How important is mobile marketing to your B2B strategy? According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark report, mobile marketing has yet to hit even close to the top of the priorities list for B2B marketers.
Even still, we are seeing significantly increased mobile device usage percentages year over year and period over period for the majority of our clients. Through two recent client presentations, users accessing their websites via mobile devices had increased 50% and 33% respectively between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012.
The significance of the growth in mobile device adoption fueled my interest in attending and covering mobile marketing sessions this year at Search Engine Strategies New York. Here are four key takeaways from those sessions.
Clearly Define Mobile Marketing Goals
This could be said for both broader B2B marketing goals and specific mobile site or application goals. Brian Klais, of Pure Oxygen Labs, presented it best when he explained how mobile marketing is a three-dimensional opportunity.
Links and content have to become device aware and then operating system aware and then application aware. “Time to kick off training wheels since marketing becomes that much more complex.”
- At a tactical level, consider conversion actions such as application download, click-to-call, how to create effective form submissions, etc
- From a strategic perspective, how will mobile marketing impact lead generation, the sales pipeline, brand visibility, etc
Just making the decision to build a mobile site experience or mobile application only scratches the surface to a much more complex marketing decision and opportunity.
Simply stated but not as obvious as one would believe, desktop and mobile search and browser usage are different. Some of the discussion points presented:
- Conversion actions are different. It seems unlikely a user will want to fill out a long form submission. More complex B2B sales funnels need to take that into consideration, tying lead nurturing programs much more explicitly into the process of mobile strategy.
- Time on device versus time on desktop are different. For advertising campaigns, consider how peak times might be impacted as a result
- Mobile searchers are looking for “instant gratification” (call, buy, or download now) and want to see 1-click actions
- 85% of visitors look at the top 2 AdWords results (iProspect Study): For PPC, build out separate mobile campaigns for keyword targeting and ad development
Keep It Simple & Back to the Basics
The notion that mobile searchers are looking for “instant gratification” emphasizes the fact that usability and clearly defined navigational (and conversion) paths are essential. Points to consider:
- Advertising needs to be short and directive. Avoid long winded messaging and “sell the click” more than ever (but as effectively as possible)
- Fundamental SEO elements become that much more critical to scrutinize, including HTML titles, meta descriptions, keywords, page headings, and ALT properties of images.
- From a usability perspective, Avi Wilensky pointed out how adding extra padding to buttons and navigational menus will help minimize “fat fingers” and added user frustration.
- “Do you like typing URLs in your smartphone?” That is why QR Codes could become more impactful down the road
- Mobile consumers want shortcuts: social media connectivity and QR codes essentially become mobile link building
Track and Evaluate Over Time
While in a previous post I indicated how the percentage of our client base impacted by mobile device usage is certainly increasing, B2B marketers still need to compare the urgency of mobile with needs in other marketing areas.
Ways we’re beginning to look at mobile different from a reporting perspective.
- Mobile device usage reports (example: Google Analytics dashboards), including overall numbers, comparison between desktop usage, and breakdown of top devices.
- How the competitive landscape per client is adopting mobile applications and site information, and its impact (if able to realize) in search results and link acquisition.
- Note that mobile apps and QR codes do not pass “referrer” traffic data so it becomes important use tracking URLs in the process.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
B2B mobile marketing represents a much more direct method to connect offline and online marketing strategies. Consider how four of the top ten strategies B2B marketers place budget are more traditional channels, with trade shows comfortably at the top, as cited in the MarketingSherpa B2B benchmark report referenced above. Mobile marketing provides an even greater opportunity for search engine marketers (and internet marketers in general) to entrench themselves as a vital part of B2B marketing strategy.