mobile

What Does It Really Mean Series: Mobile Friendly

electronics-1851218_1280Next in our “What Does It Really Mean?” series is the term Mobile Friendly. I admit it sounds odd to think of mobile in terms of it being friendly or unfriendly. However, the reality is that for most businesses to succeed in this competitive marketplace, understanding what Mobile Friendly is all about is very important.

What does it mean to be mobile friendly?

We typically think that mobile friendly means responsive design – a website detects the screen size of the user and delivers your site’s content in a way that’s optimized for that screen size. However, mobile friendly refers to more than just websites; it means that all aspects of your marketing and sales efforts play well on mobile devices. After all, don’t you engage with your customers via email and on a variety of social media platforms? These forms of engagement can all be impacted by mobile.

According to Google, a website must include the following features to be classified as “mobile friendly” by their Googlebots:

  1. It avoids software that’s not common on mobile devices (like Flash)
  2. Uses text that is readable without zooming (don’t make users pinch to zoom)
  3. Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  4. Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped (design for the fat finger)

Why is it important for your company to be mobile friendly?

Last year, the CRTC stated in its Communications Monitoring Report that there are 28.8 million wireless subscribers in Canada. As well, a new Pew Research report states that 67% of Canadians own a smartphone. As the use of mobile devices increases, Canadians are spending more time on mobile apps than ever, even as global growth in mobile app use slows down. And, you need to be where your customers are – on mobile devices. According to Flurry, Canadian mobile app use grew by an average rate of 74% in 2016, far exceeding the global average of 11%. The top five categories of apps all had 55% growth or more:

  1. Health
  2. Fitness
  3. Shopping
  4. Business
  5. Finance

How being mobile friendly improves the customer experience

The best way to differentiate your company from the competition is by providing an exceptional customer experience. Being mobile friendly is an increasingly important part of that customer experience. With more of your customers engaging on mobile devices, you have to ensure that not only your website, but your company, is mobile friendly. Your customers’ experiences have to be consistent across all devices. You want your customers engaged and coming back for more. Unsatisfied customers look elsewhere.

Geo- location targeting can also enhance the customer experience. A mobile device can identify its location and report it to an ad server that maintains a database of location data and ad campaigns. When a customer enters a particular location, the ad server will send relevant ad notifications to their mobile device. Have you ever walked in a store and immediately got a text message offering you $10 off on your next purchase of $50 or more? That’s geo-location targeting.

Marketing campaigns use geo-targeting to reach the right audience because location does impact demographics and buying behaviour.

In order to reach your customers on all devices and provide them with a stellar customer experience, I believe that it’s important for every company to be mobile friendly. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming mobile friendly or are ready to take the plunge, contact CreativeWorks Marketing today. We have the technical expertise to ensure that your customers are engaged and coming back for more. And we’ll be to explain everything to you in real people-speak and work with you to determine the best approach for your company.

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You Have an App, Now What?

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.45.09 AM.pngMobile apps have increased in popularity over the last few years, to the point where it seems like everything and everyone has an app. The growth in this industry has been so extensive that we are now ordering and paying for our morning coffees from our phones, paying for parking and even tracking our nutritional information with apps.

With the widespread knowledge and availability of the app industry, developing the app isn’t the challenge anymore; it’s attracting users and getting them to engage with it regularly.

In my experience, attracting and engaging users to sign up and continually use your app is the main challenge facing many businesses using this digital marketing tool. I’ve outlined below a few ways you might consider to help you increase and retain users for your app:

  1. Attracting the Audience

Incentives in the form of a referral program, for example, are great ways to spread awareness of your app. When a current user refers a friend, both of them get a reward, which may be anything from a gift card to app credits. For apps, referral programs really work. In the digital age, referral programs for your app could cause a ripple effect and before you know it, one referral has turned into hundreds if not thousands of new users. Invest the time to understand your target audience and create the “right” incentive program because they have to value what you’re offering.

