Hacking the digital eco-system
While marketers try make sense of mobile strategy, what apps they need, platforms and how to fit their brands into all of this, dotJWT’s Yoav Tchelet, says responsive design is the answer. It’s certainly the latest buzzword in the industry.
“Brands don’t need a mobisite or website catering to each device, but one destination that will fit any screen, any size and any platform. It is not a technology, it’s more of a philosophy.”
He is quick to say it is not a fad because search engine superpowers, Google and Yahoo have publically stated that they do not favour the multiple approach for businesses.
He agrees that South Africa is “way behind the curve”, with most marketers never having heard of responsive design.
It’s also a way for brands to streamline costs and content. He doesn’t believe brands need a mobisite to cater for feature phone content and then another site for smartphones and then yet another brand website and an app, all of which do the same thing.
“Brands need one site, tailormade for all devices. I see us moving into one kind of eco-system that can power everything, all your content in one place, no matter the platform. It is much cheaper and easier to collate the data, segment the data and your data is more accurate. Brands need to look at the user experience with your brand across the entire platform, rather than targeting little pockets at a time,” Tchelet explains.
He charges that too many ad agencies and digital agencies are still driven by profit motives. “They tell the client ‘we need specialist CRM, a specialist mobile division, then it’s sexy and we can do stuff and make lots of money…’
“I hate the word integration, it is misused. But the big trend going into this year is around this lifestyle: multitasking, hypertasking and mobile is the centre point of reference for people.”
Tchelet’s next big thing is one eco-system for digital, especially with mobile. “Look at people’s habits with watching TV with their mobiles… when you start segmenting and isolating your audience, then it becomes harder to understand what is going on.”
With content, Tchelet advises brands not to overcomplicate things.
“Google touched on this with its moment of truth: if you have one ecosystem for a brand then you have one platform to touch people at each point and it makes it that much easier to reach out. Especially for harvesting data.”
Data has of course always been there, but brands don’t always know what to do with the data.
“We need one eco-system and with responsive design, brands can move towards. Apps have their place and are important, but must be led strategically and not by any ‘ticking of the box’ only.
Richard Mullins, director at Acceleration, says marketers need to be clear on their digital strategy when it comes to mobile.
“Mobile is part of digital. People have a mobile agency, a social media agency, a digital agency, an email agency, an advertising agency – five agencies playing in each other’s space. We walk in and go: ‘What is your digital strategy? And within that, what component is focussed on mobile?’”
Mobile search was becoming more popular, says Mullins and brands needed to optimise their websites to mobile for search too.
“You are now engaging much deeper with clients on mobile, but how do you lead them back to your website? Is your website mobile friendly, do you have an app for them to download? What we are finding is a lack of integration of digital strategy, or it is limited to a particular channel.”
Mullins said it was the same with email as part of the marketing mix.
“Someone came to me and said ‘email is dead’. Are you insane? Email volumes have doubled with social media. People are checking their email more regularly to see social media alerts and updates. How much of that is being customised from a mobile perspective?”
These are Mullins’ priorities for mobile:
1. Before they get to mobile, marketers need to prioritise digital strategy, make decisions around where to invest money and budget.
2. iNSIGHT into the habits of consumers at specific times of day with their mobile devices is key to targeting content in the mobile channel.
3. Engagement with apps. “When I push a message out, from an email perspective, it needs to be deliverable on mobile and desktop environments, but also needs to be put into the app.
4. If you are putting out a digital strategy, the key component is understanding that data, how you measure that data and how you use it to build your strategic direction.
5. If you want to go into mobile, I tell clients to go away and get a good analytical platform that includes social media, to see how much of your consumers are engaging with you on mobile and in which environment.
6. Make decisions based on people’s actual engagement with you, rather than what you think. “Marketers don’t really know where consumers are consuming their content digitally or how it is impacting on their brand. Once you understand digital in its broader format, you understand mobile and how it impacts.