5 Mistakes You’re Probably Making While Marketing on Mobile

Many companies think that if their brand name pops up on the first page of a mobile search, they are doing well.  The problem is that consumers are using more than just mobile search to drive their research and purchase decisions, so if your company doesn’t have a comprehensive mobile experience with all the information that your customer needs, many customers will likely abandon you for a better mobile competitor.

Here are some common mistakes that companies make while marketing on mobile:

Mistake #1: Not Investing in Search

When your customer searches on their mobile phone, they’re typically looking for timely information to help them make a decision. In fact, research shows that 57% of mobile users want to speak to a real person about store hours, the inventory that is in the store and where you are located. Based on slower load times, customers are not as willing to guess your URL and hope that you have an easy to navigate website. Instead, they depend on search results to direct them.

Today’s search campaigns allow businesses to set up ad extensions which can include an address and one-click access to a website, directions and phone number. Some ads even pull store or product rankings, store hours and more. Some customers may scroll down and click into your website but knowing that approximately 70% of mobile searches end up with a visit within the hour, why not invest in paid search to get them to key information more easily?

We did a quick search for our local pet stores. If you’ve just run out of dog food, which store would you choose?










Mistake #2: Forgetting the Post-Click Experience

Once your customer has found your company using mobile search, ensure your website is optimized for their visit. Regardless of whether you design your web experience using responsive design or you create a dedicated mobile site, you’ll need to think through the design and content and prioritize elements based on your visitors.

Consider two user scenarios as a starting point:

1) The on-the-go site visitor

This person is browsing on their commute home or perhaps in another store. Make it simple to find information that they may need urgently – phone number, store hours, store locations, parking availability, etc. Prioritize this content above the fold to ensure these time-limited visitors find what they need.

2) The relaxed browser

Whether they are on their couch or in the office break room, this person is not in as much of a hurry. They are browsing your newest inventory, cavorting / saving things they might want to revisit later, doing product and price comparison and in general, are willing to have a more immersive experience. Ensure there’s plenty of content for these visitors and provide them with access to tools that help them archive / favorite items, create a shopping list and share with friends / family.

We’ve seen some businesses that have a very simple landing page dedicated to mobile visitors but with today’s faster connections and smarter phones, customers are willing to immerse themselves and you don’t want to come up short. Other businesses are too generous with content and bury the most important elements that could lead to conversion.

Balance customers needs by starting with these two users in mind and implement analytics to see which pages people are spending time on. Continuously work to re-prioritize content and it’s positioning to create an experience that suits your customers’ needs.

a b c









Mistake #3: Missing Opportunities to Personalize

There are many benefits to enabling accounts on mobile. Once a person logs in, you can show them:

-        account or order history,

-        frequented or favorite stores,

-        available deals or offers,

-        next appointment, flight or gym class,

-        saved recipes and more.

Brands like Target greet customers based on the time of day and remember their favorite stores, so when a customer wants to check inventory on a product, they don’t have to select their store each time. Likewise, Starbucks shows account histories, available rewards, card balances and even allows customers to send personalized gift card to each other.

Personalization features save time and money and they establish closer relationships with customers.

x y z









Mistake #4: Making it Hard to Buy

Not all, but some of your customers are ready to buy now. Whether they purchase from you often or are buying from you for the first time, make it easy for them to create or access their account and make a purchase.

One example of a store that makes it easy to buy from their mobile site or app is Amazon.com.  Shoppers can easily search for items, add them to the cart and buy using their 1-click system. When people are logged in, this system recalls shipping and billing addresses, shipping method and preferred payment preferences. Knowing that they won’t have to enter and re-enter your information each time they visit Amazon, makes customers return more often because they know that the experience will be quick and easy.

For those customers not ready to buy yet, companies should establish a Wish List so that customers can remember what they were browsing. This will cause the customers to be much more likely to come back and purchase these items later. Similarly, recommendation tools can help your customers remember to buy complimentary products like batteries or HDMI cables to go with their purchases. Lastly, gift registries help direct customers to your site and they ensure that customers buy the perfect gifts.










Mistake #5: Forgetting to Remind Customers of your New and Improved Mobile Experiences

You’ve made the investment to “go mobile” but for those customers who are not yet “mobile first”, use owned media properties to tell them about how your mobile solutions can save them time and money. Whether that’s a sign in a Target store reminding shoppers that they can use their wife to access Target.com or a card on the Walgreens pharmacy counter announcing their “scan to refill” solution, shoppers will appreciate being the first to know the latest mobile news.

Use search extensions and display ads to promote mobile app downloads and when people visit your mobile site, let them know if there’s a mobile app available which might make their experience even better. Create a landing page on your desktop site to tell customers about mobile experiences and use email newsletters to mention the tools. When Sephora first launched their mobile app, they gave shoppers free iPhone cases to talk up the new program.

Knowledge is power!

Don’t lose out on prospective customers or even your loyal customers by not focusing on your mobile strategy. In addition to this checklist, imagine scenarios of when, where and why customers would be looking for your company and continuously improve your strategy to cater to their needs. Approximately 64% of Americans now own a Smartphone – these are power users that you don’t want to ignore. They now expect businesses to have a seamless shopping experience and this might make the difference between a sale for you and a sale for your competitor.


Molly Garris and Karen Mishra are the co-authors of the forthcoming Mobile Marketing Strategies which will be published by Business Expert Press later this year.  You can reach them @MollyGarris and @KarenMishra.

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