This article was originally published in iMedia Connection on January 29, 2015.
When it comes to mobile, businesses are at a tipping point very similar to the one they found themselves in 12-13 years ago with the internet. It was here, a healthy majority of consumers used it, yet businesses found themselves challenged by any and all aspects of the digital revolution: getting online, shifting strategies and business models, designing digital experiences, and generally, with meeting the expectations of digital consumers.
It's déja vu all over again. As a new report from my colleagues at Altimeter Group, "The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience," points out, mobile is no longer delegated to second screen status by many consumers, a trend that will only accelerate. According to comScore, which uses "time spent" to gauge online consumer retail activity, 56 percent of all time spent on U.S. online retail occurs on a mobile device. Yet a mere 16 percent of companies strongly agree they are completely prepared to meet customers' mobile expectations, according to a 2014 study by the CMO Council and SAS. Additionally, some 90 percent of consumers move between devices to accomplish a goal, using an average of three different screen combinations daily.
Consumer needs and expectations have changed, and brands have no choice but to change correspondingly. No longer can they be asked to return to desktop computers to complete tasks there, in a fully functional environment. Mobile experiences must be seamless and stand-alone.
Yet overwhelmingly brands regard mobile as a separate channel, often at a far remove from the customer experience, metrics, brand, and commerce goals or requirements that apply to the rest of digital.
The report (available for download at no cost) provides recommendations for organizations working to overcome the often formidable budgetary, organizational, and most of all, strategic obstacles to becoming not just mobile-first, but eventually mobile-only businesses.
As business shifts digital strategy to mobile strategy, so too will content strategy and content marketing have to realign.
Of the three types of content marketing, utility content, or content that helps consumers achieve a task, is a mobile natural. Sure, we see it on the web (e.g., mortgage calculators, calorie counters), but mobile applications can be stunningly on-brand and creative. From Charmin's on-brand trusty Sit or Squat for finding a nearby and accessible public restroom (with user reviews) to robust real estate apps that not only deliver available inventory but also neighborhood data from pricing to schools to crime rates, mobile is useful, hyper-relevant and contextually meaningful.
The other two content marketing buckets: entertaining content and content that's educational and/or informative, also translate naturally to mobile -- but with major shifts from the desktop environment.
Mobile means providing content in form factors native to mobile devices and intuitive to users; swiping, for example, rather than keyboard inputs.
It also means reimagining brand content for mobile platforms. It's no accident that services like Instagram and Tumblr have been ascendant in the wake of mobile's rise -- they're image-based, and on small screens pictures are worth the proverbial thousand words. It's a real estate issue. Content will continue to become more visual -- and audio-visual -- as screens shrink in size.
Mobile is also a determining factor in converged media; the collapsing of paid, owned, and earned channels into just "media." With mobile real estate at a premium, mobile-first means ad, content and social teams will operate seamlessly and in lock step.
Consumers' shift to mobile necessitates a shift in business, and correspondingly in digital, strategy. Content permeates this entire system.
The inevitability of a mobile-only customer experience will have a big impact on how brands create and deliver content.
Before you hire an outside agency to help your content marketing efforts, here are a few key questions you need to ask yourself.
Predictions? Humbug. Never done ‘em, never will. As a research analyst, predictions are antithetical to my methodology, which is research followed by analysis.
Content marketing is hot, but it is not solely created by, inspired by, or used by marketing.
For most of digital marketing’s relatively short history, personalization has been the ne plus ultra of sophisticated marketing.
Content. It’s not just for the marketing department anymore. These last few months I’ve been researching how organizations are forming, and benefitting from, what my co-author Jessica Groopman and I are terming a “Culture of Content.”
We can all pretty much universally agree that with native advertising comes the obligation of disclosure and transparency.
When Facebook announced last week that it will soon become more difficult for brands’ page posts to appear in the news feeds of their friends, fans, and followers, the outcry was predictable.
What goes into creating and fostering an organizational culture of content? As an analyst that’s the topic I’m currently researching.
