Need to Meet the Mobile Marketing Challenge? Master This One Concept

Local business on Google MapsOne of the downsides of being involved in rapidly evolving industries that are connected at the hip to rapidly evolving technologies is a certain sloppiness in what is meant by various terms and how they relate to one another.

Right now in marketing there is quite a lot of “blurring” between mobile marketing and local marketing. Sometimes when people are talking about mobile marketing the subject really is local marketing. It’s easy to understand because there is a large area where these two categories overlap. Much mobile marketing is local and much local marketing gets consumed on mobile devices. Further, we’ve seen how successful mobile marketers have scored big in holiday shopping; the same thing will be true throughout the year.

I could list several bullet points of tips, but I think there’s one big concept that dictates almost everything else when it comes to marketing on mobile devices to boost local – and ecommerce – sales. That concept is User Experience.

Mobile devices – cellphones and tablets – are fantastic pieces of technology, but the user experience isn’t always equally fantastic. Let’s break this down into stages that could be compared to a kind of “sales funnel.”

The search stage. A huge percentage of searches is now being conducted on mobile devices. Concurrent with this is an impressive growth in voice searches, which Google is banking on, by the way. Businesses that depend on people entering through the front door need to make sure all their information is correct and that they have the recommendations and social media presence to rank highly in search results.

Mobile screens are small. If you aren’t at or near the top of search results, you may not be seen. If you have a smart phone, install the Google app and do a voice search for “coffee shop.” Who do you see? Who is missing? Why? If you aren’t at or near the top, the user will be really inconvenienced trying to find you.

The information stage. If you are lucky enough to be found in a mobile search, are you giving prospects the right information in a way that they can consume it. Mobile customers don’t have time to drill down through five pages of your website to get their questions answered. Be sure you aren’t letting your “standard” website design and layout get in the way of your mobile users.

Also, be sure that contact information is correct and you’re ready to respond to queries. For example, if a mobile device user taps your phone number and it auto-dials, will it always be answered? Any hiccups in the information gathering stage downgrades the user experience.

The sales stage. Not all mobile marketing is local because ecommerce websites also leverage mobile devices. In the case of ecommerce sites, how easy is it to order using a cellphone? If prospects have to scroll around a series of screens looking for the right buttons to click, many will drop out.

Brick and mortar locations need to be sure that map locations and hours are correct across all the various databases where they might be discovered.

All retailers must be sure that they have in stock any items being browsed on mobile devices, unless it’s clear that the item is a special order or there is some other problem with availability. Having accurate real time stock information is a major plus. I don’t know about you, but when it says “Call for availability” I usually move on to the next seller.

There are dozens of details that contribute to each of these three part of the sales funnel, but if you strive to provide a world-class customer experience, the most critical elements will fall into place.

Sponsored by AT&T

Image: “We’re famous, find us on Google Maps,” © 2006 Lars Plougmann, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: