Mobile devices have changed how we live our lives.
Perhaps, you’re even reading this content from a mobile device.
But, is mobile still the future of marketing? I doubt.
This is because we’re no more talking about the future; the era of mobile is already here.
Consequently, if you’re still ignoring the fact that mobile is gradually taking over the web, then I’m afraid, you’re already trailing far behind.
With 40 percent of Internet users’ time being spent on mobile devices, we can only deduce that now is the future you have been waiting for.
Look at the graph below from ComScore. You’ll notice that internet users are engaging more with mobile devices more than ever before.
Funny enough, this trend will continue even in the future, therefore, get prepared now or you might be forced to go out of business.
Frankly, a few things have had such a significant effect on the way we work, play, live, and socialize like mobile devices.
Starting from the way we communicate by sending texts, emails, calls, to incorporating digital cameras, GPS navigation, and online shopping with ease. No one would have expected that it will end up being a very vital part of our life.
2015 was the very first-year mobile traffic surpassed that of desktop users, and as smart marketers, this created a whole new idea and opportunities to reach our customers, and further solidify the business relationship in a way that makes what we offer irresistible.
Therefore, the two most important decisions you will take concerning your business in 2017 is to optimize for mobile and establishing a solid mobile marketing strategy. If you haven’t done this yet, get to it right away and stop giving excuses.
However, while establishing a mobile marketing tactics, you need to decide whether you want to create a mobile app for your users or just a mobile website. This takes us to one of the most popular questions in mobile marketing:
Is it better to use an app or a website?
In recent times, there has been a lot of debates about the death of mobile sites. Many believe that mobile apps have replaced mobile sites. Is this true?
Which is best?
According to Jason Summerfield on the Human Service Solutions blog, ”mobile websites and apps can look very much alike at first glance, but deciding which is most desirable for your business will depend on some factors including available budgets, target audience, required features, and your intended purpose.”
Realistically, both solutions serve a useful purpose and also have some limitations with regards to meeting users’ needs in any given context. It will, therefore, be a mistake to use one instead of the other.
However, it’s always advisable to start with a website and then build a community first even though you have a plan of launching an app.
The reason is so that when you eventually launch an app, there will already be loyal customers/readers waiting to download it.
Jumping in and creating an app when you’re still new in the system is a dumb idea, the app will never see the light because no one knows you, and what you do. But once you’re established as an authority, launching and marketing your app will no longer be a big deal.
Native App Vs Hybrid App
According to cdixon, the web is gradually being replaced by mobile apps, and access to these apps is generally been controlled by two companies:
These apps come in two types which include native and hybrid apps.
Typically, native apps refer to apps that are specifically built for a particular mobile operating system and can be downloaded only from the dedicated app store.
For example, Android applications are developed using Java, C++, Windows, and can only be accessed from the Google play store, while iOS applications are developed with Objective-C/XCode and can be downloaded from the app store.
The primary advantage of building hybrid apps is that it has a cross-platform user-interface that’s compatible with most devices.
Finally, while deciding which one to use in developing your app, one thing to consider is the time you need to wait before your app is launched.
If you can wait for up to six months, then a native app makes the most sense. This is because it has the best user experience, performance, and the highest security.
However, if your desired waiting time is less than six month, then a hybrid will be your best choice because it can be developed in one source code, can be easily released across different platforms, and the development time is assumedly less compared to native applications.
Advantages of Mobile App Over Website
A recent study by Mobile Smith shows that web users prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. However, this doesn’t come without good reasons. In this section, we will quickly look at 4 reasons why people prefer using mobile apps over websites.
1). Instant Access Both Online And Offline
Every mobile app can easily be accessed by simply tapping on the relevant icon on a mobile device. This gives users the opportunity to effortlessly and quickly find the information they need.
Interestingly, many apps can also be accessed offline with some updates being temporarily installed locally on the device until the user reconnects to the internet for proper synchronization. For example, you can load some contents onto the app while you’re online and then read it offline later.
This can be a huge time-saver, particularly for busy people. While with a mobile website, every content must be accessed via the mobile browser and must be refreshed each time you want to open it again.
