The Shocking Truth About Mobile Marketing

cell phone and coffee in elevator

Over the past three weeks I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with fifteen senior marketing professionals at large business to consumer enterprises.  I asked them to share their mobile marketing initiatives and I learned something bewildering. The ugly truth behind all the hype is that many brands are treating responsive design as their mobile marketing strategy for 2015.

Yet treating mobile as simply a smaller screen is missing the powerful opportunity right in front of us! Being mobile is about far more than creating content for a smaller visual field. It’s about taking advantage of the visitors physical context. It’s knowing that reading on my phone is a completely different experience than on my tablet. It’s considering how sound will be effected by background noise.  It’s taking advantage of the visitors physical location – commuting, watching TV on the couch, sitting in a park.  It’s knowing that users will swipe, pinch and shake their way to engagement.

Have you even begun to consider what content will perform best on our smart watches?

When we think about all the opportunities mobile marketing presents it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  And sometimes being overwhelmed holds us back. In the case of my recent interviews I found three recurring obstacles blocking aggressive progress.

Applications to service clients are the first priority. Certainly earning our audience’s trust by building mobile services in which they can conduct business with you makes sense. Ordering systems, conducting banking transactions and trade show scheduling are some of the common tools being leveraged. These are great….but, and it’s a big but, most organizations are not leveraging these resources to integrate marketing objectives and best practices.

Where did all the good content go? It’s  not as if we are all sitting around with spare time on our hands. As marketing professionals we’re overloaded creating quality content our audience will value. Adding another dimension is challenging. For those who have conducted experiments they know first hand you can’t just treat your mobile device as another billboard. You actually have to have a content strategy that aligns to mobile consumption.

Go big or go home. Too many brands expect their investments in mobile to go “viral”. They compare adoption rates to popular gaming applications and forget that mobile marketing must be measured by its impact on the business – just like all our marketing programs. The go big or go home mentality stifles our willingness to experiment.

I’m confident the marketers I spoke with will charge forward and think differently. Will you lead the way? Or will you wait to follow?