Business-related mobile apps are increasingly being created by organizations, large and small. There are an abundance of developer platforms, many as cloud services, that keep costs down. The same can be said for analytics tools that monitor the various aspects of mobile user behavior. Mobile marketing also benefits from such analytics, whether the marketing effort is related to specific apps, to products and services, or to the promotion of the brand.
The success of anything on a mobile device, particularly a smartphone, is completely dependent on fully understanding how individual people use the device. Different tasks can be executed in different ways, from user to user. These behavioral patterns dictate how mobile apps, websites and marketing communications must be structured in order to quickly engage potential users and customers. And mobile user behavior continuously changes.
Marketers will fail if they approach mobile as traditional online digital marketing accessed through desktops / laptops. In some ways, to be effective as a mobile marketer you have to think like a mobile developer – you have to get "up close and personal" with mobile users and their devices, to better understand how to engage them effectively on mobile terms. With the growth of in-app marketing, thinking like a developer has even more importance.
Instant Quality Experiences
Mobile is all about the user experience 24/7. When shopping, using apps or interacting with brands, the mobile user experience is an instant customer experience – and it had better be outstanding. People expect access to what they want when they want it – and they want the experience across mobile devices to be consistent. Mobile attention spans are miniscule so vendors must instantly open up remarkable experiences or the potential mobile customer is gone.
Mobile users are fast and decisive when it comes to shopping and researching products. 70% of mobile searches lead to an action within 1 hour, as opposed to 70% of desktop searches leading to an action within 1 month. Often the next action for a mobile searcher is a phone call – Spafax has found that "inbound phone calls are 15 times more likely to convert to customers than an inbound web lead that downloaded a White Paper or e-book".
Tracking User Behavior
For marketers, mobile not just a single channel – it's extremely multi-dimensional and complex. For mobile developers and marketers alike the complexity comes from the diversity of devices, interfaces, browsers – plus deciding between mobile web or mobile app as the means of interacting with users. The high value real estate of device screen size is another dimension of complexity – everything on the display has to be of highest value to users and exactly what they need.
Analytics tools are a must to better understand mobile user behavior. Behavioral analytics provide deeper understanding of the digital life of different kinds of mobile users. Different analytics track user activities on apps and sites (taps, time spent, engaging UI elements, action sequences, etc.); other analytics track higher level events like downloads and purchases.
Mobile phones come equipped with multiple sensors that provide valuable data to behavioral analytics. Of course privacy is a serious consideration, but more and more mobile users are comfortable with always-on location sensors and sharing personal information, whenever the vendor provides the benefits and value that they want. Marketers should leverage the mobile device itself as an organic marketing opportunity.
With solid analytics results in hand, marketers can do more with targeted marketing on mobile devices -- including push communications -- via in-app and mobile websites. My next mobile marketing post will talk more about the value that mobile users gain from push communications – when done right.
Image source: technorati.com
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
About the author: Julie Hunt understands the overlap and convergence of many business processes and software solutions that once were thought of as "separate" – and how this impacts software Vendors and Buyers, as well as the strategies that enterprises implement for how technology supports the business and its customers. Julie shares her takes on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitiveand on Twitter: @juliebhunt For more information: Julie Hunt Consulting – Strategies for B2B Software Solutions: Working from the Customer Perspective