The past few years have witnessed a significant power shift towards mobile users which is only projected to increase over time. Although the mobile industry initially offered such basic services such as search and social networking, mobile users have come to expect a new level of functionality integrating location-based services and mobile payments.
Mobile devices have taken a more central role in users’ lives, from research and content consumption to social sharing and shopping. In 2014, more than 1.75 billion users will use smartphones, continuously proving to be much more than just “on the go” devices. Practices should therefore seize the opportunity to capture and engage potential patients across mobile devices and through different openings, such as search and social.
The growth of mobile advertising will depend on how well it brings ‘relevance’ to the customer and ‘ROI’ to the advertiser by mapping customer information and buying patterns.
Consider the User
Once mobile ads are functioning, practices should think about the experience the patient will have. A mobile-friendly website is a must. Nothing discourages a user more than reaching a website not optimised for their device and having to navigate through a clunky mobile experience. Marketers should start by focusing on the key components of their site, seeking ways to create a simplified and streamlined mobile environment.
Patients are increasingly using mobile search to find local information. Innovative solutions such as the Google ‘Click-to-call’ feature will drive increased search usage, advertisements, and payments. You tap the icon, a call connects you to the practice and you make an appointment. Once marketers enable click-to-call functionality, it’s crucial to track this activity and analyse calls. By associating phone calls back to ads and keywords, marketers can discover what works best.
‘Geofencing’ is used by advertisers to connect with people when they are within a certain location of a business.
For some customers mobile is a communication tool whereas for others it’s also a shopping tool. Initially the trend was to use a mobile to do quick comparisons, and location-based searches without using it for payments. Mobile payments have not really taken off due to a lack of awareness about mobile payment functions and perceived risks.
Users are now selecting solutions that allow them to have a seamless experience across multiple devices such as desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile. Although people use different devices in different situations, they expect a unified experience, so receiving duplicate ads across their multiple devices will create a poor user experience. Consistency and relevance’s are the key to successful advertising.
Data Protection & Privacy
This has always been a sensitive subject, even more so when it comes to mobile data protection and privacy. The majority of users are unaware that some businesses have strong ‘opt-out’ policies which will stop targeted ads using inferred data about a customer but they will still receive generic ads. Despite these concerns, with more awareness, better policy control and accountability, the mobile industry is set to transform businesses.
Embrace the Mobile Era
The time is now to invest and capitalise on mobile. The best thing businesses can do is to research and understand the trends in mobile consumer search, social behaviour and the various ad options available in the market. Marketers must embrace the mobile shift and develop well-informed strategies.
If you would like any further information then give Dental Design a call on: 01202 677 277