Hosted by the Association of Strategic Marketing, the Apple OS and Mobile Marketing: Best Practices for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch webinar began with this question: can you imagine living without mobile? Apparently, the world can’t live without it – 5+ billion people have mobile subscriptions, with 277 million in the U.S. alone. Why is mobile such a worldwide necessity? It’s universal, personal, contextual and interactive – all of which allows for intimate and direct engagement with consumers.
Mobile is the third most used medium per week at 13.1 hours, behind computers (19.5 hours) and TV (16.2 hours). With its ability to host a multitude of media capabilities, including SMS (short message service), MMS (multimedia messaging service), e-mail, voice, content, apps and proxy channels (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), it’s obvious why mobile has become so widely used. By 2014, it’s estimated that more people will be accessing the Internet via mobile devices than traditional broadband Internet connections.
The other popular draw? Mobile devices obtain whatever information we deem relevant – making our favorite brands more accessible, and augmenting our purchasing capabilities with pricing information and reviews available at our fingertips.
Given its benefits, mobile websites and apps become popular ways for marketers to connect with key audiences. Before developing a campaign, ask yourself a few questions: What value will you deliver to your customer or general consumer? What problem are you solving? Under what category will you classify your app/mobile site?
After answering these questions, start building upon your idea while considering the following elements during development; first, remember to create a unique experience for the user – don’t make your app or mobile site a carbon copy of your primary website. Also, don’t create links that take the user away – if your subscribers spend most of their time following outside links, what’s the point of creating an app?
With the popularity of touch screen devices like the iPhone, design new mobile sites for the human index finger with a 40 x 40 pixel minimum hit area. Encourage exploration with buttons, and think about how you can augment the user experience through the vibration of a phone. In addition, consider “socializing” your app or mobile site using other social networks (e.g., Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Facebook). Finally, keep in mind that smartphones account for only 31 percent of all wireless devices, so include tactics directed at feature phone (non-smart phone) users to reach a broader share of the market.
Have you created your own app or mobile site? If so, what methods have you found to be successful so far?