android? Again, going back to your Analytics you can view which devices and operating systems are the most popular amongst those that come and use your website.

mobile_devices

Which mobile devices are most popular for your website?

Which device has seen the most growth? iPhone or iPad? Android or Blackberry? Are Blackberry users spending less time on the site compared to Android users? Most importantly, which device converts the most visitors into enquiries?

IMPORTANT: Don’t just develop an iPhone app if the majority of your audience are Android users. If you develop just an iPhone app then what about all those Architects and Engineers who use Android? Have you got the budget to develop for both platforms? The below data shows that more enquiries and visitors come from an iPad device than an iPhone. Why isn’t anyone converting into an enquiry from a phone running Android?

mobile_conversions

How many enquiries or goals have been generated via a mobile device?

Whilst the numbers may be small from a conversion point of view, each enquiry may have had a sales value opportunity of around £140,000. Once you have this information you should ask yourself which device do I want to grow and generate enquiries from?

“If you have a stockist locator on your website and this is the area you want to have a mobile marketing plan for then the goal should be to identify the number of visitor who end up finding the nearest stockist and then calling them via the same mobile device. How will you measure this?”

Pritesh Patel – Digital marketing manager

BONUS TIP: Remember to budget for updates, maintenance of your app and the cost of marketing your mobile plan.

Once your app or mobile website is launched… that’s not the end of the project. It has only just begun! You will need to remember that there will be maintenance, management and updates to the platforms once in a while. There will also be refinements required as people start to leave feedback, some will be negative. If you launch an app showcasing products or case studies and you get lots of negative feedback (i.e. Don’t buy this app, it’s worthless!) what are you going to do?

Hopefully this has given you some good ideas and thoughts on how to go about developing a mobile marketing strategy or app. If you are thinking about developing your mobile marketing plan then please do contact us and we can help you put a business case together.

About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart Dinnie is the Managing Director at Pauley Creative; he is ultimately responsible for leading the charge & driving the business forward.

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