mobileYour business thrives off people searching and finding your business online. You know it, we know it, and our customers know it because they’re the ones perpetuating this behavior in an increasingly digital age. Our customers now have constant access to information: 91% of people have their mobile devices within arm’s reach 24/7 (Nielsen).

More and more businesses are recognizing the need to incorporate a mobile strategy in their marketing efforts in order to stay relevant in the minds of their customers. Take the growing investment U.S. businesses are making in mobile search alone: in 2015, ad spending on mobile search is set to surpass that spent on desktop search. But now it’s not enough to just include mobile – we need to think mobile from the get-go. Let’s run down five best practices for infusing your business with a mobile-first mentality.

1. Mobile Can’t Be An Afterthought

When planning any future marketing strategy, a mobile-first mentality does two things for your business: create efficiency and reduce costs. Businesses that keep mobile in mind from the beginning don’t have to go back through content that has already been developed and reconfigure it for mobile. They instead reduce double work and boost efficiency. Along the same lines, no business wants to have to pay more money just to reimagine the same content for a different device. It’s simple: making mobile your first thought saves you time and money.

2. You Need to Be Accessible

As hinted above, people require constant access to information. This includes information pertaining to your business accessible via their smartphones. By focusing your marketing strategy to include mobile from the beginning, it ensures your business will always be at the forefront when your customers are searching on their smartphones.

Being accessible also means having a good call to action – even more so with a call to action that is driving inbound calls. When 66% of sales managers say that phone calls are excellent leads, your business needs to efficiently serve those customers (BIA/Kelsey). Luckily there are tools such as IVR (interactive voice response) and intelligent call routing to help you better manage your accessibility to these customers.

3. You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website

This has meant a number of things over the past few years as companies have begun to optimize their websites for a smooth mobile experience. People using mobile Internet might see a few different types of website designs: desktop versions of websites rendering on a mobile screen, separate mobile websites, or responsive websites that automatically adapt to the device a person uses.

With the number of mobile searchers set to grow 58% by 2018, it will be critical for businesses to ensure they have a mobile website that is friendly for all visitors. And when the largest and most tech-savvy generation – Millennials – say there are still a lot of websites that’s don’t offer good mobile functionality, that means something (eMarketer).

4. You Need to Make People’s Lives Easier

People turn to the convenience of their mobile devices first for nearly every piece of information these days. So for your business, that means not only making the visual experience easier for them, but also making it easier for them to get to the information they need. Structuring your mobile site for the way smartphone users engage with small screens (such as emphasizing click-to-call) will bring the information that makes their lives easier to the forefront. A smooth and painless experience with your mobile site will drive them back to your business time and time again.

5. You Need to Measure Effectiveness

So you’ve instilled a mobile-first mentality by thinking of how your customers use mobile to search for and engage with your business, and you’ve created a beautiful mobile website. That’s all well and good, but unless you measure how well the mobile experience you’ve created is driving conversions you won’t be able to properly optimize for what is working, and fix what might not be working.

Most businesses can easily measure the effectiveness of their online marketing through tracking clicks and conversions. Conversions take other forms as well, and as we learned above, phone calls are a valuable lead source for sales managers. Call tracking technology is another way to help close the loop on your ability to measure your mobile marketing efforts.

Bonus: Mobile-First Helps Build a Culture of Innovation

At this point, with digital and mobile technology so prevalent, it still feels shocking sometimes to say that keeping technology like smartphones top of mind is progressive – but you’ve seen the stats now, and many businesses have yet to create an adequate mobile experience for their customers. So, by making a mobile-first mentality a priority in your business, it inherently fosters an overall culture of innovation.

Check out our free white paper to learn how to manage (and drive more of) the valuable calls that mobile-first innovation can bring to your business: “Marketing to Smartphone Users: New Mobile Strategies for Driving Sales Calls.”