Companies don’t have a choice anymore. Responsive web design and optimization for mobile are mandatory components of a successful and sustainable marketing strategy. Many companies understand that this is the direction Internet marketing is going, but some recent statistics suggest that companies should be acting with a little more urgency when it comes to mobile optimization than they have been. Of the 5 hours a day people are spending engaged on digital media, they spend 2 hours and 19 minutes online and 2 hours and 21 minutes on a mobile device.
The 5 hours (and 16 minutes, to be specific) devoted to digital media is 45 minutes more than people spend on the next most popular media format (television, at 4:31). Radio is a distant third at 1:26 and people only spend a measly 32 minutes a day on offline print.
Why a “mobile” mandate?
If you’re a business with a distributed sales force, or if you’re a field sales/frontline representative, think about those numbers for a second. When you factor in the cost of advertising and consumer habits, where can you put up the best fight for your business? From a perspective of marketing localization, digital is your best option. For one thing, you can invest resources where you need them or even just rely on organic SEO to reach your audience. You can also be incredibly targeted in your messaging and paid ads. And of course, your audience spends more time online than they do on any other medium (when you account for crossover time between mobile usage and online mobile usage), with the exception of TV, whose high cost per ad and limited targeting options render it a nearly unserviceable option for field sales professionals.
The “mobile” element of this comes into play when you further consider that nearly half of the time people spend on digital media is via a mobile device (tablets and cell phones). With people splitting their time between desktop and mobile about half-and-half, the days of prioritizing web content, ads and emails for desktop/laptop are essentially dead. Both deserve equal attention. Going one layer deeper into the numbers, eMarketer also found that mobile users spend their time equally between tablets and smartphones, both of which have different requirements for optimization.
The next steps for businesses
What all of this means is that organizations have to figure out what it takes to get their web resources optimized for desktop/laptop, smartphones and tablets with virtually equal priority. It also means organizations have to consider different formats and mediums for the digital resources they distribute to their frontline sales teams, especially when it comes to email templates (mobile accounts for 25% of email opens, according to another eMarketer study).
To overcome this challenge, marketing and sales teams will need to work with IT and web professionals to ensure they’re implementing a sound digital strategy that is viable across all devices and platforms. Visually, layout and images need to be formatted for various screen sizes. Technically, image, video and text files need to be in a format that is viewable across major operating systems and browsers. From a content perspective, text length needs to be optimized for each format as well.
The Digital Revolution isn’t happening; it’s already happened. Now the various digital factions – PCs, smartphones, tablets – are battling it out for control. Right now, you need to position yourself for success by playing to each one. As Don Corleone in “The Godfather” might say, keep your PCs close, but your mobile devices closer. After all, that’s what your prospects are doing.