99designs marketing manager Niall O’Loughlin gives his thoughts on mobile marketing in 2015.
The power of the mobile marketplace is undeniable, with recent estimates placing the number of users accessing the Internet primarily from their smartphone or tablet at 70%. That number is expected to reach 90% by 2016, as worldwide mobile use grows.
The mobile revolution’s impact on design is multi-fold — inspiring those working on mobile ads, offers and campaigns to think and design in new ways to reach potential customers. Here we’ll take a look at a few fundamental ins and outs of the mobile marketplace, and examine the ways in which they affect design.
(Screen) size does matter
Designing websites and web ads for the laptop user provided ample room and a standard template for design. It wasn’t hard to create banners, sidebars, ads, forms, and Flash for the 1024 pixel-width world. But reaching customers on a range of platforms, including the small-screen world of smartphones, has presented unique challenges for designers.
Responsive design has answered the challenge of adaptability over all devices with layout and content that “knows” how the user is viewing it and adapts accordingly to preserve text flow, image quality and overall appearance. With responsive web design, there are no awkward re-wraps, no orphaned text and no jump-pages. And most appealing to marketers, responsive design options often prove less costly than either app design or adapting large screen features to the small screen.
Keep it simple
From a design perspective the lesson is: keep the message simple, uncluttered and on point. If a user has to hunt for key information or a way to respond, they’re far more likely to go elsewhere. A bold, recognizable logo; clear offer details; and a user-friendly call to action are your best friends. And if an offer is time sensitive, be sure that deadlines are easy to see and remember.
Responding to a mobile ad or campaign should be as easy as possible, and there are a few things designers can do to ensure a seamless user experience. A clear call to action is essential. And be sure the user knows what steps they must take to complete the transaction.
If they must be connected with a sales rep, be sure the call button is easy to find. If there’s a downloadable coupon, make it clear. Avoid designs that force the user to scroll through several screens to get to the response device. And avoid long, complex forms that require the user to key in large amounts of information. Even the best touch-screen typists will find such forms annoying. And above all, check the functionality of every feature requiring customer action to remove any fails or glitches that might cause a customer to look elsewhere.
Optimization and analytics
There are many analytics that helps mobile marketing managers measure if a campaign is effective and determine what specific features and platforms are yielding the most conversions. So from a design perspective, be flexible. Does a landing page need strengthening? Are load times the fastest they could be? Is navigability easy and seamless? These are issues that greatly affect the power and yield of today’s mobile campaigns, and mobile marketing managers expect a high degree of attention to these details. And be prepared to tweak a design strategy from campaign to campaign to increase both reach and conversion rate. The better your working relationship with those managing the campaign, the more likely you are to find success!