A Dive into the Data: Making the Case for Mobile
A fascinating thing about the explosive growth of mobile technology over the last decade is that we’ve reached a point where people expect brands to have a strong presence on their mobile devices. We live in a world where people expect information to be at their fingertips at any given time, and it just-so-happens to be that they’re turning to mobile. Jason Spero, VP of Global Performance Solutions at Google, so eloquently puts it:
Mobile isn’t just an epic game-changer. It’s a prerequisite, Act One. Just one critical leg of the journey. Pick your analogy, but I like to think of mobile as the force that’s accelerating a train we’re all now aboard. It’s critical to get it right—because strategic shifts made today lay the groundwork for what’s coming.
How are people using their devices?
It’s clear that people are turning to mobile to find answers to their questions. But what do we know about actual smartphone usage? How often are people actually using their phones, and how does it compare to the usage of their devices?
Let’s take a look at a study Google did, collecting user behavior from a sample of 11,964 cross-device users over the first three months of 2016.
In the average day, more than 25% of all users only use a smartphone, which is nearly twice as many as those who only use a computer.
What does this mean for you? If you aren’t reaching your people on mobile, you risk missing out on a quarter of your audience. We live in a mobile-first world, and failing to reach people where they are is just dropping the ball.
Not only this, but also, people spend an alarming amount of their day on devices, with smartphones leading the way.
Those who use a smartphone spend almost three hours per day on it.
80% use a smartphone daily, compared to just 67% who use a computer.
What does this mean for you? For the first time ever, smartphone usage has surpassed even that of computers. Optimizing your content on a native mobile application is now an even greater priority than doing so for the desktop experience.
At this point, your guard may be going up. Who would prioritize a mobile strategy over their website? After all, many of us spend a majority of the day in front of a computer. And when we have a question, it’s definitely one of the first places we turn for answers. By no means is mobile a replacement for the desktop experience, but when you’re thinking about the role that mobile plays in people’s usage of their different devices, it’s important to consider how or why your audience is using an app; it’s about convenience, speed, and ease. People aren’t just looking for answers when they happen to be in front of a computer. It’s a 24/7 endeavor. And the data show, they’re now turning to their phones far more often than any other device, when they need reliable content and information.
39% of people search only on their smartphone. And more searches happen on mobile than on computers and tablets for 15 of the 24 hours in any given day.
Mobile-optimized websites vs. the Native App
Let’s take a look at another study. In a March 2016 study looking at data collected by Google Analytics, researchers determined that 53% of people will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load. We expect relevant information, fast. But here’s the thing: Google further tested 900,000 mobile sites around the world and found that the average time it takes to fully load a mobile page is 22 seconds. So mobile websites are taking forever to load, and people aren’t putting up with it. There’s a huge disconnect there, and it’s a problem that’s inherent in the current state of mobile-optimized websites and network speed.
If a mobile-optimized website isn’t the answer, what is?
A key part of the mobile experience is about personalization and extending your brand presence. And the means of achieving that is by giving your audience the opportunity to download a native mobile app straight on their devices – one that learns about them and prove itself to be truly valuable. When we take another look at the data, we find this to be the case:
89% of US marketers reported that personalization on their apps resulted in an increase in revenue. (source)
When an app on your phone is personalized to you (meaning it learns and remembers information about you, your interests and disinterests, the types of content you typically engage with…) it makes a world of difference in increasing usage and ensuring your users are actually seeking your app out. And by being smart with the data that’s available to you and better understanding how your users are interacting with your content on mobile, you can scale personalization far more easily. If you’re a Guidebook user, check out Audience Insights — it’s a ridiculously easy way of learning all about your users.
People also expect companies to have a unified brand presence across all platforms. It’s one thing to be present on mobile, but an entirely different one to be able to say you’re effectively communicating your brand.
63% of people expect brands to deliver a consistent experience every time they interact with that brand… yet only 42% of brands do. (source)
Your audience interacts with you and your brand on multiple devices, and it’s important that you’re providing a consistent experience across them. Check out how it’s easier than ever to brand your app. You should be aiming to deliver fast, relevant, useful experiences, and lay the groundwork early with a strong mobile presence that’s available both online and offline.
So there you have it. The data clearly says people expect relevant content and information to be available to them on their phones quickly, seamlessly, and intelligently. Now how are you going to address it?