As the number of mobile users increases, the need to integrate mobile strategies into marketing initiatives is increasing as well, a topic discussed by our own founder and lead advisor Brian at a Knoxville AMA event last week.
The Importance of Mobile
Reaching customers has become increasingly difficult in our digital world, and as the fastest growing segment of the web, mobile is a part of that. Brian shared that the growth of the mobile web has outpaced that of desktop by 10 times, and smartphone sales have significantly surpassed PC sales in recent years.
Many marketers treat “the web” as a single medium like “print” or “TV” or “radio,” but that’s not how we see it at Pyxl. In reality, “the web” is made up of multiple distinct yet connected mediums on desktops, tablets and smartphones. As a business, it’s up to you to not only reach your audience wherever they are, but also to optimize content to work across devices.
Designing for Mobile to Optimize Integrated Engagement
As Brian discussed, desktop computers provide the most space for content display, and visitors tend to spend more time on a site when viewed on a desktop. However, more individuals are beginning to access information through tablets, which provide less space for content but still include web browsing as part of the experience. Finally, smartphones, which provide the least real estate for content, are focused, with visitors heading to a website looking for specific information on-the-go.
So, how do we integrate web strategies that satisfy all mediums?
Four Strategies for Integrating Mobile
Brian shared four options for companies considering their mobile strategy:
1. Do Nothing
The first option is to simply do nothing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If your site covers a complex topic, those looking for information are probably expecting to complete deep research, which usually isn’t done on a small device like a smartphone. Brian shared the example of the Provision Health Alliance website, one of Pyxl’s clients. For a healthcare company like Provision, people wanting to know more will most likely seek information through a desktop.
2. Build a Mobile Site on the Same or Separate CMS
A second option is to build a mobile site on a single CMS, which provides easier updates and maintenance. Using a single CMS on two platforms decreases the cost of development with some increase in maintenance, but provides a tailored mobile experience. The downside? There will be an inconsistent experience between the desktop/tablet and smartphone experiences.
3. Build a Mobile App
This is a great option for companies that want to create a distinct experience for customers, separate from that of the main website. For instance, Pyxl client Pilot Flying J has a core website that focuses on consumers and is optimized for desktop and tablets, while its mobile app focuses purposely on travelers looking for a specific location or service.
4. Build a Responsive Site (on a Single CMS)
Building responsive websites is becoming one of the best options for companies hoping to utilize integrated engagement, with the created site adjusting naturally for each distinct medium on which it’s viewed. For companies hoping to integrate responsive web design into their strategy, Brian provided a checklist for success:
- Wireframe. Wireframe. Wireframe.
- Information hierarchy
- Ration and scale imagery
- “The fold” is dead
- Orientation – horizontal, vertical
- Less is more
- Test. Test. Test.
Regardless of the option you choose, simply considering and thinking about mobile as part of your greater web strategy is critical to maximizing integrated engagement. If you want success in reaching customers in this digital age, having a mobile strategy is key.
Do you agree? How are you integrating mobile strategies into your marketing initiatives?
Want more information? Here’s Brian’s presentation in its entirety.