  1. Building Partnerships

You may not have considered this, but partnerships with other apps (particularly those that have users that would not necessarily be interested in using your app), seems to be building strong alliances and benefits for users. For example, the MyFitness Pal app has partnered with Pedometer and other distance calculating apps, making it easy for people to integrate their physical and nutritional data and great for the app owners who have been able to extend their user base.

Finding relevant partners that would work for your app is key to making this a success. It is important to again invest the time to think about what apps would give you the perfect symbiotic relationship that would benefit you, them and your users.

  1. Leveraging Social Media Sharing

Your current users are your best brand ambassadors, so treat them as such. Happy customers share their happiness with their friends, so think about implementing a sharing program on the app. Is there an easy way for users to share their experience on the app to their social channels? For example, if a user is using an app to record their morning jog, can they issue a distance challenge to their friends via Facebook? Allowing this capability on your app will expose the app to your current user’s network, multiplying the exposure of your brand. In a culture of sharing, users are happy and proud to share what they’ve done, so think about what aspects of your app can be easily shared to networks like Facebook and Twitter, as the reach here is endless.

Whether your app is aimed at B2C or B2B, these suggestions are sure to provide you with valuable direction for increasing user acquisition.

Facebook Wants to Know WhatsApp

facebook-whatsapp-deal-iconsWhat’s a workday without cutting a $20-billion dollar cheque? 

Last week, Facebook purchased mobile messaging company, WhatsApp, for the astronomical sum, even for industry standards, and for 16 times as much as they paid for photo-sharing application, Instagram.

Facebook has a history of scouting out competing apps, so this hefty purchase comes as no real surprise.  But why does this simple messaging service interest Facebook so much? As an application that does not run advertisements on its services, growth, and not profit, has been more of a focus for WhatsApp, according to co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum.

With 450-million users, WhatsApp boasts only about half of the users that Facebook has, however 70% of WhatsApp subscribers are daily active users, which is of great interest to Facebook.

 So what makes WhatsApp worth $20-billion dollars?

  • A younger, loyal user-base
  • Daily engagement by a large percentage of users
  • A message volume of an estimated 7.1 trillion message a year
  • The ability to unite all smartphone devices, iPhone, Android- even Blackberry- through one messaging service

 Instant messaging within personal networks is where the public is engaged the most- connecting instantly with family and friends, sharing photos, videos and web links.  As a marketing expert, I know that you can’t put a price on consumer engagement. It’s truly no surprise Facebook wants to capitalize on a built-in, captive audience.  

Do you think Facebook had strong foresight with this business decision? Do you use WhatsApp? Do you think it’s worth $20-billion dollars? I look forward to your thoughts below. 

Online Shopping Goes Mobile – Is Your SMB Ready?

The holiday season often stirs two different emotions in people. On one hand, they enjoy spending time with their families, but on the other hand, shopping at malls and stores becomes a nightmare.

Online shopping has made buying presents much easier, and more Canadians now prefer to buy their presents online. In fact, a recent Ipsos Holiday Statistical Predictions survey showed that 73% of Canadians will shop for presents online this year.

What is more surprising is that Google Canada says 12% of Canadian smartphone users will buy their holiday gifts from their phone, and at least 53% will use a mobile device just to look up information about a purchase.

SMBs need to be aware that the future of shopping is heavily intertwined in the mobile market, and they need to adjust their marketing strategies to include mobile engagement. The infographic below from Mobstac looks at mobile shopping trends, and how smartphone usage is changing the way brands engage consumers during the holiday.

Mobile-Shopping-Trends-Holidays-2013-1126[1]

For SMB owners, this means that the world of mobile can’t be ignored. Just because you don’t feel that your business isn’t large enough to have a mobile website or app, doesn’t mean that your customers won’t be searching for your products or services from their smartphones.

Is your SMB’s website optimized for smartphones? Have you considered an app for your SMB? I look forward to discussing this topic in the comments below.