In the business world, regardless of whether it is B2B or B2C, there are only 2 options; either be where your customers are or close up shop. B2C brands are already caught up with their audience or are working towards it, by optimizing themselves for mobile devices. It’s not long before B2B companies follow and if you want to be ahead of the game, then you need a mobile strategy.
But don’t worry; it’s not as hard as you imagine it to be. It’s hard work, sure, but it doesn’t have to be daunting, and it isn’t, as long as you know what you’re doing and don’t get overwhelmed.
Mobilification: A Passing Trend or Here to Stay?
Whenever something new comes up that everyone is talking about, you have to wonder: is it a passing trend or is it here to stay? Is it worth putting efforts and resources into? When it comes to the ‘trend’ of the world shifting from desktops to smartphones, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Since most of the population owns a smartphone and smartphones are something you can use anywhere and at any time, people have gotten used to getting on the go results and expect the same from their favourite brands. Now in this scenario, if you can’t deliver these results quickly enough, you will soon be a not-so-favourite brand.
B2C companies, through customer feedbacks and surveys, were quick to realize that mobiles are here to stay and should be something they work on if they want to stay relevant in the consumer-oriented world.
Why Do B2B Companies Need Mobile Strategy?
But B2B needs are completely different from B2C objectives, so why should B2B companies follow their B2C counterparts and develop a mobile strategy?
Well, because outside of the business world, your B2B clients are consumers. As consumers, they are used to high-quality apps, mobile-friendly websites, and personalized experiences. Because of this, they expect the same level of personalization from the B2B companies they interact with and are more inclined towards the brands that give them that.
According to a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group around 80% of B2B buyers use mobiles at work and 60% said that mobile played a significant role in recent purchases. Another study by IDG Global Solutions found that 80% of B2B executives research products or services on a tablet in the evening. Google also predicted that by 2020 mobile usage per B2B buyer will increase from 2 hours to 3 hours driven by millennials, Gen Z, and the increasing use of smartphones by older workers.
Despite these, and many more, riveting statistics, Mckinsey & Company found that only 6% of B2B companies have a mobile strategy, compared to the 30% of their B2C counterparts.
Now, that is not to say that B2B companies don’t have mobile strategies or are completely unaware of the mobilification trend. There are some companies that have a mobile marketing strategy in place but a problem with a few of these companies is that they developed the strategy by looking at mobile marketing as a way to not only interact with existing clients but also to bring in new customers.
But the silver lining here is that, since there are so less B2B companies with a proper mobile strategy in place, you can get ahead of your competition.
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Tips for Developing a Strong Mobile Strategy
1. A Mobile-friendly Website
A mobile website is very different from a desktop website; not only in technical terms but from a consumers point of view as well. First of all, you need to design (or redesign) your web pages so that they load quickly on phones; this includes, but is not limited to, ditching graphics that drag and cleaning up your code.
However, having your predominantly desktop website fit onto a mobile or tablet screen is not enough, in fact, it’s the bare minimum. Another important, but often overlooked aspect, of having a mobile-optimized website is making sure you know what mobile users want from the website. For example, when people use their desktops or laptops, it’s usually in a setting that allows them more time to browse so if they’re on your website on the desktop, they might go to your about us page to know more about your brand. On the mobile website, however, people might just jump straight to the ‘our services’ page.
So prioritizing different sections of your website for different devices will really help you be more appealing to a wider audience.
2. Mobile Apps That Cater To B2B Needs
If you think that your business cannot fit into an app, you are probably wrong because in today’s world there is an app for literally everything. If an industrial supply company like Grainger can have an app, the chances of your business not being app worthy are very slim. So if your budget allows for it, you should definitely look into developing an app for your brand.
Not only does an app give your customers a one-stop shop for everything related to your brand, it also gives you an opportunity to know your audience better and find ways to further improve their experience with your brand.
3. Have a Strong Social Media Strategy
Mobiles are not only for surfing through the internet or downloading apps; a major feature of smartphones is that it allows users to stay connected to their social media platforms. And people take maximum advantage of that. In a study, We Are Social found that 2017 saw 2.56 billion global mobile social media users (equaling 34% penetration).
A majority of your customers are currently actively engaging on some or the other social media app on their smartphones. If you want to take advantage of this fact, you need to have a strong social media plan in place. One way to do this is by adding the “share on social media” buttons on your blogs or other relevant pages; on both, your website (desktop and mobile) and apps. Just make sure these buttons are not getting in the way of the user’s experience.
This blog I wrote about creating a social media plan that’ll boost your brand in the digital world will help you with this step.
4. Explore Voice Search
Another trend that will help you with Mobile Marketing is Voice Search. According to ComScore, by 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches. To integrate this trend into your brand, you should focus on more colloquial keywords (“what is voice search?” instead of “voice search meaning”) and ensure that the content you are giving out is easy for your users to read.
To know more about this fascinating, unexplored trend, you can go through my blog about it.
5. Don’t Ignore Your Local SEO
Just like voice search, Local SEO is another underrated tool that will help you optimize your business for mobile phones. 89% of the participants in a 2013 survey said that they search for a local business on their smartphone once a week or more while 58% said that they do so at least daily.
So if you are a business that relies on local customers, you should definitely look into Local SEO. Even big companies should give this trend some thought just to make sure you’re doing everything you can to really optimize your brand smartphone-wise.
Here are the 10 tools you need if you are working on your Local SEO.
Smartphones are not going anywhere anytime soon and the number of people who use these devices is only going to increase as time passes. There is no point in denying it or ignoring it or waiting for your customers to come to you through traditional marketing methods. The best thing to can do for your brand is to prepare it for the impending “global mobilification” that is already highly prevalent.
You already know where your customers are — in the digital world of their mobile screens — now you have to focus on knowing everything there is to know about it and finding the best way to get there.
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