||Marketers Need Mobile Sites -- But Make Them Truly Mobile
Consumers who use smartphones to shop or visit brand Web sites are time-constrained, attention-compromised, and trying to engage a brand on a tiny screen. And there are lots of them, so ignore them at your own risk.
Kari Wilson, product marketing manager, Google Mobile Ads, and Sebastien Chalmeton, vice president, mobile strategy, Phonevalley, raised those points recently at the OMMA Mobile conference in New York.
Chalmeton said that advertisers without mobile sites might as well be closed one day per week.
Wilson said 30% of people who shop for consumer electronics, 15% of finance seekers, and over 15% of insurance queries, are via mobile, but "we did a study where we looked at (the) top 1,000 advertisers and found 79% didn't have mobile optimized sites."
She said that's bad for business because 60% of consumers who have a bad mobile site experience will not go back to that site, 40% will go to a competitor's site, and 19% will have a negative perception of the brand.
Chalmeton cited five keys to creating mobilized sites. Keep the layout simple; prioritize content; use uniquely mobile features; design for thumbs not mice; and make it easy to convert consumers who have little time.
Keeping mobile sites simple "is the most critical thing you need to do when you design a mobile site," said Chalmeton, whose company has done mobile site optimization for companies like General Motors and LG.
"For Cadillac we tried to eliminate clutter as much as possible," he said. "You can view content at arms' length, and that's a rule of thumb." Also, he said, advertisers should make sure their mobile sites are focused on one piece of content at a time. "The consumer is on the go, so you can't do one-minute videos; 30 seconds is about right, because mobile sites are still slow."
Wilson said another simplification that aligns with behavior is making search easy and prominent: "For a lot of consumers, search is what they do with smartphones."
Chalmeton said one way to think about prioritizing content is to think of the three to five most important things for a mobile consumer and make those easy to find and do. Also, given the short attention span of the mobile user, he said that marketers should make mobile experiences transaction-based, not about browsing. And they should do things like using simple coding to make their mobile sites load as fast as possible, he added.
Also, Chalmeton continued, marketers need to think about what makes mobile unique, such as GPS, cameras, notepads and other utilities -- and that good mobile platforms drive consumers to retail and channel partners since the consumers are already likely to be out and about.
The final steps have to be smooth and simple, Chalmeton concluded, pointing to fairly easy mobile site features -- such as forms, click-to-call, and logins -- that can keep customers on track to purchase.
(Source: Marketing Daily, 06/07/11)