Mobile marketing is no longer an aspirational play for some new pie in the sky. The biggest challenge today, according to Google, is educating or training marketers how to deliver on mobile's promise, with the right strategies and processes for specific goals.
Taking a fresh look at the mobile landscape, Google has outlined five critical questions that businesses should address when developing a mobile strategy. The company published its latest recommendations and examples in the second edition of the Mobile Playbook as a follow-up to last year's guide.
"At Google, we believe that constant connectivity represents a sociological shift in how users relate with both the digital and physical world. Businesses that understand this will win," writes Jason Spero, head of global mobile sales and strategy at Google.
While most chief marketing officers are already embracing mobile, the gap between knowing and doing remains prevalent, Greg Stuart, chief executive of the Mobile Marketing Association, notes in the report. "We believe that now is the time to close that knowing versus doing gap. It is time to take action and not just do mobile, but do mobile right," Spero adds.
Google interviewed hundreds of marketers to understand their struggles and best examples for success in mobile, and backs those findings with the latest market data to highlight important trends. More than two-thirds of all mobile searches occur at home, according to a recent study from Nielsen.
Juxtaposing that data with its own research from more than 30 internal studies, Google says 88 percent of clicks on mobile search ads are incremental to organic clicks, and in certain industries the number can be as high as 97 percent.
Another recent study from Nielsen found that half of all purchase-related conversions happened within an hour of the mobile searches that initiated them.
To hit those results, Google offers marketers five tips or action items to help them adapt to the new marketing concepts and opportunities made possible by mobile:
- Focus your value proposition so it meets true mobile-specific needs.
- Create mobile-first, not desktop-lite, destinations.
- Build mobile accountability into your organization.
- Drive ROI (return on investment) and branding with mobile marketing.
- Integrate mobile into multi-screen marketing.
"When companies talk about the opportunity mobile presents, often they are referring to the opportunity context presents. A better understanding of context, the specific circumstances in which your customers seek you out, such as time, location, and even proximity, allows your marketing message to be more targeted, meaningful and successful," Spero writes in the report.
Tailored messaging is required to effectively serve each customer's specific need. For example, someone searching for pizza at 7:30 p.m. on a mobile device downtown isn't likely to be looking for the same thing as someone searching for pizza on a laptop at home around lunchtime.
While mobile opens up new opportunities for conversion, according to Google, the path to conversion is very different from that which begins on a desktop or tablet.
"A mobile conversion doesn't necessarily entail filling up an online shopping cart and checking out," the report notes. "It can be a customer searching for store directions, calling your business directly or visiting in person. It can be an app download that leads to a purchase, or a shopping process that starts on mobile and then finishes on a computer or tablet later in the day."