Your Website Still Matters, Even In A Mobile-First World

Your Website Still Matters, Even In A Mobile-First World

Mobile applications are often considered a replacement for a website because of how quickly mobile got to scale.

But is that the right approach?


A website should still be the backbone of your digital marketing efforts. It should be mobile-friendly, yes. Someone pulling it up from a phone should have a relatively seamless experience with it. But you still need to focus on your website, for a few different reasons:

– You get several pages attached to a single domain.
– It is cost effective.
– You can build a website even by yourself by following simple instructions using tools like WordPress.
– Your business is accessible 24/7.
– Products can be displayed attractively.
– The payments are transparent.
– It helps you in branding.
– A strong online presence attracts customers.

It’s not all positives, though: attracting substantial traffic to your website is a bit difficult and takes time. However, a site once developed and promoted adequately has a far broader reach than any other form of advertising. It will always be the center of your online presence and will help you grow using other social networking sites or pay-per-click advertisement programs.

The website is like a pamphlet which convinces the reader to give the product a try. A website includes information not just about the product but the contact details, career options you offer, significant announcements, achievements you have made, FAQs, etc. It is a comprehensive model that smoothly glides from one page to another making sure that no information sought after is missing.

There is no substitute for a website by any other form of social media — and it is a reliable channel for creating a database of users or potential clients. You can add blogs to your website, increase your visibility by using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, give a description of upcoming activities, organize events, etc. and spread your business across the globe. Many things can be taken care of just by making your web presence worthwhile.

Mobile presence is good, but web presence is even better. Your website serves as your salesperson, your brand ambassador, your marketing tool and a lot more.

So, next time you feel that your app is doing good and you no longer need to focus on your website, consider how functional you would be with and without a site.

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The Importance of Wearable Devices

The Importance of Wearable Devices

With the launch of Series 3 Apple Watch in September 2017 and the extraordinary craze for Fitbit wristbands, wearable devices are once again in the limelight. Though Smartwatches are yet not as successful as Smartphones, the journey from desktop to tablets evidently states that the size of devices is shrinking — but not the market or demand. Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services company, reports that “Wearable Devices are A Potential $1.6 Trillion Dollar Business.”

The success of these wearable gadgets has paced up a revolution where the innovation is not just handy but influencing our lives to the core. People today appreciate devices which blend in with your body and work efficiently.

Wearable technology or wearable devices such as activity trackers, Bluetooth headsets, virtual reality headsets, Bluetooth rings, etc. have given a new dimension to the Internet of Things.

The popularity of wearable devices is increasing day-by-day. Digital watches came into existence in 1972 and today, smartwatches are the most fashionable form of wearable devices. Fitness bands — also incredibly popular — monitor health and focus on fitness by keeping a check on heartbeat, calories, etc. Smart shoes were developed to help visually-challenged people. The launch of Google Glass was itself a revolution. Though hearing aids, Bluetooth headset, etc. have existed, VR headsets took us to the realm of a virtual world.

Wearables are not just for the tech-savvy. It’s also a fashion statement, legitimately. There are jackets with earphones attached to the collar, neckties with a hidden camera and earrings with the microphone. Sony has even filed a patent for a SmartWig embedded with a variety of sensors which is capable of communicating with smartphones. The SmartWig also features built-in GPS, ultrasound transducers that vibrate when obstacles are approaching. The wig also comes with integrated lasers for remote PowerPoint presentations. (That’s not even a joke.) Nothing seems impossible. NeuroOn is another device that regulates sleep and works wonder for jetlag.

These devices are changing our world.

Which heart patient would not love to wear a gym vest which is comfortable and monitors your health? How easy would it be to watch and regulate blood sugar if something on your finger continually tells you when and when not to have a bit of chocolate or pudding? For those who always wake up late and fail to reach office in time, what if there is a ring that vibrates and gently wakes you up at the right time along with examining the quality of sleep you are getting?

The effect of these devices is going to be extensive, and they are already bringing overwhelming changes to the way we live and think. It’ll change everything. It’s not hype.

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When should you build a mobile app?

When should you build a mobile app?

Smartphones have not only changed our perception of using ‘thumb impressions’ but have provided the market with a vast scope for advertising and engaging potential customers.

Mobile apps have become a necessity for the business world. It’s no longer a “nice to have” for a company. It’s a “need to have,” generally. If you don’t have one, aren’t you lagging behind the competition?

The number of mobile users around the world should reach around 5.07 billion by the end of 2019. Currently, there are almost 1.6 million Android apps available in Google Play and about 1.5 million in the Apple App store.

