Apple’s smallest iPad delivers a big message for mobile marketers.

Source: (search girl using iPad)

The launch of Apple’s iPad mini is more significant than many people realise. It marks the first time Apple (a company famous for telling people what they want) has actively responded to public demand. The lesson: consumers can’t get enough of mobile.

For many, mobile devices are the go-to platform for consuming content, so as marketers it’s essential we understand how to tap into this burgeoning arena.

Alarmingly, despite the proliferation of mobile devices, fewer than 50% of marketers have a strategy for integrating mobile into their marketing mix, according to Responsys’ Cross-Channel Marketing Report.

Without a sound mobile marketing strategy you risk fading into irrelevance. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of mobile marketing essentials. These four tips will equip you to step into the mobile era with confidence and make sure your message reaches the masses.

  1. Set your watch to mobile time
  2. Optimise your content
  3. Learn from the big boys
  4. Embrace development

1. Set your watch to mobile time

Since the introduction of mobile technology, people are consuming more and more media on the go. It’s critical that you recognise when consumers are using devices and tailor your output accordingly. While business hours remain the domain of the desktop PC and laptop, increasingly the hours either side of the 9-5 grind are seeing people turn to their smartphones. Accessing emails and browsing the web can be (and are) easily handled on today’s smartphones. Meanwhile, the bigger screens on tablets mean they’re perfect for content consumption on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

2. Optimise your content

When you’re producing content for mobile devices, you don’t have the luxury of space that more traditional mediums afford, and on top of that you’re working with an inherently time-poor audience. See those suits checking their iPhones while they wait for the traffic lights to change? They have only a few seconds to consume your content, which means you’ve got to give it to them fast. You’re creating for an audience that’s always doing something else, and they’re consuming on screens less than a quarter of the size of traditional PCs. Your content needs to be snappy, front-loaded and require a minimal amount of scrolling.

3.  Learn from the big boys

No one expects you to create the next Instagram or FourSquare but you can learn from their example. Play around with the top-rated apps in the App Store or Google Play Store and you’ll notice the slick UIs, polished content and general usability that’s made them a success. Now copy them (there’s no shame in learning from the best!).

4. Embrace development

Mobile technology is in a constant state of flux. Shifting standards and regular updates and developments can mean implosion for those who fail to keep up. There are plenty of ways to keep abreast of developments in the mobile world. Over at they recommend Android Community,  Apple Developer News and Smashing Magazine.

Simon O’Day, vice-president of Responsys Asia Pac, says his Cross-Channel Marketing Report shows marketers are “missing a trick” when it comes to mobile. Don’t prove him right.

Richard Parker is the head of digital at strategic content agency Edge, where he has experience working with leading brands including Woolworths, St George and Foxtel. He previously spent 12 years in the UK, first at Story Worldwide then as the co-owner and strategic director of marketing agency Better Things.