Mobile Marketing in a Multi-Screen World

By Rebecca Whitefield at Anvil Media, a Portland marketing consultancy specializing in integrated marketing and search engine marketing. Mobile marketing is the focus of Mercy Corps Northwest’s upcoming seminar: “Determing Your Mobile Marketing Mix” on May 15th, 6-8pm.

Marketers and industry experts worldwide have proclaimed each year to be the “Year of Mobile” for about the last six years or so.  There’s no refuting the fact that we now live in a mobile and multi-screen world.  An optimized mobile presence is no longer an option for today’s marketers.  Here’s a look at key areas to consider when integrating mobile into your marketing mix.

A Multi-Screen World
There are three main screens potential customers are consuming digital content on: smartphones, tablets and PCs. Consumption patterns are different on each device.  For example, smartphones are used heavily for social media, video consumption and local search while tablets are associated with browsing and completing online shopping transactions.  It is vital to understand how customers are using the three screens to consume content to better understand how to market to each device.  Marketers need to have a customized yet cohesive experience for each of these three screens.

Mobile Sites
Marketers have a few options when it comes to mobilizing a website. The three most popular are developing a mobile-friendly website in CSS, building the site on a mobile-friendly CMS platform and creating a dedicated mobile website (m.companyname.com).  Developing in CSS is the easiest and most cost-effective approach; with the drawback being that mobile browsers are not as robust and do not typically support Flash or Javascript elements.  A better approach is building a site on a mobile-friendly content management system (CMS) platform that automatically generates a mobile version of your website. The upside is not needing to design a site specifically for mobile while the downside is the compromises and limitations that come with such platforms.  The ideal approach is creating a dedicated mobile website (m.companyname.com) with unique content and features your mobile audience will need or appreciate.

Local SEO and Location-Based Services
While your corporate website should do the heavy lifting in terms of providing a resource for mobile-enabled audiences, there are third-party local directories that are playing a larger role in mobile search. Local listings on Google Places/Maps, Bing, Yahoo! Local should be claimed and optimized along with other relevant directories. Location-based services (LBS) can also be a great tool for generating loyalty from your customers. To begin, create and optimize business profiles on Foursquare, Yelp Mobile, Google Places, Facebook Places or other such sites.

Mobile and Google’s Enhanced Campaigns
In February, Google announced a game changer for AdWords, Enhanced Campaigns.  The purpose of Enhanced Campaigns is to effectively adapt marketing efforts to search behavior as it relates to the device from which the searcher is using. It is all about putting the device used in context, whether that is in relation to the amount of time we have at the moment, the goal, or our current location. The central shift with Enhanced Campaigns is that within search campaigns, there will no longer be an option to target devices in separate campaigns. Advertisers without a mobile optimized site could see conversion rates dip and bounce rates spike even though you can bid down on mobile device searches. All paid search ads run through AdWords will switch to Enhanced Campaigns by July 2013.

Learn more at the upcoming seminar at Mercy Corps Northwest:
Determing Your Mobile Marketing Mix”, May 15th 6-8pm

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