Apps increase customer engagement by reducing the waiting period (loading time) consumed by websites — and can also be used offline. They reduce the cost of advertisement and enhance the visibility of a company’s brand.

Building an app may not be a big deal but making an efficient app surely is. Beware snake oil: there are any number of software “solutions: available on the web which promises developing an incredible mobile application in “a few simple steps.” Usually these are lies.

Developing an app is crucial, and one should invest in it if they must, but only after adequate preparation and research — since it is a costly errand and runs some risk.

There are several things to keep in mind before heading towards developing a mobile app:

Target Audience
Apps are built after websites, so existing customers can be approached to determine whether there is a market for your app or not. If your audience is operational on social media, this could be a yes for you. People are visibly active on different social media handles just because these apps analyze what they like and offer them things as per their taste. (That’s essentially how algorithms work.) One should not forget that hundreds of apps are downloaded and deleted on a regular basis. The content of any app is very audience-specific.

You should also be clear about the motive of your app. What are you going to provide? Is it going to grab their attention? How will you improve the services? Customers are impatient; if you supply good, they demand better.

Time and resources
Investing time and money to something that is not valuable for the clients is futile. Apps not only need a superior budget for development, but need to be maintained and updated time-to-time. Cheap apps do not bring in business — and when there is a scope for other pocket-friendly options why go for an app?

Business requirements
Apps are more useful for businesses that require high customer interaction and engagement. If your competitors have an app, and it is performing well (you can check stats via Google and get a general sense), then it might be time to have an app of your own.

An application with no enticing features and unattractive looks cannot help the business. In the absence of attractive features, the app may get downloaded once but will not be used again by the user. If you are providing customers with something fascinating, it is the time to get closer to the clients.

Technical aspects
Which tool should be chosen and with what theme? How much data will your app consume? Is it 3G/4G compatible or not? Will the app be supported by different smartphone brands? How long will it take to load?

Another significant thing to keep in mind is – ‘is your app free or paid’? People like free stuff but apps of both kinds are downloaded considering their utility. If the concept you are providing is unique and you believe that the target audience might be willing to pay for the services, you need to mark the choice accordingly.

The information being provided on the app should be a clear description of all what you have to offer. The representation is as important as the customer review and compels the reader to download the app.

Other than these, you need to appropriately choose the right platform (iOS/Android) for your App., develop a strategy to deal with negative reviews and other issues.

Is that all?


Developing an app may seem like a relatively easy solution to all the marketing troubles but, several others are doing the same. If you have not made a strategic plan to increase the app’s visibility, you might eventually disappear altogether. You cannot straightforwardly build or launch an app randomly. Even the time of launch and platform need to be analyzed beforehand.

The services need to be provided to the right people at the right time and through the right platform.

Overall, an app makes sense when:

– Your product or service requires high levels of interaction with its user such as activities or Games (like Angry Birds) work better with an app.

– Your services are highly personalized and the content is supposed to be regularly used. e.g., language learning apps.

– You have a successfully running website to serve as the base for your app and you need to add value by increasing the size of your database.

– Your idea is of providing offline access to your users even when offline, a mobile app will work better.

– You need to access a user’s information like messages, location, contacts

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Mobile Impact – It’s Not a Strategy or Tactic

Mobile Impact – It’s Not a Strategy or Tactic

Millennials and mobile. It’s like Taco Bell and 3 AM.

As of early October 2014, there were more mobile devices on the planet than people. Considering that mobile phones only date to 1973 and smartphones only date to about 2007, that’s an insanely rapid growth rate — and it’s affecting everything.

Comedian Aziz Ansari has a section in his new book (Modern Romance) about how people now lead “real lives” (with their families, friends, and work obligations) and “phone lives” (with the content on their devices). Those lives aren’t the same.

For most people, this “phone life” is centered around apps. Most companies, products, services, and organizations have apps — as of July 2015, there were about 1.6 million Android apps available, and about 1.5 million in Apple’s store.

But there are a few fundamentally-flawed ways that companies are thinking about mobile these days. Let’s address a couple of those herein.

Mobile isn’t a silo

Many companies treat “mobile” as a silo or have a group of people designed with owning the processes and products of mobile. (Unfortunately, many companies also do this with “digital.”) The problem is … mobile cannot be a silo. Look at the first sentence of this article and click the link if you’d like. There are more mobile phones on the planet than human beings. There’s a good chance that someone will research your business from their phone, or click from an e-mail on their phone to something related to your business. If it’s a terrible experience, they’ll click away and likely never return.

