Internet user experience expert Joe Arcuri helps cut through the confusion when it comes to...
Get Rid of Mobile Phobia Once and for All
Over half of Americans will own a smartphone by the end of 2011—and 82 percent of current smartphone users say they notice mobile advertising and sponsorships. In the face of such rapid growth, companies want to invest in mobile campaigns, but many are confused about the best way to approach consumers using this medium.
Customers can be engaged on their mobile devices using either mobile-compatible sites or custom applications. There are pros and cons to both.
One site, many platforms.
Mobile-compatible websites are regular websites that have been optimized to work on mobile devices. They will work on any mobile platform—Android, WebOS, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows—and can be updated without requiring the user to take action. New information is simply available the next time the user visits the site. Mobile-compatible sites ensure message continuity and seamless integration with other aspects of your marketing campaign. However, the disadvantage to building mobile sites is the time it takes to build one site versatile enough to work on every platform.
An app for everything.
Mobile device users can download paid and free applications quickly and easily since they don’t have to access the Web to do so. And because apps are customized to each mobile platform, they tend to capitalize on the bells and whistles of each mobile device. Although this customization has appeal, development costs can be steep. According to a 2010 Nielsen list, free, functional, branded applications (such as the Weather Channel, USAToday and Bing) tend to be downloaded most often on the iPad and iPhone, while the most-downloaded paid applications include The Washington Post, Martha Stewart and ESPN. If your goal is to gain broad distribution quickly, it’s better not to charge for your application.
As with more traditional marketing strategies, do your homework first and identify your most loyal customers. They will be ideal prospects for your mobile campaign. Hit them at the right time and in the right place and they will view your mobile marketing offers as relevant and valuable.