Mobile advertising, marketing and support still lags behind where it should be

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Staff at this award-winning consumer PR agency have long been advocates of going mobile. As smartphones and tablets have progressed the possibilities such devices offer have come forward leaps and bounds, meaning that in theory most people should be able to do away with their home desktop or laptop completely when performing basic and not-so-basic tasks, from gaming to online shopping.
There has been a significant problem in terms of mobile advertising spend, though, and according to a new study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the issue shows now sign of being resolved in the near future. Research shows that only 38% of the UK’s top tech and telecoms brands are optimising paid search for mobile. Given these are companies that should be at the cutting edge of this field, we can therefore assume with some degree of certainty that this trend will continue elsewhere in the business world.
Perhaps more alarmingly still, 6% of those firms involved in the survey were found to have no mobile presence whatsoever, and when you take into account that fact these included Phone Shop by Sainsburys, Windows Phone, and Digital UK- all organisations that make their money from mobile- the figures begin to look even worse. Sky, Three and EE were seen as the top performers, although to some extent we’re surprised at those results too.
Looking at EE, for example, Britain’s largest mobile network, and it doesn’t take long to notice significant problems with its mobile offering. Customers are encouraged to use the app, My EE, for the majority of transactions- not least buying roaming and UK data add-ons, paying monthly bills and ordering new sim cards. Unfortunately, though, as many users will have noticed, all is not well with the app all the time, and in personal experience as a regular business traveller there have been several occasions where the software has failed completely leaving you stranded, at least temporarily.
This, of course, is a completely different issue to optimised paid search for mobile, but realistically speaking points to a similar conclusion. Even companies that are lauded for making huge inroads in terms of the migration towards mobile everything are letting customers down due to faulty systems, meanwhile those who are viewed as the worst in the game are in some instances completely neglecting this potentially fruitful and profitable area of modern business.
So what should we take from this?
Well, put simply, it should inspire business owners of all sizes to think carefully and make informed choices about how to invest in mobile, and consider how they can best serve their customers in this way. By truly focussing on needs and requirements, rather than the latest trends, we can ensure that our mobile presence is fit for purpose. Furthermore, with rigorous testing of models, and placing the emphasis on developing robust systems that provide a fail safe offering, firms can avoid falling foul of the inevitable client wrath that will always follow being let down and feeling poorly serviced.
And, finally, by concentrating on developing a comprehensive mobile presence that doesn’t lag behind in terms of functionality, search optimisation or accessibility (with many firms still shying away from creating apps for Apple in favour of Android) then it’s possible to leapfrog far bigger competition and secure a place at the forefront of the most important aspect of digital in the world right now. Realistically then, when you look at it like that, it’s just basic PR.