Understanding Mobilization


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Quick overview to understanding mobilization, also known as the mobile web

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Understanding Mobilization

  1. 1. Mobilize verb; To convert traditional web sites to render on all mobile web- enabled devices regardless of screen size or operating system. As a pioneer in mobile marketing technology, I understood the importance of the mobile web in the early days of mobile marketing and the importance it Written By David Apple | Managing Director | Founder of Growth Matters Media continues to play as the use of smartphones increases. In the first quarter of 2012, smart phone usage continues to grow aggressively, and several new mobile tablets hit the market. Users are accessing the web via mobile devices atUnderstanding Mobilization rates unanticipated by even the best analysts. Mobilization is not a tactic; it is necessity. While users are excited about the possibility of accessing the web on the go, many have been extremely disappointed by the lack of mobilized content available on the mobile web. Very few assets render properly—a cursory check of a dozen top brands prove some of the most recognizable consumer names don’t have a mobile ready site and only 7% of SMB sites are mobilized according to a recent study by BIA / Kelsey. Mobile Web User is a “Hunter” not a “Surfer” Measuring web traffic coming into a site via a mobile browser is not a good indicator to mobilize. A Global Digital Director recently said to me: “Only 3% of traffic coming to the site is from a mobile device so we are not going to do this [mobilization].” Upon entering the site via a mobile browser, it was created entirely in Flash and produced only a blank screen with an error message, since Flash does not render on iphones. I think that his 3% estimate is generous because that will be the highest number of hits that website will ever get from mobile users! There needs to be a reason for a mobile user to enter a website. The mobile web user is substantially different than the traditional web user. The mobile user is a “hunter,” not a “surfer,” seeking very specific content. The 3% entering that company’s site could have been ready to buy, but was not able. They probably sought out several other sites (most likely competitors) until they found one that U rendered properly and was easily readable. In this scenario, the hunter was converted to a customer of the competition. PROPERTY OF GROWTH MATTERS MEDIA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012® url | GrowthMattersMedia.com e| info@growthmattersmedia.com
  2. 2. Beware of the “80/20” PhilosophyNever has the phrase “write once, write to all” meant so much yet had so many different definitions.Apparently, all in this case means popular, and not even all popular devices. The growth of mobileweb-enabled devices allows developers access to tools to build mobile assets, but they often build theseassets for a limited set of devices.This is known in the mobile industry as bias, meaning a developer recommends a strategy formobilization based on their capabilities, not device ownership data. This strategy leaves out asubstantial number of popular devices and creates an ineffectual cycle of reaction to the changingmarketplace. With this strategy you spend six months building assets and when you’re done, one devicein the mix no longer exists, and three more will have been added. The process will start all over again,as new features and screen sizes are released. That’s a very expensive strategy.Mobile Web + AppsConsumers’ use of apps is a good example of extending mobilization. Mobile users regard some appsas utilities that play an important role in their lives—these apps offer users tangible benefits. They aresuccessful because they are supported by a mobile web infrastructure.In this mobile web + app scenario, a user accesses a mobile site, decides its importance, and thendownloads the app to save and use on their mobile device. The user doesn’t have to download or test-drive several different app models to find out which works best.Most importantly, the mobile site content is available to all devices, even devices that do not supportthe app. This effective coordination of accessible assets likely converts more users to purchasers thanany traditional ad impression, because the user, or “hunter,” who is ready to make a purchase can do soright then and there.Can You Do It? Yes, You Can!To borrow a phrase from Bob the Builder: “Yes, you can!” Growth Matters builds platforms that aretruly device agnostic. “Write once, write to all” at Growth Matters means exactly what it says. Wedeveloped best practices for mobilization to eliminate reactionary strategies and help with theintegration of disparate technologies. All organizations should have simple goals when it comes tomobilization - mobilize all assets to render on any mobile device, and be ready for all release dates ofnew devices, regardless of device size and operating system. The user expects a certain experience andwill not interact with you if they can’t access a mobile website. PROPERTY OF GROWTH MATTERS MEDIA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012® url | GrowthMattersMedia.com e| info@growthmattersmedia.com
  3. 3. Strategic Planning along with an understanding of technology provides progress instead of constantvetting. If you ingest every new widget to hit the market, you will be stuck in a cycle of continuedvetting, never getting to a resolution or implementation.Also keep in mind that an entire website does not always need to be converted to mobile. The CareerPortal or Investor Relations sections may not be important for the mobile web user. Eliminating thesetypes of sections could tighten the scope and shorten a mobilization project by weeks.Market WrapOverall, the marketplace is adapting to the mobile web—it has to. Small and medium-sized businessesdid not have the resources to jump on the app bandwagon, coupled with the fear of being lost in theshuffle.The travel industry recognized early on the importance of providing proper content when purchaseintent is at its highest. Consumer products companies have been slower to adapt, as multi-brandbrochure sites have relatively low traffic to begin with. CPG companies were opting for the creation ofapps to enhance lifestyle content such as recipes, nutritional info, and product info. Recently many ofthese companies are focusing on enhancing rebate, reward, and couponing programs by mobilization,primarily for baby and mom-focused products, whose consumers have a high rate of mobile web usage.The healthcare industry is also taking major steps toward mobilization. In healthcare, digital assetsserve many unique needs via custom portals, that it only makes sense. Healthcare practitioners areamong the highest skewing demographics of mobile web users, and they frequently need to access ahealthcare company’s digital assets to find crucial information quickly and usually on the go. Missingout on the ROI potential of HCPs because of non-mobilized assets could cost a healthcarecompany millions.Sorting It OutAn unfortunate side effect of an industry with no guidelines and rapid growth is the difficultydetermining who is capitalizing on talking instead of doing. Converting digital assets to mobile assetscannot be done with consulting hours; it can only be done with hands-on development hours. Rightnow, there are too many low bids for quick fixes that perpetuate reactionary strategy I have described.The bottom line is that mobilization takes strategic planning coupled with the right technology forcompanies to adapt to the mobile web. PROPERTY OF GROWTH MATTERS MEDIA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012® url | GrowthMattersMedia.com e| info@growthmattersmedia.com