What the mobile revolution means for your business

When was the last time you used a web browser on a PC outside of work? I asked myself the same question recently when it occurred to me how much I use my smartphone for browsing. The answer is: rarely. The only time I log onto my laptop at home and get online is if I’m moving my millions between online bank accounts.

Now I appreciate I’m a sample size of one, but the same applies when I talk to my friends about this. Smartphones or tablets are just so much easier to use and carry than an expensive, heavy, slow, laptop. You just pick them up and within two swipes of a screen you’re online.keyboardwall

The marketing ramifications of the mobile revolution are major. If B2C audiences are online looking for your services then you can bet your bottom dollar that at some point they’ll be doing it from mobile devices.

If it’s a B2B service you’re offering then even though most people use desktops at work, it’d be unusual for your prospects to do all their supplier research from their desks and not to want to access your website from a mobile device at some point. So why would you want to restrict the way they look at your website?

And that’s before you even start thinking about the industry-leading blog you’re also producing great content for on a weekly basis (you are doing that right?). How often do you have time, during the working day, to read the industry content that keeps you in the know? Probably not often. When do you read it? Probably during your commute, or any other time your eyeballs aren’t being monopolised. Point being that unless you’re sporting a LARGE backpack then you won’t be doing this reading on your PC; you’ll be doing it on a smartphone or tablet. 

According to Jason Spero, Google’s head of mobile sales, approximately one billion of us now primarily access the internet through a mobile device. This means your website/blog needs to be mobile friendly and you need to test it on a range of popular devices.

Ideally mobile access will have been considered in advance and informed your whole website build. If not, get your design company to retrofit mobile access until you have the budget for a redesign (or even better have two versions of your website – one for mobile devices and one for PC browsers – the first example of this that comes to mind is marketing and media site, thedrum.com – type the URL into your smartphone and be amazed at how it magically changes to m.thedrum.com – the ‘m.’ denoting the mobile version).

Take this blog - we realised recently that the social sharing box on the left hand side of this page overlapped the blog content when viewed on a smaller screen. A quick call to the designer and a cheeky bit of wrapping later, and we had a solution.  

Also worth thinking about any video you have on your site. Not all video formats work/work well on mobile devices. Give a prospect a frustrating online experience and you can kiss their business goodbye. This is a little more complicated to get right, but any good corporate video production agency will be able to sort this. If you have existing video content then go back to the guys that put it together and explain to them what your requirements are (although if this isn’t something they considered first time around then maybe it’s time to look for a new corporate video production provider).

Truth is, all of this is about ease of access. Give your customer as many opportunities as possible to see what you’re selling and you’ll sell more. Not rocket science but you’d be surprised at how many big organisations have yet to grasp this.