Is mobile really a game changer?

Over the years there has been a number of monumental technology shifts that changed the way consumers engage with brands. From Gutenberg’s printing press through to TV and radio and more recently Tim Berners-Lee’s creation of the Internet. It’s now been mooted that mobile is the next big thing that we are marketers should sit up and pay attention. We’ve all seen the famous Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikipedia) quote that states ‘if it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist, well does this expression now apply to the realm of mobile?

According to research commissioned by Google, the facts are frightening.

  • On average the British public use 3 connected devices.
  • Smartphone penetration doubled in the last two years and tablet penetration tripled in the last year.
  • 74% of smartphone users go online with their phone every day, 80% never leave the home without it and 54% search on their phone every day.

These facts illustrate that as a nation we truly are an ‘always on’ society. No longer do we consume online information or make purchasing decisions at set times (before work, at lunch and in the evening) on desktop only devices. The anywhere, anytime, any device generation are here and brands need to model their businesses around them or risk being alienated.

61% of Smartphone owners use their mobiles to research or purchase

Even though not all searches on mobile result in being purchased on that device there can be no doubt that being visible to the nomadic public is a high priority. Even if considered purchases such as holidays are made on tablet or desktop the shortlist is often drawn up via mobile. So relating back to Jimmy Wales quote the importance of showing up via mobile search is as important as ever before.

Google’s latest major update at the end of April reiterates their commitment to promoting user friendly web properties, which majors on mobile. Overnight brands that weren’t user friendly (mobile responsive) were penalised in terms of mobile instigated search ranking. These included Next, Nintendo, Versace and Dyson to name but a few. (Source UK.businessinsider.com)

66% of smartphone users expect sites to as well on their mobile devices as they do on their desktop.

Taking this on a stage, the user experience is as important as being found in the first place. Direct marketing campaigns mitigate the search stage but can yield poor ROI if the experience doesn’t fulfil the promise. How often do we receive an email, engage with an ad, or click a link whilst on the move, only to find that you have to ‘pinch and stretch’ the screen to read and engage with the content?

Consumers now expect a seamless user experience when switching between desktop and mobile devices. It’s no longer a nice to have but a necessity. Poor user experience can result in lost revenue, high bounce rates and eroded brand perception. 

So is mobile a game changer?

It appears that way, those that don’t embrace it risk being left behind. This form of digital disruption can be seen as a threat to some organisations, but if embraced it can also be a huge opportunity.

Takeaways

Multi–screen is here, NOW
Smartphone use in the UK doubled in two years, tablet use tripled in a year with smartphones at 62%, tablets at 30% and desktops & laptops at 79%.

Smartphones influence purchase decisions

61% use their smartphone to research and purchase. And mobile research influences purchases also on other devices. E.g. after researching travel products on smartphones, 12% purchase on their mobile and 88% purchase on desktop, tablet or offline.

Optimise sites across screens

Rising multi-screen behaviour means that a good user experience across devices is a must have.

Context is key

Factors such as location, time of day and device provide brands more opportunity to reach potential customers with more relevant messages.

Chris Burrows
Chris Burrows
HEAD OF STRATEGY & MARKETING Chris BurrowsView Profile

Chris has over 17 years of industry experience and as Head of Strategy and Marketing Chris oversees all client Digital Marketing projects.

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