Smartphones and tablets present a number of ways for marketers to reach potential consumers, including through mobile browsers, applications and advertisements. Before your brand decides which mobile opportunity to pursue, it’s important to consider the advantages, challenges, and consumer interactions with each option. For example, in 2012, consumers spent 35% more time using mobile apps, while time spent on the web declined 2.4%. This ratio is expected to rise. How will this data affect your mobile marketing plan?
Let’s take a look at the key places where consumers interact with their smartphones and tablets:
Many brands rely on mobile browsers as the primary way for consumers to access their sites from a smartphone or tablet. In most cases, the same site for the web is used for mobile. However, there are two important ways that brands can adapt their sites for mobile devices. One option is to create a mobile-specific site that includes all or a selection of the content and functionality that your desktop site offers. The second option is to apply responsive web design to your site. This automatically adapts your site to the size and specs of a browser without manual work. The latter is a better option for many brands, but the cost to develop, test, and maintain is hefty. On the other hand, mobile-specific sites are more manageable projects, especially for smaller teams with a limited budget.
Consumers can also interact with your brand through your own app or through a 3rd party app. Nearly all tablet owners have downloaded apps and 70% regularly use over half of all the apps they’ve downloaded. What types of apps appeal to consumers? Retail-related apps are among the most popular, with 34% of tablet owners downloading and regularly using a retailer’s shopping app. Not a retailer? No worries. Survey your consumers and find out what they want from your brand while on the go with their smartphone and tablet. Be sure to specify these two devices because you’ll see how your consumers use them quite differently based on what they need.
It can be appealing to create an app for your brand, but understand that app development and maintenance are costly and time consuming. Given the large undertaking to create an app, brands should pursue this option only if they have a very specific use case that the app will fulfill.
Mobile advertising is a hot term right now, but don’t forget there’s a big difference between ads on a smartphone and ads on a tablet, especially when it comes to how consumers interact with the ads. In fact, advertising on tablets is expected to grow more rapidly than advertising spend on smartphones. This is a result of a few factors, including:
- The larger size of tablet screens that offers advertisers more real estate for the creative.
- Data shows that tablet users engage more with ads than smartphone users do.
- Tablets are easier to use and set to overtake laptops, which will create more traffic for advertisers.
As marketers, understand how your consumers see and click on ads from their various devices and build an advertising strategy with that knowledge. Even though advertising on tablets will be stronger, expect to see more advertising platforms surface over the next 12 months that support both smartphone and tablet ads.
Want to learn more about how consumers, especially moms, use their smarthphones and tablets on a daily basis, and ways that brand marketers can reach this powerful audience on their devices? Download the free white paper, “A Marketer’s Guide to Reaching Moms on Mobile.”