How to succeed at marketing in a mobile first world

Now mobile is the norm, marketers need to re-think how they approach a broad range of tactics

Mobile user numbers have surged over the last few years – in fact, by the end of last year alone, there were 2 billion users worldwide on Mobile devices. When we look at that statistically, it is a 400% percent rise over the last decade. Plus, that figure is increasing everyday – it is now thought that around 80% of internet users access it using their Mobile devices. This acts as a warning sign to all businesses that don’t currently use mobile friendly, responsive designs on their website that they must implement this immediately.

Most business owners have, by now, had it drilled into them that they must have a responsive website. And whilst that is absolutely true, that shouldn’t be where you stop, your whole approach and strategy needs to consider the possibility that users are viewing your online communications, emails, social posts and more from almost any device.

How is the mobile driven approach changing the business world? And what can you do to make sure that your business is not left behind?

Mobile-First outreach strategies

All businesses need to look at their wider strategy in terms of their sales. On top of this, they should look at their communications and modify to adapt to the needs that the mobile-driven world requires.

October of 2016 stood as a landmark day for the online world. For the first time, mobile and tablet browsing officially overtook desktop browsing, a trend which we simply cannot ignore. More and more people, everyday, reach for their smartphones or tablets before hopping on their desktop in our current environment. Therefore, it has become necessary to put these people at the forefront of everything you do online.

Reimagining the Sales Process

The sales process has been significantly impacted by the massive uptake in smartphones and the other mobile devices that users can browse on. One of the most staggering stats to come out was that 82% of users turn to their phone whilst they are in a physical store to look for cheaper prices on products. This shows that, even whilst in store, people rely on their mobile devices. More research on the matter shows that 39% of consumers read reviews online prior to any purchase they make in store – that number then increases to 54% when you look at online shoppers.

The role that Mobile has had in the sales process goes beyond decision making when buying products or the comparing of prices. It has been reported that as many as 93% of people who research using their mobile phone go on to make the purchase. Another study found that mobile now amounts to 35% of all e-commerce transactions. Mobile has made it much easier for various marketing channels to join together and lead to purchases. On top of that, 84% of Mobile users turn to their devices when they watch television, providing a brilliant opportunity for advertisement.

The Scale of Mobile Social Media

No marketer can ignore the effect that the use of mobile technology has had on the rise of Social Media. Some of the most recent polls and consensuses suggest that there are as many as 1.65 billion Social Media accounts around the world and as many as 1.968 billion active mobile social users. This is a clear indication that Social Media has been almost dominated by Mobile technology. Essentially, any approach that does not take considerable consideration of mobile Social Media is destined to fail in the long run – it is not future proofed and, at the time of writing, will also substantially limit the success of your campaign. You may find results. However, you need to understand that your results will be much more.

Email Marketing and Mobile

Email marketing is still one of the most essential techniques for the modern marketers to use. Anyone that would say that it is an outdated, ineffective method, just needs to look at the evidence out there that shows just how powerful it still is. 89% of marketers still consider email their primary channel for lead generation and, to further show how effective it is with modern mobile technology, 69% of emails were opened on mobile devices. This clearly shows that email marketing has brought itself into the modern world.

With the increase of people using mobile technology, it means that users are now checking their mail around the clock. With this in mind, it would be appropriate to suggest that there is a high chance your email campaign will be read on a mobile device. And more so, mobile users will often use their mobile device to preview the email before reading it later on in the day on their other devices. Therefore, it is more important than ever to ensure your email campaign is optimised to be read on a mobile device and, for the sake of first impressions, you definitely need to ensure you have paid attention to your design elements

Strengthen your email marketing with responsiveness

Varying reports suggest there could be as many 3 billion email users by 2020 and, with this, the uphill trend of mobile usage will be maintained. A smart business owner will ensure that they are in the best position to take advantage of this. However, it doesn’t go without saying that there are many issues with email marketing. Many methods require in-depth testing, as well as time and patience, to ensure that you have the opportunity to find the perfect formula.

Not investing time and effort into responsive email design delivers the same result as not adopting a Mobile-First approach across any of your platforms – you will be positioning yourself behind your competitors before you have even started. It means you are effectively telling all of the mobile users reading your email that you don’t care about them. It will result in their experience of the email being much poorer than someone on desktop, and when we consider the fact that mobile is on the rise, you can understand just how important it is for design to satisfy your mobile users.

Finally, you need your design to hold a user’s attention. One of the negatives of Mobile becoming one of the main platforms to consume media is the decrease in attention span that users have when using their Mobiles. It is well known that users are more easily distracted on Mobile devices due to the amount of data and apps at their fingertips. Therefore, your design needs to be well thought out to ensure that it both attracts and holds their attention.


The people that have adopted a Mobile-First approach are already experiencing the benefits from that choice. No matter how successful an existing company is, if they do not approach Mobile and responsive design seriously, they will unequivocally fail in their ambitions to succeed in the Mobile-First world.

Written by Tony Conte

Founder and Owner of Brave Agency, an Integrated Agency transforming businesses through design, digital and marketing, helping you, our clients to get results by applying the right strategy.

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