I admit it. This post’s headline is a little silly – but the following fact certainly isn’t: Americans now spend more time each day on mobile devices than watching TV. You read that correctly (and probably on your smartphone). To quote Flurry, a mobile analytics company that made the finding, “while it’s hard to believe that the smart device industry, which didn’t exist six and half years ago, can take out an industry entrenched in every American household since the middle of the last century, it’s happened.”
That’s right. The 3rd quarter of 2014 witnessed a sea change in mobile usage. But the tide has been steadily rising before our eyes, as the chart below shows.
So what does it mean when America’s true pastime has been passed? It means that mobile is here to stay – and it’s a force to be reckoned with.
To Arms! A Revolution Is In Hand
Needless to say, when it comes to your marketing efforts mobile can no longer be overlooked. As we’ve mentioned before, brands that ignore the mobile shift — those that don’t create engaging and valuable customer experiences incorporating mobile — will risk losing loyal customers and building relationships with new customers. And if your company is playing mobile catch up, the task ahead can seem daunting. But as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” When it comes to mobile, Rhythm actually recommends two.
1. Make your website mobile-friendly (and preferably responsive).
A mobile-friendly website is one that displays correctly on handheld devices including smartphones and tablets. Mobile-friendly websites are designed to be easy to read and navigate, and they require minimal scrolling from the user. In the not-so-distant past, mobile-friendly websites had to be developed separately from traditional websites. Thanks to the advent of responsive web design, this is no longer the case.
With responsive web design, your website can seamlessly switch between different screen sizes – from smartphones to tablets to laptops to desktops. This consistency between multiple screens is vital because sequential and same day screening has become commonplace.
Even better, responsive websites not only eliminate the need to create custom standalone websites and content for separate devices, they also provide SEO benefits that drive traffic. In fact, Google just updated their algorithm to give better rankings to mobile optimized and responsive sites.
2. Start including mobile in your advertising efforts.
Over 80% of global internet users now own a smartphone. And as you can see below, mobile’s share of web traffic continues to climb.
So opportunity is clearly calling. But how should you answer? When it comes to mobile, it’s best to think in terms of media behaviors. The reality is that people are using their smartphones for an enormous number of activities beyond calling and texting. They’re doing everything from visiting websites and engaging on social networks to checking email and watching videos – even listening to the radio.
In fact, based on recent research by Triton Digital, over 70% of digital audio listening now takes place on mobile, vs. less than 30% for desktop. Individuals are also using mobile to make purchasing decisions on the fly. According to a recent survey by mobile loyalty company SessionM, an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of US smartphone users said they use their smartphones in stores while shopping. The top in-store activities reportedly included:
- Price comparisons — 54 percent
- Looking up product information — 48 percent
- Checking reviews online — 42 percent
All of these mobile behaviors present excellent opportunities for advertising engagement. And best of all, targeting of mobile is even possible by device type and operating system, in addition to the usual suspects of geographic proximity, interests, keywords and 'in market' audiences.
Now Is The Time To Mobile-ize!
So perhaps this post’s headline isn’t so silly after all. The mobile revolution is indeed here – and the future is quite literally in your hands. So now is the time to mobile-ize! Your competitors already are.
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