Last week, I Googled myself. It wasn’t all predictive search bars, pins on a map and ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ results – but it was still fun.
The reality of it was that I was lucky enough to be invited down to Google HQ in Sydney for a mobile marketing event hosted by the Global Head of Mobile Solutions. Before I get into the event and my key take-outs I’m going to answer the one question that I’m sure everyone has… yeah, the Google offices are cool.
I only saw a small area of their office but what I did see was a climbing wall, pool tables, a puzzle room, a secret passage way hidden behind a bookcase, even unicycles in the foyer! Everything you’ve heard is true.
Now back to the event. It was jam-packed with all things mobile and all things Google. The emphasis of the event was to highlight the importance of a mobile first approach to digital advertising as we head into 2017 – and when you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
It’s increasingly common for us to turn to our mobiles first in order to find the information we need, when we need it. As you read this, how far away from you is your mobile phone? I’m guessing it’s pretty close. I’ll also guess that it’s not been too long since the last time you looked at it for one reason or another? … It’s okay if I’m right, you’re not alone.
The world of digital changes so rapidly, it’s super important to understand consumer behaviour and keep on top of the trends. At the end of the day there is no bigger trend right now than the shift to mobile. It’s important to note that this isn’t a new thing, it’s something we’ve been working towards at BCM for a while now. The key point about the shift to mobile is that if you’re not on board now, with the speed at which things move you run the risk of getting left behind.
So, according to Google data on an average day close to 40% of people use only a smart phone to search as they look to meet their immediate needs. Further to this – more Google searches are happening on smartphones than computers.
If we look further at device preference, on an average day 1 in 4 users only use a smartphone (as in, do not use a desktop at all). What this actually means if you’re not effectively planning for mobile you could be missing out on 25% of your potential audience.
The idea is that mobile is where it begins and ends for a lot of consumers. A single user might Google an idea that pops into their head while they’re out and about. Take that idea home and conduct further research on their desktop computer and then return to mobile closer to the point of purchase when they’re in the showroom or shopping centre.
This behavioural trend doesn’t just have implications for the creative or the media buy, being mobile first impacts the entire experience. This includes user experience, website experience, the speed at which things load or play and the way in which users can interact or discover content. From beginning to end, users shouldn’t feel inconvenienced by using their mobile device to connect with your content, website or brand. It should be natural, user-friendly and seamless.
Being mobile first doesn’t just mean right place, right message, right time. It’s also about right experience, right interface, right speed… right everything. I guess the key takeaway from the event was that when planning any activity, think mobile first – because your customers will.
Dave Mooney is a Digital Strategist at BCM