Marketers may know they need to add mobile strategies, but relatively few are doing it correctly, according to mobile managers from Linked In and Facebook.
Speaking yesterday in back-to- back presentations at the Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit in San Francisco, they advised the 100-plus marketers how to track mobile users, reduce load times, build lasting relationships with visitors and add to their existing data to build more personalized experiences.
CMSWire was a media partner of the event, which focused on ways brands can use mobile marketing to further their reach and impact.
Bigger Than TV
Adapting to mobile in increasingly important to marketers. Last year, for the first time, Americans spent more time on mobile devices than on either TV or computers. Mobile accounts for 25 percent of the traffic from LinkedIn's 280 million members, about five times what it was in 2010.
"We're kind of beyond 'mobile first,'" said Tomer Cohen, product lead for mobile at LinkedIn, who said the focus is now on "platform first." He also said LinkedIn has decided against using responsive design, which adapts web-based features to any platform, in favor of progressive design, which requires unique apps for each platform, but can enhance the user experience.
He said he personally switches between Android and iOS phones each month to keep abreast of changes with each, and he offered a quick analysis of the considerable differences between them. While iPhones offer users a more opt-in-like experience for sharing info with apps, Droid phones tend to ask for approval only when first adding an app when users aren't really paying attention to details. According to Cohen, iPhones tend to offer a deeper "organic" experience for users. Droids users tend to focus on transactions, such as making a purchase, then move on to another activity.
Cohen also load time for mobile apps are more critical than even A/B testing. LinkedIn's load times were two to three times longer than its web pages until the company made it a priority to fix that. Now they are nearly the same, he said.
Many companies struggle with getting their mobile apps to include the wide array of options available on their websites, but Cohen said LinkedIn is now creating separate app for different services based on the usage patterns of their users. For example, there's a new app for employment recruiters who are on the road, and another to maintain contacts.
Half on Mobile
Just before he spoke, Jane Schachtel, head of mobile and technology at Facebook, noted that half of all digital content is now consumers on mobile.
"Mobile is the new best practice, and the best thing you can do is to invest in digital and mobile as you adjust to where consumers are today," she said. Schachtel said mobile can drive down acquisition costs while increasing retention, and 79 percent of mobile users now keep their smartphones "within an arm's length" 22 hours a day. "The solution is very clear. Yet marketers and businesses need to get better at this."
Schachtel bemoaned the fact that telecommunications companies that are driving the market for mobile services are complete laggards in mobile marketing, spending only 2 percent of their marketing dollars on apps or marketing efforts.
She also cited estimates that 60 percent of the global population will be banking by phone before the end of 2015, but she noted most financial institutions still tout their services through direct mail. And while cable companies like Comcast sell services that allow customers to watch TV on mobile devices, they still direct 15 percent of their marketing spend to direct mail, Schachtel said.
"People represent the easiest lever to pull to get more strategic in your marketing mix because you know a lot about them, and you can reach them now wherever they are," she said.