It’s now common to see people deeply focused on the screens of their mobile phones everywhere we go. You can imagine a scene from The Crocodile Hunter, where the late Steve Irwin narrates the behavior of a small gathering of individuals who are seen with their noses buried in screens. In his thick Australian accent, he’d probably say something like, ‘Look at those beauts in their natural habitat.’
While mobile marketing channels have seen growth overall, B2B industries are still wrapping their heads around the growth of mobile adoption. Therefore, businesses need to turn to their own analytics to determine the importance of mobile channels specifically for their audiences. Apparently, mobile visits are relatively unimportant in some B2B markets, making it considerably challenging for some businesses to generate leads through this channel.
However, the Boston Consulting Group came up with an interesting report after in-depth research on B2B mobile use and found that 80% of B2B buyers are using their mobile devices at work and more than 60% reveal that mobile played a considerable role in a recent purchase. In addition, 70% of B2B buyers experienced a significant increase in their mobile usage over the past two to three years, and 60% are expected to continue this trend.
The growing number of mobile users have prompted businesses to tap into this wealth of opportunity. This has resulted in the discovery that many mobile users are consuming more than twice the minutes compared to desktop users. For this reason, many B2B marketers are now focused on developing more effective mobile marketing strategies.
And who can blame them?
Mobile Is Increasingly Taking Over the Customer Journey
The same BCG study also found that B2B online inquiries are moving rapidly from desktops and laptops to smartphones, with Google reporting around 50% of B2B queries being made through mobile devices. This is expected to grow to 70% by 2020. The one factor that drives this number up is the increasing amount of time spent on mobile devices at work. It is estimated that mobile usage per B2B individual will increase from two hours a day to three by 2020. This change is largely driven by the digital generation and the increasing use of smartphones by the more senior demographic.
These may appear to be impressive numbers, but they are still small as opposed to B2C. However, the good news is it’s growing steadily. According to Forrester research, the B2B e-commerce industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4%, reaching a value of $1.2 trillion by 2021. It’s worth noting that the majority of B2B purchases are already influenced by internet research, with an increasing percentage done on mobile.
Businesses are making headway in mobilizing websites and developing functional apps, but they need to understand that going mobile is just the beginning. Digital marketers must also understand that a customer’s preferences, expectations, and intent change, including how they interact with different platforms.
What You Should Be Doing to Effectively Market B2B on Mobile
B2B buyers are using their mobile devices to conduct research on their needs and find other sources of information, potential vendors, and service providers. So, what should you be doing to effectively market B2B products and services on mobile and reach these modern buyers?
- Become a mobile leader
A mobile leader is data-driven and analytical, with having an in-depth understanding of their customers’ behavior beyond buyer personas. You should know the strategies to put into action within a specific budget. You should have the behavioral understanding of a marketer, with the technical know-how to be crafty on the product side, not to mention some expertise in mobile tech. There should also be an understanding of the process involved in funnel analysis and the importance of branding.
Beyond the skill sets, a mobile leader’s power lies in their ability to predict the future of mobile and its impact on the brand. This level of understanding and innovation is what will lead to success.
- Focus on user experience
In the age of customer-first best practices, optimizing the user experience becomes one of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign. When it comes to mobile, this means optimizing the mobile experience so that the value provided to mobile buyers is maximized. This goes beyond simply creating a mobile-friendly version of your website and covers every aspect of the mobile buying experience.
- Optimize for local mobile search
Mobile devices are a reliable option for local searches since mobile searches are initiated later on in the sales funnel. On the other end, desktop search is mostly done by those who are more inclined to gather additional information.
Google is continuously working on local search to be a ranking factor, so optimizing for it will definitely be important in the near future. Expect to see many more B2B companies with increased mobile visibility where they target highly-focused queries to boost they click-through rates.
- Social media optimization
Most B2B buyers are actively using social media to conduct research and make their purchasing choices. Added to that, social media consumption is one of the leading activities that people conduct on their mobile devices. And with Facebook and YouTube becoming more popular in running social media searches on a daily basis, creating content that aims to be shared is what you should focus on.
The mobile adoption trend has forced traditional digital marketing strategies to evolve and focus more on the customer experience via handheld devices. As a marketer, adapting to these changes is a must, particularly now that people rely on their smartphones to facilitate almost everything, from buying and acquiring products and services to searching for pertinent information.
Optimizing your mobile channel is an important aspect of creating a sales funnel that drives revenue-building engagement, so optimizing for mobile is a must in planning and executing today’s marketing strategies. It’s time to focus on how to deliver a great experience on each comprehensive mobile customer journey every single time.