3 tips for getting into the hands and pockets of mobile users in Australia
Australia has one of the highest penetrations of smartphones and tablets in the world at 81% and 50%+ respectively according to the Deloitte: Australian Media Use and Preferences August 2014, that's higher than our cousins in the US, Canada and even just across the gap in New Zealand. This is also backed up by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA): Tablets, Love at first swipe research.
When the iPhone was originally launched, the Australian Trade Practices Act deemed it uncompetitive to launch on only one carrier and as a result of a multi-carrier launch we have an exceptionally heavy dominance of iPhones. This device ubiquity is a significant opportunity for marketers to capitalise on and unique amongst global markets.
So, if the average Australian is no more than arms reach from their mobile phone for more than 14 hours per day, why is it that less than 5% of all advertising dollars is being spent in this channel, when the IAB in the UK report this figure to be 13.4% in 2014 and forecast to be over 20% this year?
You don’t know what you don’t know
One of the often-cited reasons for the low mobile ad spend is the lack of understanding of what is possible. This is accentuated by an over-reliance on media agencies that have their legacy in above the line channels such as print, TV and outdoor media (and who may also not fully understand the capability of this new and exciting digital channel or have the resources to invest in in-house mobile expert)
So what can you do?
My top tips for anyone looking to get into mobile are:
- Tip 1: Take a look your current website access from mobile – what is it as a % of overall site traffic? Where was it 3/6/12 months ago? How has it grown and extrapolate the trend to help you understand where it might be. Mary Meeker predicted that globally there will be more access to the internet from mobile than fixed line internet by 2014, so if you’re not thinking about your mobile audience now, then you are already behind!
- Tip 2: Analyse your competitors’ mobile offering:
- Do they have an app? What does it do and what doesn’t it do? How does it rank and what is the general feedback (Note: there are two types of app store reviews, 5 star reviews, also known as employees and then the more candid less than 5 star reviews that offer a real insight into where the app can be improved and how).
- Is their site optimized for mobile? How does the experience differ from desktop, if at all?.
- Are they active in mobile search? If so how do their results look (i.e. do they have click to call, do they have map extensions? Is the landing page optimized for mobile?).
- Tip 3: Raise your glance and look for global best practices and remember that it doesn’t have to be from the same industry – what can you learn from other global players in your space? What can you implement from other businesses, i.e. how are they using mobile payments, how are they incentivizing users?To illustrate this Snapchat has recently introduced a payment option called Snapcash (via a partnership with payment provider Square) which uses the same ‘gaming style’ functionality as the rather banal, but successful app ‘Make it rain’. In the payment options you can now simply swipe the dollar bills to the person you are trying to pay – it’s simple, fun and certainly appeals to Snapchats younger audience profile.
If you are about to embark on your mobile journey, have a plan of where you think you are going and keep it simple. In the initial stages try to understand the fundamentals - android v iOS, tablet v smartphone, in-app v mobile web – what is the difference in performance of these channels with your audience and how can these insights help you to refine your plan for the next stage of mobile evolution.
Finally don’t fall into the John Wannamaker trap
Tag your pages, goals and paths to garner as many useful insights as you can. Be realistic about where you are and constantly be scanning for new opportunities that arise in this ever-evolving mobile space.