Formulate an Effective Mobile Strategy
The "Year of the Tablet" was heralded by the consumer electronics show in January, followed in March by Apple's release of the iPad 2. Amid all the tablet hype are even more telling numbers—according to Nielsen, smartphones will constitute the majority of mobile phones used by the end of 2011, and Morgan Stanley estimates smartphone sales will exceed PC sales in 2012. By 2018, research and consultancy mediaIDEAS believes smartphones will constitute 90 percent of the cell phone market.
All this growth makes formulating a mobile strategy imperative for publishers, yet, amid successive waves of device releases and competing ideas for building and monetizing mobile audiences, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Publishing Executive tapped a range of experts to clarify the picture.
Senior Vice President of Interactive at Meredith Corp.
When Meredith Corp. acquired mobile marketing firm The Hyperfactory last July, it signaled its commitment to a comprehensive mobile strategy. Combining smart use of audience data with a "test and learn" approach, the publisher has seen great success with apps.
Know what devices your audience uses-and track their behavior. Women are "huge mobile users," Wiener says, adopting smartphones at a pace equal to men. To understand audience behavior, Meredith began tracking distribution statistics to see how women were accessing newsletters sent to readers of magazines like Better Homes and Gardens. "What we started seeing is that increasingly the iPhone and the iTouch were showing up as device sources," she says. Information like this helped influence Meredith to prioritize mobile.
Optimize mobile sites. The data told Meredith more than simply how consumers were coming to the company's products. Web page use frequency was much higher when e-mails were opened from computers versus mobile devices—two pages per visit from mobile compared to 10 to 20 pages when accessed through a conventional browser. "[We found] when you open an e-mail from your computer it was a great experience, but when you open that same e-mail from your phone, if your website is not mobilized—if you do not have a dedicated mobile site that is specifically formatted for the phone—the consumer experience is not very good," Wiener said.