3 Things We’re Still Getting Wrong About Mobile

Did you know that the first QR Codes were invented in 1994? Eleven years later, in 2005, major brands started communicating with consumers using SMS. And in 2007, the iPhone launches and the world is hooked on smartphones.

Now it’s 2016. And we still have not figured out mobile marketing.

As with any new technology platform, there are many companies and marketers who have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out, trying to get ahead of consumers and figure out how to use smartphones to grow their business. But no one is doing it just right. And most companies are doing it all wrong.

What are we missing?

1. We don’t know how to define it.

Too many companies still don’t know what to include under the mobile marketing heading. We want a definition of mobile that is narrow and complete. But one does not exist. Mobile has grabbed a small piece of many different marketing functions – such as email, search, web design and development, social, and follow up. Mobile should instead be treated as a function within all other previously defined functions.

2. We expect consumers to use the mobile web the same way they use PCs.

In 2016, this is the biggest mistake companies are still making. We do not use our phones the same way we use a PC when it comes to the internet. We browse differently. We behave differently. We are looking to buy different items, complete different tasks. You can start to understand your consumers better by doing a side by side comparison of the analytics data on your website for mobile visitors vs desktop. Then create a mobile experience that more closely matches where those visitors are in the buying cycle, and what they’re looking to accomplish.

3. We think apps are the answer.

Apps are great. They are still a relatively new way for brands to interact and engage with consumers. But it takes a lot of effort to create and market an app that will be hit critical mass. Most apps flop. And we confine our understanding of mobile to the app store, we ignore all the other pieces of the mobile puzzle that are much easier to get right.

An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

We’ve read over and over again about the Facebook IPO, all that it means for the largest social networking community, and the impact that it’s going to have on technology stocks, and the larger economy. I don’t need to rehash any of that here.

What I do need to do, however, is throw my hat in the ring when it comes to the search for the next great revenue opportunity.

What I saw when I looked at the details of Facebook’s financials is that they’ve yet to monetize their mobile traffic. And though the revenue streams for the desktop version of the site are strong, the mobile revenue is lagging way behind, even while mobile traffic continues to go up as a percentage of total visitors.

Here’s where I come in. I will help take the same philosophy that has made Facebook advertising so successful in the desktop version of the site, and apply it to the mobile web.

We don’t need to crowd a user’s screen with ads all the time, and we don’t need to show every ad to every user. We can target based on location data, web history, phone history, and purchasing behavior. We can let users opt-in to local advertising, see where their friends are shopping, and find deals, all without leaving Facebook.

So Mark, if you’ll have me, I’m ready to get started.


Zach Heller