In case you missed it, in April Mobilegeddon began. Google the (unofficial) ruler of the Internet declared that responsive websites will rank higher in their search rankings.
Responsive websites may auto-adjust to your website to your users’ needs, but there is no algorithm to auto-adjust your mobile strategy. As you create or re-assess your mobile marketing strategy to be inline with Mobilegeddon, you need to consider how your audience is using mobile. The research shows every generation uses mobile differently.
Key findings about generational mobile use
Below are the key findings about how the different generations use mobile and what that means for your mobile marketing strategy.
Texting vs. voice vs. email
With the exception of men between the ages of 55 and 64, both genders and all generations use text messaging more than their phones’ voice and email functions. Also, despite the variety in texting apps (Kik, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc.), all the generations report that a majority of their texting is done on their phones’ built-in texting app.
What this means for you: This is awesome news for marketers. It shows that there is one place nearly all smartphone users are turning to for information – texting. Other research shows that people are far more likely to pay attention to text messages than email; 98% of all text messages are read versus 22% of emails. Even the click-through rates are better; links sent via text message get clicked 19% of time, but those sent via email get clicked only 4.2% of the time. While that doesn’t mean you should give up on email (email is not dead!), text messaging provides some serious ROI; brands should be thinking about adding SMS to their marketing strategy. Even if you do not have an SMS strategy at the moment, think future-forward and start collecting those mobile numbers now. Build up your database of contacts using forms you already have in place or at events your customers attend. This gives you an edge when the time comes to kick-off your text campaigns (and don’t forget to use opt-in and opt-out messaging!)
Special note: If you are targeting a younger audience, you need to consider going beyond SMS and invest in one of the messaging apps. People under 44 are the ones who generally use these apps.
App use is where we see the generations diverge. Music, audio, photo and video apps are dominated by the younger generations. Books, reference and gaming apps are used mostly by the older generations. Yes. Gaming is done largely by the older generations, which isn’t that surprising when you think about who is constantly sending you Candy Crush invites on Facebook.
What this means for you: How you use this information is not quite as straightforward as how you use the information about text messaging; depending on your target audience and budget you can do a lot with this information:
- In-app ads: Knowing which generation uses which apps helps you decide where your ads will be most effective. For example, if you have a younger audience, advertising on Pandora might be a good choice. If your audience is older, try one of the newspaper apps like the New York Times.
- Campaign development: Many campaigns today have an app attached to them. My favorite example due to its uniqueness and success, is the Charmin SitOrSquat app. Create a campaign app that matches how your audience uses apps. For instance, if your audience is younger, think visual. If you audience is older, think about very useful features or even something that has a gaming aspect.
General Internet usage
Mobile Internet usage is another place the younger and older generations differ. When it comes to browsing the Internet, 43% of Millennials report dominantly using their smartphones while 20% of adults 35+ report doing the same. However, in total, mobile media usage now exceeds desktop usage with 51% of users in the U.S. accessing the Internet via mobile devices rather than desktops.
What this means for you: Your website needs to be responsive. The last thing you want is for your customers or potential customers to get frustrated because they can’t easily access your content online when they are on the go or otherwise. Another thing to consider: The majority of social media sites are accessed through mobile devices. If your audience is engaging with you on a social network (from a mobile device) and then moves on to your website or blog which is not responsive, their level of frustration may rise. If nothing else, think about how you can make all of your online messaging mobile-friendly in order to provide the best user experience you can for your audience.
The above information is proof that when you assume you make a you-know-what out of you and me. If any marketer had used the stereotype that Millennials use mobile and Boomers do not they would have inaccurate and ineffective mobile marketing strategy. Mobile is hot across the board. It’s not longer a question of if you should implement mobile marketing, but how to do so effectively to reach your target audience.
Need help developing your mobile content strategy? Contact us to start the discussion!