The growth of the internet is well documented yet despite the overwhelming volume of information illustrating the importance of a company website more than 60% of small businesses still do not have a web presence. Even those companies that have bitten the bullet and gone online are still being hampered by a lack of a clear digital strategy. Research in the US and Europe indicated that of those companies with an established web presence only 7.2% were serving mobile content, i.e. website content that can be optimised for display on a mobile device.
This is incredible when you consider the rapid rise in mobile and tablet growth. In 2011 it was estimated that 32% of the world’s population was using the web with a rapid growth in traffic. In 1993 just one per cent of total telecommunication traffic flowed through the internet. By 2007 it was 97%, and some forecasts predict a quadrupling of web-based traffic by 2016. A UK report suggested that in the last 12 months the UK has witnessed a 202% rise in web traffic from these devices, with 1 in 10 using a smart phone and 3.5% using a tablet.
We are witnessing a huge explosion in utilisation of web-based information and if you are one of those business decision makers feeling overwhelmed by the digital tidal wave then you are not alone. The growth in mobile web access also illustrates something about the changing nature of consumer engagement. Trends suggest that more organisations are utilising the capability of cloud-based systems, giving the consumer the opportunity to access their own personal information from any device from anywhere. The reduction in data storage of cloud-based systems are providing a tailored, rich information experience which in turn is shaping the number of access devices that consumers are using in order to qualify their requirements. To illustrate the point a consumer may see a brand on a TV, conduct some initial research via a PC, then further refine engagement via a mobile and/or possible tablet device before purchase. The market is presently dominated by the Apple iPhone with more than 70% of mobile web traffic, followed by the Android with 24%. Capturing the flow of traffic can further refine this journey and building a frequency model that indicated the propensity of purchase.
It is not only the diversity of devices but also the different way these devices are being utilised. Mobile devices are more likely to be utilised in proximity - when a consumer is refining the purchase decision such as comparing local prices or where to find a service against their location. Although the benefits for consumer brand are obvious this trend is also being mirrored in other service orientated markets. More professionals are accessing information on the go and demand content which is tailored for their device and personalised preferences – as a society the consumer is becoming increasingly demanding and inpatient. Now, if all this does not sound like great news if you are still struggling with the basic online marketing presence then don’t despair! Sit back, gather your thoughts and ask yourself ‘what part does my online presence play in the customer journey?’.
Many companies have not really analysed where their customers come from, why they come and why they stay. Although most markets share some of the same characteristics, individual companies normally have something that makes their business survive. The key is spending a little bit of time understanding this dynamic. When you start to think ‘customer first’, also think about the journey they take when engaging with your business - how do they find you, what purchasing points do they go through, then finally that all-important enquiry and their making that purchase. Understanding this journey will allow you to focus not only on the channels you need to use but also the requirement of those channels. Undoubtedly mobile web access is an ever increasing important part of all business sectors, but here at Zulu we would suggest that time spent developing digital strategy will help you get the best return on your investment. When doing so remember these points:
- The internet is not a level playing field. If it is going to work for you then you need to take it seriously and be prepared to invest over the long term.
- Get the right advice in order to get your thinking straight.
- The pace of change is rapid, that’s across the industry and within channel dynamics – focus on what the business needs and then resource this requirement effectively and efficiently.
Have a great Christmas – no one knows what the New Year will bring but I think it’s a safe bet that mobile marketing will be bigger then ever before. For more information about this article or about any marketing or design requirements contact Ivan on 0121 308 4280 or firstname.lastname@example.org