2). Mobile Apps Boosts Productivity And Reduces Cost
Perhaps, this is the biggest benefit of a mobile app. It can make communication between employer and employees much easier with easy access to available resources.
According to Boopsie, mobile apps are reported to dramatically boost productivity to about 20-40%, while creating an extra time that can be utilized to generate additional business and revenue.
It has also been discovered that apps are very efficient at handling and manipulating complex data thereby producing useful charts and reports.
On the other hand, most mobile websites are relatively slow in loading, and harder to optimize, especially when it comes to complex data. This can kill productivity and slow down workflow.
It has been proven that mobile users spend about 86 percent of their time on a mobile app, while the remaining 14% is devoted to mobile websites.
This shows that people are generally spending more time on mobile apps than they do on mobile websites. This holds true for gaming, music and social media apps.
4). Mobile Apps Offers Easy Personalization
Personalization is all about offering specific and tailored communication to your audience based on location, interests, user behavior, and many other factors.
This is very easy with mobile apps. You can effortlessly treat users with personalized experience and win them over.
With mobile apps, users can set up their preferences upon registration after which such user will always be served with customized contents based on what he wants.
Apps can equally observe and monitor user engagement, and use it to offer users with custom recommendations and updates.
Similarly, it can also track user’s location in real-time to provide geographic-specific content.
Mobile Website Statistics 2017
In case you’re not yet convinced about the effectiveness of mobile marketing, quickly check out the following mobile website statistics, I’m sure you’ll be satisfied.
1). On average, 36% of mobile users use iPads or iPhone to read emails, and 34% of subscribers only read emails via mobile devices (Source: Informz)
Let me quickly ask you, how many people use an iPad or iPhone in your office?
Just take the time and see how emails usually look on those devices before using the send button and I guarantee you will see more reason to believe on mobile devices.
2). 80% of web users own a smartphone (Source: Smart Insights)
The majority of internet users today own a smartphone. This is because it’s now more affordable than before, and it’s getting cheaper every day, and the demand will only keep increasing. This is good a news to companies that have an effective mobile marketing strategy.
3). Tablets account for the highest add-to-cart rates on e-commerce sites at 8.58% (Source: Smart Insights)
As a serious marketer, you should give maximum attention to the tablet version of your website. This is because as the stat above shows, more people are shopping online via their tablet devices like the iPad, and you don’t want to miss out.
4). About 50% of Smartphone users pick their phone immediately after they wake up in the morning (Source: Express Pigeon)
I’ll admit that I’m among the 50% of the people that grabs their smartphone immediately after waking up. I don’t miss this; my phone is always the first thing I go after once I wake up.
This is one of the reasons why email marketing is still so active. Today, people are so addicted to their phones, and when someone subscribes to your newsletter, they’re giving you a full permission to communicate with them.
Smart marketers know about this, hence, most of them often reach out to their email subscribers first thing in the morning.
5). 68% of businesses have incorporated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy (Source: Sales Force)
All these data is pointing to one thing, and that’s the fact that mobile marketing is becoming more efficient and effective like never before. If you’re a smart marketer, you shouldn’t ignore this trend.
6). According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile website they had difficulty accessing while 40% go to a competitor’s site instead (Source: McKinsey & Company)
What’s your company doing about its user’s mobile experience? If you’re not giving your website a maximum attention, you’ll not only be losing potential customers, consequently, you’ll also be sending them away – perhaps, to your competitors.
I’m sure you know the damage this can cause your business.
7). It was predicted that by 2019, mobile advertising would represent about 72% of all U.S digital ad spending (Source: Marketing Land)
Desktop advertising will soon be a thing of the past; it will join the league of direct mail as one of the oldest ways of publicity.
8). Within the last 3 years, mobile email open rates has grown by 180% and still counting (Source: Email Monday)
As stated in the previous stats, the majority of internet users are accessing their email via their mobile devices.
This is simply because of its ease of use and easy to carry about. People are tired of opening their desktops each time they want to read common email messages hence, the rise in mobile email open rates.
