There are, believe it or not, plenty of marketers in businesses both large and small, who are content and proud they have a Web site, Facebook Page and Twitter account. That’s fantastic, but there’s still a pervasive, sticky failure out there to realize just how fast social media trends move. It’s change at speeds that can quickly and easily leave you in the dust.
The speed at which the marketing world is changing, from traditional media to digital, has been an often anxiety-inducing challenge for old guard corporate structures that were never built to move quickly or nimbly. As soon as they figured out Web sites, things moved on to search. As soon as they figured out search, things moved on to social. Now before social has even been fully realized and maximized, marketers are again squinting through the dust and seeing that the landscape has changed once again.
Specifically, it’s the shift to mobile devices that has seemingly blown in overnight. Were you ready for it? Are you ready for it? Because now, marketers have to figure out where their place is in the device app world.
Flurry tells us US consumers spent an average 94 minutes a day with their mobile device apps vs. 72 minutes a day in mobile browsers. That trend accelerated dramatically over the last few months. Armed with their iPhones, Androids, tablets and iPads, the public is being presented with clean and optimized ways of doing everything they need to do and finding everything they need to find on these devices they love so much. If you were counting on mobile users accessing your site with the mobile browser, count again. They want custom, optimized experiences for their device.
Startups and developers are doing what they’re quite known for doing. Adapting, shifting gears, pivoting, whatever it takes to make sure they’re in position for where things are next week vs. where things were last week. They’re fast, and always looking forward. Mahalo staked their claim in web-based how-to guides. Now they’re all about iPad video apps. Instagram was built for mobile right out of the gate. Suddenly, Facebook needed to acquire them for a tasty sum because they were so far ahead in the mobile photo-sharing arena.
The Hearst Digital Media group says traffic coming to their brands’ sites from devices grew 5% to 19% in a year, a 2000% increase in mobile access. A third of Cosmo’s page view activity is coming from devices. What’s driving that? Device-optimized sites. When those were launched, Hearst saw a 74% increase in mobile page views in the first month. They fully expect mobile traffic to comprise up to 45% of all their traffic by the end of 2012.
Need a Dramamine yet? Here’s more. The Association of American Publishers put out their net sales report, and revenue from eBooks surpassed hardcover books in Q1 of 2012, racking up $282.3 million. Audiobook downloads are also accelerating, as book fans use devices to read and/or listen wherever they please.
So here’s the not so subtle message: marketers, if they haven’t already, have got to assess their visibility in the mobile device app-driven world that’s already upon us. That may involve purchasing surface space in apps for your ads, forming full blown partnerships with app companies and developers, generating your own branded content optimized for devices, creating and producing your own apps, or a combination of the above.
It’s a safe bet that to make any of that happen effectively, marketing departments have got to find the internal mechanisms that slow down adoption, innovation and educated risk-taking, and eliminate them so they’re not caught coughing up dust.