I’d like to tell you that I’m writing this blog post on my iPhone (or even my iPad), but i’m not. I’m writing it on my 27” iMac. I have to admit, it’s very frustrating. After all, I consider myself an early adopter in technology, and everything I’m reading says that everybody is doing everything on their mobile devices. But no matter how much I try, I keep doing the vast majority of my business-related work on a desktop or laptop.
Of course, I’m kidding. Most people I know do most of their work on a desktop/laptop. As a matter of fact, I know that there’s a 78% chance that you’re reading this blog on a desktop device right now. And if you engage deeper or decide to click on an offer, there’s more than a 90% chance you’re on a desktop. And, believe it or not, if you’re opening one of our emails, there’s a 70% chance it’s happening on a desktop or laptop.
While ensuring that your site and content are optimized for mobile is certainly important, be sure not to get carried away by its momentum. While it’s true that mobile search has bypassed non-mobile for the first time ever, you must consider what is being searched and why. If lead generation and conversion is a primary goal, you must keep some important things in mind.
It’s easy to get carried away with all of the noise surrounding mobile. I’ve got to admit that I was a bit worried about writing on a topic (the importance of mobile) that seems like a settled issue to most people. What motivated me to write this was a conversation I had with a client a couple weeks back where we were struck by the percentage engagement their emails were getting from non-mobile devices.
Our initial reaction was that it had to be a mistake or an aberration. As I looked deeper at other content, across our client base and at our own data, I found that what we were seeing with his content was not at all unusual.
I also thought about my own behavior. I spend a tremendous amount of time on my mobile devices - many would say too much time (I have two different iPads). However, there are many things that I prefer doing on my desktop. When I come across them on my mobile device, I’ll often email or mark them for real attention when I’m on my desktop. It reminded me that just because something has momentum doesn’t mean that it’s right.
For clarity purposes, I am in no way indicating that mobile is not important - it is. What I am saying, as with most things, is that balance is required and that while marketers think mobile device vs. non-mobile device, users don’t. They use the device that makes the most sense and is the easiest for them.
Now to the important part. In a world where mobile is more important, how can a B2B marketer ensure they’re doing the right things to increase lead generation? After talking about this with Stacy (our marketing manager), I concluded these are the five keys to winning. Follow these points and you’ll be sure to gain more traction...and a lot more leads.
1. Be clear on the “job” you’re hiring your web page to do
Clayton Christensen (author of The Innovator’s Dilemma) shares the theory that people don’t buy products and services, so much as they “hire” them to get something done. He’s expanded on that thought to determine and even predict how people will behave. They don’t take actions so much as they “hire” action to accomplish something.
This is a critically important framework for marketers and salespeople to master when you’re developing content and designing the means where it will be delivered. When you understand the job that’s going to be done, you can develop a pretty accurate picture of the context for your prospect.
Think of it this way, I’m hiring a search engine to find something that I’m looking for, but what I’m looking for could vary quite a bit. And that variance can change everything about how I engage with content.
If I’m trying to find a restaurant because I’m going out with friends (or am already out and we’re stuck figuring out what to eat) there’s a pretty good chance I’m away from my computer when I search. If I’m trying to find a better approach to account management, I’m probably at work (or sitting on my couch “watching” television). I’m likely to be on my computer or laptop. Even if I happen to be on my iPhone or iPad when I first engage, if the content is valuable I’ll act on it while I’m at my desk.
The implications of those situations can have a dramatic impact on how you deliver your content, and the decisions you need to make in terms of design and optimization.
2. Add a device dimension to your buyer’s journey and content map
We’ve said for years that context is as important as content to optimize lead conversion opportunities. While marketers (good ones at least) regularly consider buyer personas and the buyer’s journey in designing content, the time has come to add another dimension. What device are they most likely to be on when they take an action.
In a small experiment I found that as someone considers what we do at Imagine they’re far more likely to be on a mobile device when they’re above the funnel than they are when they’re in the middle of the bottom (to be clear, our data shows they’re more likely, though they’re still likely to be on a non-mobile device). This means that some of our pages should be optimized more for mobile, while others should prioritize desktops.
Add this dimension to your content map. (What? You don’t have a content map? Well...good news you can get one here.)
3. Let the data be your guide
The good news is that you don’t have to assume, you can use data to inform your decisions. Use tools like Google Analytics, visual optimization tools and so on to determine precisely who is engaging with your content, how they’re engaging with it and what actions they’re taking.
Then test, test, test. The data will tell you what works and what doesn't’t. If you’re always testing and tweaking then you’ll always be optimizing.
For emphasis, the point of this post is not to tell you that mobile is not important or that you should not be paying attention to it. While Imagine currently gets more than 70% of its traffic from non-mobile, you may get 80% or more from mobile. If that’s the case you’d make very different decisions that we would for Imagine. The point here is make the decision based on reality, not trends or hype.
4. Be responsive
This is a given. So much so that I almost didn’t want to mention it. Both mobile and non-mobile are crucial to long-term success so be sure you’re using tools that allow you to be good in any environment, while you strive to be great in others.
5. The focus should always be on progress, not perfection
The more I learn about inbound marketing, web optimization and lead generation the more I realize I don’t know, and even when I do know it, it changes rapidly. You can easily get lost, overwhelmed and feel as though you just need to throw your hands up and forget the whole thing. Others feel like they need to master everything before they can do anything.
The right answer is to just move forward. Get better at something. Watch the data and iterate. Your goal is progress, don’t worry about perfection.