This week Nick New of the Knowledge Engineers visited the Ad Council to discuss the mobile customer journey, and what marketers need to know when developing a mobile experience, particularly where advertising is concerned. Chances are you’ve been approaching mobile and online experiences all wrong. Here are three things you need to know now:
1. Use is key
What’s more important: content or design? According to New, it’s neither. New wants us to consider use first: how is a smartphone owner using her phone? You can be sure it’s not in the same way she’d use her desktop, or tablet (tablet owners prefer them to their smartphones for more in depth online browsing). Since 73 percent of people have reported being frustrated by mobile web experiences, it’s extremely important to make sure your mobile content is designed and optimized for various platforms.
Mobile users typically look for an immersive experience, and those experiences drive measurable outcomes. In order for creative work on mobile to make an impact, it needs to drive that immersive experience through interactivity: why stick with click-through ads originally designed for desktop computers, when smartphones have so many more capabilities?
By making your creative work use the native functionality of our mobile phones, it becomes a memorable experience rather than a nuisance one tries to click away from. Think about the last time you clicked on an ad on your phone. Did you mean to? Most likely, you clicked the back button on your phone to return to the content you were actually consuming. Click-through rates are not the best measure of success for mobile advertising: accidental clicking is bound to happen because, as New puts it, we all have “fat thumbs.”
2. Mobile devices are… mobile
While it may seem redundant, it’s important to remember that smartphones are optimized for mobile use, and are used on the go. As a result, it’s a natural fit for location-based tools and other geo targeted technology that shows the user you know he or she is looking for. For example, when she’s in midtown on her phone searching for pizza (closest, best reviewed pizzerias) versus at home on her tablet or laptop reading an article. New presented an example of the location-based app Kid Rescue that helps users save real children in Colombia from child labor.
When people see a child working on the street in Colombia they can use Kid Rescue to take a picture, geotag their location and enter any pertinent information for Fundacion Telefonica to identify each child, and get them off the street.
3. Have the right mindset
New broke down what he calls the “Necessary Mobile Mindset” of a mobile user into three categories: 1. Repetitive Now; 2. Bored Now; and 3. Urgent Now. The repetitive now mindset appeals to our love of repetitive actions (think of Flappy Bird, or Pong), while bored now appeals to the need for entertainment (when you’re waiting for the next bus, or a friend), and urgent now appeals to that same need for immediacy (you’re running late and need to get a car to where you’re going). All of these mindsets mean your mobile content must be engaging and apply right at this moment.
Image source: Steve Davidson on Flickr
Nick New is the Managing Director of North America at the Knowledge Engineers, a digital training company that specializes in new digital innovations and marketing. You can contact him at [email protected].
To learn more, here are some free resources New recommends: