MMW Interview: Marketers Making Mobile Optimization a Higher Priority

MMW Interview Marketers Making Mobile Optimization a Higher PriorityThis week, MMW sat down with Marc Poirier, Co-Founder and EVP of Business Development at Acquisio,  for an exclusive interview to discuss the happenings and emerging trends in marketing today.

MMWForbes jokingly called this the “third annual year of mobile,” why is 2014 really the year for marketers to make changes for mobile optimization? 

Marc:    Mobile has been a buzzword for three years, especially for search marketers because search is the fastest growing channel within mobile marketing. Before 2014 mobile was a hot topic because it was new and search marketers were just creating mobile ready ads and mobile ready landing pages.  This year, it’s all about mobile landing page optimization.

Over the past few years there was a sense of urgency to have a landing page for mobile. Once that landing page was created, for most marketers, there wasn’t enough volume to justify optimizing it as well. This year that’s changing. More people are using mobile but they’re not converting.

Search marketers are learning that there needs to be different content displayed on mobile. People are on the move, looking for something local, and the way to connect with those mobile users is with maps and phone numbers directing them to local vendors.

It’s now the time for marketers to think of optimization and to optimize different call to action buttons and different landing page arrangements in order to get more conversions from mobile.

MMW: In your latest webinar with Widerfunnel and Engine Ready, it was said that there is no such thing as a “mobile user.” What does that mean? 

Marc:  It means that the “mobile user” we get all riled up about is actually the same user we market to already, just in a different context.  It’s not as if someone only uses mobile or only desktop. People use various devices in different contexts and it’s important to follow a person’s usage through these different devices.

We are not reaching a unique audience through mobile, it’s more the way we reach that audience that needs to be unique in order to be convincing. So in a way, no, there is no such thing as a “mobile user,” rather that person is simply a user that needs a specialized interface because they are on the move when interacting with content.

MMW: With attention spans now officially shorter than goldfish, how can search marketers capture people’s attention in 8 seconds? Does this change for mobile? 

Marc:  People in search are very specific about what they are looking for. If you take them directly where they want to go you’ll have their attention.

For example, if someone’s basement was flooded and they searched “emergency plumbing” within their city, they’d click on the first ad that matched their search terms best. If the user clicks an ad that says “24 hour emergency plumber” and lands on a complex page without a phone number, a clear call to action, or information that relates to their search query, their attention will be lost and they’ll look somewhere else. If the ad brings the user to a clear landing page where the phone number is visible and clickable and there is all the information they need to make a decision, the user will be more likely to engage.

Query, ad and landing page must all be relevant and in sync with one another.  If you do that correctly you’ll have the user’s attention in less than 8 seconds, no doubt.

MMW:  What are some issues that negatively affect user experience on mobile and how do you suggest mobile marketers go about resolving them? 

Marc:     Not having a mobile ready landing page is an obvious issue. In terms of mobile optimization there are several key factors that negatively affect user experience and by extension conversion rates.

In the webinar we hosted, Chris Goward from Widerfunnel went over several factors to consider when constructing a mobile landing page, namely the user’s value proposition. With an 8 second attention span, the user very quickly weighs the perceived cost against the perceived benefit before taking action. To give your user the best mobile experience, consider these five tips.

  1. Make your mobile experience relevant, as I described before.
  2. Design your page to be clear and easy to follow, visually.
  3. Make sure your page does not cause anxiety – the more links, buttons and fields to fill out the more stress the user experiences.
  4. Ensure there are no distractions on your page by limiting one key message or product to each page.
  5. Make sure the user senses the urgency to act now.

Irrelevant pages, unoptimized and illegible content, anxiety, distractions and no urgency to act are all fatal flaws with mobile landing pages, but also for the entire mobile experience. If you think about your user and test your mobile offering you should be able to find and resolve any of these issues.

MMW: With wearable tech like Google Glass and smart watches, when will it ever not be the year of mobile? 

Marc:   Mobile isn’t slowing down, it’s just morphing into something new thanks to wearable tech.

The GPS today is just a device we stick on our car dashboard, but who’s to say that in the future it won’t be uploaded with a profile of our preferences so that as we drive it suggests nearby vendors we might like. It could say, “you’re close to X shop and they have Y special” and if you want to go, the GPS will direct you there.  That’s the future of mobile – location based advertising. That works for Google Glass and smart watches too.

I don’t know if the year of mobile will ever really end because I sense the year of location based advertising on the horizon.  Only firing ads to people who are nearby and interested (based on the info and the permission users gave to advertisers) is a big deal. Not just waiting for people to search for you but knowing that people penetrated your radius and sending them an offer when they’re close enough to act on it has huge potential. That’s the future, that’s what the next year of mobile will look like.