Why Mobile Matters – And How to Get It Right
We all know that mobile gadgets have become an integral part of our everyday lives. So we’ll skip the boring details of mobile penetration and demography to get right into the heart of the matter.
But before we start, let’s have a quick look back. The adaptation of mobile into our daily lives has caused a massive shift in user behaviour. Ways in which people are consuming information has evolved, causing many brands and organisations to change with times at the risk of losing their business.
Take traditional news companies. They have had such a strong foothold in the analog world for years. Then the internet arrived, and things quickly went south for them. Quick to catch on, sites such as The New York Times were one of the early adopters who changed its interface to reach out to the new mobile audience.
Upon noticing the dramatic decline of its subscription rates, the company did a complete overhaul to its website by adapting a more responsive design method. Other companies followed suit, quickly coming up with new and creative ways to generate online revenues, without resorting to overly obtrusive banner ads.
The advantages of having a responsive website includes:
- Accessible from any browser, requiring no installation
- Potentially able to reach a wider audience
- Cost efficient, easy to maintain, and enabling you to have a faster time to market
Native on the other hand is used to build mobile applications. These apps are made using the native tools and technology provided by your iOS or Android mobile platforms. Apps for different platforms need to be built and maintained separately. This can be both costly and time consuming, which is why you see apps only available for either iOS or Android, or releasing a version for one platform before the other.
However, having an actual app over a responsive website has many advantages, such as:
- A richer user interface
- Ability to access device features such as the camera, sensors, contacts and more
- Lesser lag time as users are able to access it without internet connection
A marriage between these two is called a Hybrid model, an attempt to combine both native and responsive methods. Basically, you build a responsive website, wrap it inside a native “windowless” browser, and then bundle it for the app store. With this, your mobile web app will be more appealing to users and have access to many of the device features such as camera, sensors and contacts.
This approach has mostly been taken by website developers who wish to use their existing knowledge to build mobile apps.
This method has been getting quite a huge traction due to:
- A lower entry barrier as it uses new skills and knowledge
- Near-native performance and provides access to device features
- Support from large companies such as Adobe and Facebook
Embracing the Multi-Screen World
When we talk about how to do mobile, we go beyond just mobile devices. In the real world, people often switch between screens and devices throughout their day, depending on the time and situations.
An excellent example of a brand reaching out to the multi-screened generation of today is Coca-Cola, when it launched its ‘first-of-its-kind drinkable marketing campaign’ for its Coke Zero brand.
The campaign, ’You Don’t Know Zero ‘Til You’ve Tried it’, held during America’s college football season, anchored on several interactive TV spots. The ad had ESPN personalities asking viewers to open the popular music discovery app, Shazam, on their phones and hold them near the TV ad. Once opened, the viewer would view the Coke Zero pouring on TV, transferring into a glass on their smart phone, receiving a coupon to redeem a free Coke Zero thereafter.
The point? You should consider having a strategy that integrates mobile with other channels. Here are few other things to consider when using the multi-screened strategy:
- Different screens are used in various contexts. Goals and KPIs should be adjusted for specific screens.
- When possible, create a seamless transition between screens to keep customers engaged. For example, signed in users can continue their progress even when switching devices.
- People rely on search engines to transition between screens. Make sure you have a good search presence in multiple channels.
- During simultaneous access, one screen can trigger action in another. Don’t limit conversion goals to the device it was initially displayed.
- Smartphones are the backbone of all screen usage. It is the most used device among people and is the most common starting point, hence having a mobile presence is crucial.
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