You’re losing customers because of your smartphone marketing

There. We said it. You are losing customers and leaving money on the table because of your smartphone marketing. Over 83% of adults in the United States own a smartphone according to the Pew Internet Project. In other words, that number is too big to ignore.
Smartphones aren’t a trend or a fad anymore. They aren’t simply a tech gadget or symbol of social status. And they aren’t solely for early adopters. They are extensions of how we work, communicate, and complete tasks. All you have to do is look up from the smartphone you’re probably reading this post on and take stock of how many other people around you are looking at their smartphones right now. Exactly.

No movie theater, restaurant, board meeting, or park is safe anymore. We are constantly on our smartphones … and that simple fact has opened up an entirely new way to effectively communicate with and engage customers.

Mobile intent is solution-driven

It’s important to understand that people conducting mobile searches, using apps, and interacting with their smartphones are primarily motivated by quick and effective problem solving. Unlike desktop browsing, which is usually associated with deeper research or entertainment, almost all searches on a smartphone are focused on finding a solution to a present situation. This means that your mobile marketing should not solely aim to educate your customers. It also needs to solve their problems. When building your smartphone marketing strategy, start by imagining the scenarios your customers might be in if they are searching for your product on a smartphone and tailor your content around those needs.

Thanks to the emergence of responsive website design, you can adapt your content to reveal itself differently on a desktop and on a smartphone. Save the bells and whistles for your desktop site and lead with your most useful links and information on mobile. In our recent blog post about automated voice search, we talk about the nuances of intent in greater detail.


The important takeaway of realizing your smartphone marketing needs to be solution-oriented is that you don’t have time for fluff. Call it corporate jargon, marketing speak, advertising, or even bull$@%! But when your customers are looking for an answer on the fly, they don’t want to spend time combing through flowery language and vague messaging about your brand. Get to the point. Google’s recent research suggests that customers consider an average of 10.4 options and sources before making a purchase. That means your information needs to be relevant, clear, and impactful. If your unique value proposition isn’t clear enough, your customer will simply move on to your competition. Use smartphone marketing to clearly communicate what makes your brand special and focus on how your brand solves a unique problem for your customers. As they say in business school, “don’t be right – be helpful.”

Understand mobile’s place in the customer lifecycle

You have to realize that some customers might start their relationship with your brand on a mobile device and finish it on a desktop. This is especially true for B2B products, large-ticket items, and emotional purchases such as vacations. On the flip side, retailers and consumer packaged goods have much less of a hurdle to overcome when getting customers to purchase online (thanks, Amazon). Take time to consider where smartphone marketing makes the most sense in your business’s customer journey. Is it at the top of funnel or bottom of funnel? Is your goal to get people to the point of sale or capture leads? Do you want people to visit your store or purchase online?

These types of questions will help you define your mobile strategy more clearly and tailor your smartphone marketing accordingly. Our team can help you determine where mobile engagement makes the most sense for your brand and ensure your marketing distribution aligns to your goals.

No, mobile apps are not the same as mobile presence

While your smartphone marketing might include mobile app development, don’t assume that your mobile presence is complete simply because your customers can download something on Google Play. People download mobile apps because they already believe a brand can help them accomplish something (think: Instacrat on-demand grocery delivery, Google’s email or maps app, Duolingo’s language lessons, or ClassPass’s workout scheduling assistant). However, those same customers use these brands’ mobile websites to learn about the apps at the very top of the marketing funnel. Oftentimes, your mobile website is your customers’ first experience with your products, so it should be information-focused and concise. Apps, as we mentioned, fall much farther downstream and might ultimately be your point of sale. One is not necessarily more important than the other, and your business may never need an app, so think about where you need to direct your customers most before investing in app development.

Recognize and use the gateways to mobile

While you’re getting your smartphone marketing in check, take time to consider where mobile traffic is coming from. Voice assisted searches, email campaigns, local discovery via maps, television or video jump campaigns, and even real world cues such as billboards or product placement can all send a customer to their smartphone. Mobile is the landing point for the majority of other marketing campaigns and initiatives so don’t ignore this important channel. As we mentioned, even if your customers don’t complete their purchase on a smartphone, you don’t want to miss an opportunity because they can’t find what they are looking for during their first mobile pass. Think of your smartphone marketing campaigns as a tool or helper rather than an advertising technique and your customers will thank you later. As will your boss.

Work with our team to brainstorm unique ways to communicate your brand’s value proposition in the mobile world.

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