9). About 57% of Internet users stated that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (Source: CMS Report)
Interestingly, web design is no more just about the physical look; excellent user-experience is now the most important thing.
If you give your customers great UX, it will drastically boost your click through rate and return on investments.
10). By the year 2018, 8 out of every 10 email users will likely access their email accounts solely via their mobile devices (Source: Email Monday)
Effective mobile marketing is not just about your website and apps; your emails also need to be properly optimized to offer users the best experience on the go.
Mobile App Statistics 2017
1). 26% of internet users start mobile research with a branded mobile app (Source: Smart Insights)
Not minding the explosion of mobile apps in the last couple of years, when researching a product or service, consumers still trust the search engines the most.
2). 83% of B2B marketers said mobile apps were vital to content marketing (Source: Strategy Trends)
Do you still remember when having a website was fantastic, and you’re considered unserious if you don’t have one? Well, we’re currently experiencing the same trend with mobile apps today.
3). Internet users spend 90% of their time in mobile app compared to mobile websites (Source: Flurry)
Judging by the fact that people are engaging more on social media via their apps today, the number of consumers that are still using mobile websites is drastically going down.
I doubt if there’s anyone out there that still browse Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram via their web browsers. I’m sure you can also relate to this.
4). About 100 million iOS apps were downloaded on the internet from 2008 to 2015 (Source: Statista)
Apple is one of the brands people respects a lot hence, the heavy usage of all their devices.
As you can see from the stat above, a lot of individuals are always downloading their apps. Check out the graph below from Statista:
5). 2015 US mobile app report shows that the total number of time people spends on mobile apps belongs to a particular app category (Source: ComScore)
From the chart below, you will notice that people dedicate over 50% of their app usage time on social media, gaming, and radio apps. This is because of the entertainment and fun associated with this apps.
As you know, people are faced with lots of challenges and difficulties in their day-to-day activities hence, the need to cool off in any entertaining way.
6). Among all the social media apps on the internet, Facebook is the most widely used (Source: ComScore)
Unsurprisingly, Facebook remains the number one social media app on the web today with its billion user base. Even children below the age of 10 already know what Facebook is.
7). Cost per Install (CPI) for Android apps has grown by 40% (Source: Business Insider)
Mobile apps are still very popular among smartphone users today, even though you can now effortlessly develop mobile optimized websites which work exactly like apps if not better.
Cost per install (CPI) is the most measurable return on investments (ROI) for mobile ad campaigns, and the CPI for Android apps in the US alone increased by 40% in 2015, going from $1.83 in January to $2.57 in October.
8). BI Intelligence estimated that U.S mobile app install ad revenue will increase from $4.6 billion in 2015 to $6.8 billion in 2019 (Source: Singular)
This is a clear indication that mobile app is rapidly killing mobile websites, and this trend will continue being like this in the future as a result of how convenience it is when using apps compared to mobile sites.
9). Apps take up to 89% of mobile media time (Source: Social Media Today)
It’s estimated that on average, people spend 1.8 hours daily on their smartphones, and the majority of these time is devoted to mobile apps.
Therefore, it’s advisable that serious marketers consider the idea of developing apps for their business and brand, thereby utilizing this growing audience with in-app advertising.
10). 25% of the mobile apps installed by consumers are never used (Source: Think With Google)
I can also relate to this one. Right now on my cell phone, I have about five different apps I installed but never used for once, and it’s been over one month now that I got these apps.
I know that this is also the same thing with many Smartphone users; they often tend to forget that they installed certain apps hence; they’ll never make use of it.
You’ve already seen it all. The bottom line is that mobile marketing is still trending upwards with a massive potential, and as a marketer, you have to tap into this opportunity right now to avoid losing your precious audience to your competitors.
Apparently, the majority of money spent on digital advertising today is targeted to mobile users. Aside from that, consumers are also more comfortable to buy from companies that offer a better mobile experience.
Therefore, leave everything you’re doing right now and start optimizing your websites for mobile, develop useful mobile apps for your brand, and massively divert more of your attention towards mobile marketing. The result will be worth all the efforts at the end.