Imagine this conversation.
“So, you are a marketer,” said the prospect. “In your mind, what makes your company stand out?”
“That’s right,” says Marketer X. “I have one of the most followed blogs in the business, I’ve written x book on marketing, and I have an extremely well followed Twitter account. That’s why brands like xx, xx, and xx trust my company with their digital marketing.”
“But your website doesn’t offer a responsive design,” said the prospect. She swipes her iPhone and shows Marketer X a painfully small rendition of Marketer X’s company blog/website. “Why not?”
Unfortunately for most marketers (and PR pros), they won’t have a chance to defend themselves because the prospect won’t give them a meeting.
This is the curse of digital. When you become wed to the medium, you must evolve with it. And though many have built businesses around digital, they are struggling to adapt to the mobile revolution.
You, see I wrote a blog post for Gravy analyzing top marketing and PR bloggers for their responsive design and social network presence. What I thought would be a quick research exercise turned into a three-hour odyssey. Many, many of the top voices in the business don’t offer a responsive, adaptive or a mobile specific website design.
The marketing digirati disconnect occurs in spite of blogs regularly citing how important mobile is becoming. Or that marketing consultants use mobile media throughout the day to maintain social networks. Or that they regularly sell digital media strategies.
It was shocking moving from site to site. Whether the website failed to offer any mobile design at all or a cheap WP Touch plugin bandaid — which was great in 2011, but not OK for 2014 — I left surprised.
Perhaps many of the voices offering marketing savoir faire are really just strong in social media with a grounding in a more traditional discipline. But like big data and the analytical skills it requires, mobile presents a new domain that’s often simply batched in as part of the overarching marketing mix. That’s a mistake.
The Necessity of Offers a Mobile Friendly Site
Mobile is not a new wrinkle. People interact with media differently using smartphones, which in turn requires new communication approaches.
The contextual marketing revolution that everyone is talking about pivots off of mobile location. It requires relevancy and a strict approach towards permission-based marketing. Further, to succeed you need to understand geofencing and how distance triggers different behaviors.
Many methods that work on a computer or even a tablet, don’t translate on a mobile phone. Here are a few examples: Long text pieces, a lack of rich media, comment centric media, and generally small calls to action (e.g. links and small buttons) that aren’t easily pressed on with a finger.
Instagram, Snapchat and Vine are rocking it in large part because of their simple nature and rich media formats. These types of short rich media posts work well on mobile platforms. Further, Twitter’s renaissance has as much to do with the rise of smartphones as it does with Jack Dorsey’s return to the helm.
Moving forward, 2014 is the year of separation. Clients will start qualifying vendors by their ability to deliver a mobile experience. And while most social media marketers don’t feature a responsive design for their consultancy, enough do. Part of qualifying marketers will include an analysis of their own mobile offerings, including responsive or adaptive website design.
In the post social media revolution era, talking responsiveness is cheap. Sites speak louder.
What do you think? Is a responsive, adaptive or mobile-specific site a must?