By David Howell - October 29th, 2014

Understanding the people’s web is at the heart of developing successful social media marketing campaigns.

How digital media and the mobile web have become ubiquitous across the consumer environment is the focus of the latest report from Netbiscuits. Your corporation knows that it must do more in the digital space to support its customers who increasingly want to use multiple digital touch points to interact with their favourite brands. What is now clear from this report is that your corporation’s customers demand better mobile experiences.
Businesses have known for some time that consumer leverage is now so high that any corporation that ignores this influence does so at their peril. Social media may have begun as the latest social distraction, but it has rapidly evolved to become the most influential marketing channel yet seen.
“Consumers have greater choice and faster comparison options than ever before, and an overwhelming majority told us they will walk away from a website that does not meet their expectations – worse still, over 91% will turn to a competitor,” said Daniel Weisbeck, Netbiscuits CEO. “User experience is now king over brand loyalty with younger audiences.
“Marketers face two huge challenges. Firstly, they need to work out how to make sense of all the information available to them in order to make educated choices about future strategy and direction. Secondly, they need to act quickly to glue together a consistently superior, cross-platform experience that makes sense to consumers or risk being side-lined for disruptive brands that do.”
Paul Berney Co-Founder, Managing Partner EMEA, mCordis also commented: “For brands that do get to grips with the behaviour of their target audience, there are clear rewards. Using more data is allowing better targeting, and we’re seeing new innovations in targeting options available from mobile ad networks on an almost weekly basis. 
“Access to improved internal data held on customers, added to what is also available from social media networks will allow brands to move from simply targeting audiences on mobile, to creating target moments. In other words moving from just demographics and past purchase history, to adding the context of time, location or behaviours. This switch to using ‘marketing personas’ will be critical for brands seeking to maximize the effectiveness of their mobile advertising.”

Multi screen marketing

Corporations have watched the developed of the so-called ‘second screen’ phenomenon that has continued to proliferate across all consumer groups. The Netbiscuits report reveals clear evidence that your business should be developing marketing campaigns that support this behaviour, as 16% of respondents will hit the mobile web specifically for shopping while watching television. 
When people are multi-screening, search remains as the top activity, with 35% of all respondents to the survey stating that they’ll be searching the web while watching TV, frequently looking up facts, figures and information based on what they’re seeing. For brands that advertise on TV, joining up small screen content with mobile is critical for maximum reach. As people are inspired by what they’re watching, a site that can be easily found through search and that provides relevant content at the right time is key. The responses by age group suggest that the multi-screen phenomenon is set to pick up pace rapidly over the next five years.
Social Web Activity
The context and relevance of content that brands use within their marketing campaigns continues to be important to get right. Social media above all other channels has little patience for content that isn’t relevant and timely. Netbiscuits says: “There needs to be a careful balance, ensuring that the right piece of content is delivered according to the context of the user at the perfect time – this has been dubbed the mobile moment by Forrester. Every crumb of available data must be used to maximize the possibility of connecting with the customer in a way that resonates perfectly with their context and device capability at that time. A significant challenge, but with the right data, not one that is insurmountable.”

Better online experiences

One of the key findings of the Netbiscuits report is that corporations need to do much more when developing their mobile websites. Social media networks have strived to deliver a fast and efficient user experience. Consumers now want the same from all the online content they access. 
There is little patience for poorly designed online experiences that are increasingly being accessed by mobile devices. If your corporation believes it has its social media activity right, think about how your website factors in. Often, this less then intuitive experience is damaging your brands.
“We asked mobile web users about their top issues when visiting mobile websites, including the ease with which they can enter information, the speed of the site, site layout and the ability to complete desired tasks,” Netbiscuits discovered. 
“Alarmingly, more than one quarter of mobile web users said that all of these were problems that they encountered often or very often. The biggest problem, however, was speed. Almost one-third said sites were often or very often too slow to even use. The highest number of complaints about speed came from India, while the USA and China fared best. The speed issue means that the case for supporting content items that can adapt according to a user’s bandwidth is very strong, and even more important in an era of web design focused on responsive methodologies.”
Mobile Site Performance
“The People’s Web sits in a mesh of work life and private life; online and offline worlds; reality and virtual worlds and different tech platforms such as apps and the mobile web,” the report concludes. “Consumers jump from social media apps via links into the web, or from emails, or from mobile home screens using integrated search toolbars. They jump between devices, such as tablet, smart TV and smartphone. Gluing all of this together in a way that makes sense to consumers will be the marketing challenge of the next five years. It is a challenge that is set to get that bit harder as the Internet of Things gains momentum.”
What this latest research reveals is that the mobile web is transforming the consumers’ relationship with brands. Social media has had a clear and profound impact on the customer journey. Corporations are now entering the next phase of their development with mobile digital devices providing the next environment where brands and their advocates will come together. 
Corporations that can see how consumer behaviour is changing thanks to the mobile web will be able to define their propositions and marketing their products or services to ready and waiting audiences.
[Image Source: Freedigitalphotos]
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