Social selling has become a hot topic. Organizations in every industry are working feverishly to leverage social platforms and social networks for a number of reasons
Now more than ever, content must be recombinant. This means a critical component of content strategy is the ability to rapidly dissemble, reassemble, reuse, repurpose, and remodel discrete elements of digital content.
Content Marketing: How do we do it globally?
We’re pleased to announce that Susan Etlinger, Brian Solis and Rebecca Lieb are each speaking at this year’s event.
In this 45-minute webinar, analyst Rebecca Lieb shares best practices for your content marketing software selection process.
Our research found that the content marketing space is rife with challenges, both internal to the organization and externally across the ecosystem. The following infographic helps visualize this struggle.
How should content be measured and analyzed? Let us count the ways (or at least begin to).
How should content be measured and analyzed? Let us count the ways (or at least begin to).
How much does content marketing cost? Tough question, right? So let’s break the question down a bit to try to simplify it.
We recognize that existing RFP templates cannot be retrofitted to the task of soliciting content marketing solutions due to a number of specific challenges.
Lately I’ve been doing a ton of work around the content marketing vendor landscape: conducting research, as well as helping clients ascertain what their technology needs are and pinpoint the vendors that can solve their problems.
What’s a digital newsroom? Seems like such a simple question, until you start pondering the potential answers.
Michael Brenner has long been a recognized leader in content marketing in his role as VP marketing at SAP. Very recently, he joined content marketing technology vendor NewsCred to head strategy for that company…
Murky research collided with lazy journalism last week to create a torrent of #socialmedia + #advertising = #fail link bait.
In this one-hour webinar, Rebecca Lieb will share findings from her recent research report on how content marketers should select content marketing tools.
You know about ad stacks, right? Get ready to say hello to the next big thing in content marketing technology: the content marketing stack.
Our new research report, The Content Marketing Software Landscape: Marketer Needs & Vendor Solutions, published today to help marketers navigate the tangled and complex content marketing software landscape.
Rebecca Lieb shares findings from her recent research report on real-time marketing, including the top 6 use cases, the benefits and risks, and 12 best practices.
It’s almost that time of year again: Altimeter’s analysts are mapping SXSW plans and schedules. Making the trip to Austin this year are Brian Solis, Susan Etlinger and Rebecca Lieb.
As digital channels operate increasingly in the ‘now,’ all marketing organizations must consider to what degree they will function in real-time, and even define what real-time is relative to their operations and marketing organization.
If you’re a marketer who has evaluated native advertising offerings, then you’re likely already familiar with Facebook’s suggested posts, Twitter’s sponsored tweets and hashtags, or sponsored content on any number of online publications.
What is native advertising and, by extension, what is it not?
Not since the legislative debate over spam back in the early part of the millennium has a digital marketing term been so riddled by obfuscation and misunderstanding as native advertising.
Watch this webinar with industry analyst Rebecca Lieb, to explore scalable organizational models for addressing content needs across the enterprise.
More than a handful of brands publish more content now than a major media property such as Time Magazine did 25 years ago.
That Time of Year is rapidly approaching: “Will you be there?” “Are you speaking?” “When are you in town?” The Altimeter Group analysts attending SXSW 2013 next month are Jeremiah Owyang, Brian Solis, Susan Etlinger, Chris Silva and Rebecca Lieb.
Advertising and media are converging. The results will disrupt how companies must deploy their marketing efforts.
In the late 20th century, when the commercial internet was in its infancy, there was no end to the griping about “silos.” Back then silos referred to That Which Is Digital and That Which Is Not Digital. The gripe (from the digital side of the equation) was that the not-digital team got all the budget, […]
There’s been a rash of news stories recently with headlines so misleading it’s hard to believe they passed editorial muster. Yet a quick search of Google News reveals no less than five articles with ledes very much like this one: P&G to cut 1600 staff after CEO discovers digital media is free.
If you have a website, a blog, or even a Facebook or Twitter presence, you are a publisher. Think like one: build a digital content strategy that embraces words, images and multimedia to systematically enhance consumer engagement and conversion rates.
In this book, leading search optimization expert Rebecca Lieb brings together more than 50 absolutely crucial facts and insights decision-makers must know to drive more web traffic through better search engine placement.