"Mobile is a behavior. It's not a technology."
That's what Tim Hayden, CMO of 44Doors, told me when we were discussing the "mobile moment"—that instant in which a customer or potential customer encounters your company on a mobile device—and why so many companies seem resistant to making the leap into mobile.
If these companies take a look at their analytics and see that fewer than 10% of visitors to their site are visiting via a handheld device, Tim pointed out, then they really won't see the need for creating a mobile version of it.
And who can blame them? Just because the technology is available and relatively easy to deploy, if it doesn't match the behavior of the audience, it's not worth the investment.
Of course, as that percentage inches towards 20%, more and more companies will start taking notice. If 1 out of 5 visitors to your site were met with a frustrating experience, that could begin to pose problems, right?
How to avoid those problems, and why now is a good time to experiment with mobile were some of the topics we covered in the most recent episode of our Marketing Smarts podcast. As Tim put it, "This will be the primary device that consumers will use to initially find you and interact with your and you better prepare for it today."
If you don't, he adds, "You're going to be quite figuratively caught with your pants down."
What does such preparation for the rapidly approaching mobile moment look like? It means putting in the effort to ensure that when customers are coming at you with a smartphone or a tablet or whatever, that you are providing them with a positive mobile experience, the elements of which Tim described as follows:
1. Make Sure They Can See It
Mobile screens are small, so your fonts need to be legible, your images need to be recognizable, and your content needs to accessible without unnecessary pinching and squeezing.
2. Get It to Them Fast
Aside from ensuring that your site or page loads quickly, Tim also recommends getting visitors to a decision point as quickly as possible. Do you want them to subscribe to something? Make it easy to do so. Do you want them to get in touch? Use a prominent "Click to Call" button. Do you want them to take a survey? Make it short and sweet. Never forget, it's a mobile moment; make it easy for the mobile user to get what they want and move on.
3. Budget for All Platforms
While Tim recommends that you practice due diligence and prioritize the platform to focus on first—based on user behavior—the landscape is continually shifting and you need to be prepared to have versions of you site, landing pages, and apps for iPhone, Android, and in the not-too-distant future Windows powered devices.
4. Be Useful
Finally, if you are moving beyond mobilizing your web properties and venturing into app territory, you have to ask yourself, "Are people really going to use this in a crowded sea of app upon app?" If your app doesn't solve a problem that your customers have, or solve it more efficiently than the options they already enjoy, then they just won't use it and the money you invest in it will be wasted.
Those are just some of the lessons offered by Tim in this episode of Marketing Smarts. We also talk about QR codes, stupidity in the use of emerging technologies, and, believe it or not, Billy Ray Cyrus!
So, what, if anything, is stopping you from maximizing the mobile moment?