Many companies get caught up and confused in the digital/mobile revenue problem: the ROI isn’t always as immediately apparent as some more traditional marketing approaches. That is true, although it’s changing and some companies — i.e. Facebook as a notable example — are reaping huge amounts of money from mobile.

If your concern internally is that a focus on mobile/digital is taking resources away from more traditionally-profitable areas, try shifting your thinking this way: how much money could you be leaving on the table with a bad mobile experience for a client/customer/user? If Google Analytics is showing you that 200 people come into your site via mobile in a given day but 93% of them bounce, well, you can do the math there — if even a fraction of those people became customers/clients/users, that would represent growth. And as of now, you’re losing them.

In short, it isn’t a silo. It needs to be baked in and considered with everything you do.

The on-the-go is a lifestyle

If you think of the goal of marketing as getting a message out to as many people — or at least the right people — as possible, then consider this: what things do people traditionally not leave home without? For most people, it’s their phone, wallet, and keys. (‘PWK,’ which is a joke on Broad City.)

Well, it’s hard to market to someone’s keys — although you could argue FitBit and similar devices are a form of that. It’s hard to market directly to someone’s wallet (aside from business cards, and that requires an additional step). But you can market directly to their phone — via having an app or having a good mobile experience.

Here’s the dividing line there: as noted above, there are over a million apps in both major stores. There’s also a major 80-20 split with apps; most people download about 20-30 over time and consistently use about 5-6. You can launch an app, but it’s hard to make yours stand out (not impossible, but hard — and hey, we can help you with that).

What you can control, though, is how people experience your product/service from their phone. Most content management systems have a mobile-friendly option that’s often as easy as checking a box (WordPress offers this).

A few weeks ago, we went to a small business expo with a series of vendors. One of the vendors was billing himself as a “marketing expert” and he had banners promising all sorts of things — turbo-charging our business, 8,200% growth, email list building, etc. Before we approached his table, we Googled him from our phone. His site wasn’t mobile-friendly at all. We instantly turned in the other direction and never went back. It’s hard to be a marketing expert if your online business card — i.e. your website — isn’t mobile-friendly.

Mobile isn’t a strategy
Mobile Drives Online TrafficThis is another issue at the enterprise level; people often call mobile “a strategy.” It’s not. Again, it’s a way of life for people now. Calling it a “strategy” implies there are set beginning/end dates, and there’s not. It needs to be part of everything you’re trying to do from a messaging and marketing and business development standpoint.
Almost 80 percent of the top news sites are getting more traffic from mobile, but only about 20 percent of them are seeing higher engagement. Why the gap? The experience is likely shoddy. This is a problem with thinking of mobile as “a strategy” rather than something you just do because it’s good business to please your customers however they want to get to your product.

The key to winning with mobile is to understand and put your user and their lifestyle first before the first pixel is pushed and the first word is created.

What challenges are you having to connect with the on-the-go user?

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Social and Business Objectives

Social and Business Objectives

Here’s a stat you should know regarding the executive use of social media: somewhere between 61 and 68 percent of the Fortune 500 CEOs don’t use it at all. Or, as CIO Magazine has pointed out: “Most CEOs Still Don’t Get Social Media.”

This underscores a major problem with social media in many organizations: its bottom-line value is hard to prove. In some organizations, its bottom-line value might be hard for people to even understand. The CEO stat reflects that: the person with the largest amount of responsibility for the bottom line is, in 7 out of 10 cases, avoiding social media.

It’s a fraught exercise to do anything for a business without tying it to some form of business objective because otherwise, you create a priority vacuum. There, people are just checking boxes and accomplishing tasks — but those tasks may have very little value towards your actual growth and revenue objectives.

For social media to get attention as a powerful force within your company — which it can be — there are a few key rules you need to follow. None of this will be drastically different than what any marketing consultant worth his/her price can tell you. This is about understanding why you need to act certain ways on social media, then figuring out how best to do it within your organization. In short, it’s about aligning understanding, strategy, and execution.

Actually Be Social

Most businesses, upon arriving at a social channel, completely forget the first word of the term, i.e. “social.” To quote Neil Patel in Forbes:

What is social media about, really? It’s about the social. But social with who? Your users. To be effective, you’ve got to understand who they are, what they want, and how to get it to them.

Many orgs think of social this way:

  • Blast out content about yourself
  • Periodically RT or share from a popular person
  • Collect and report on impressions
  • “We have a social strategy!”

In reality, it needs to look more like this:

  • Share content from yourself and others in your vertical/industry, even including competitors periodically
  • Do Twitter chats and LinkedIn groups
  • Respond to conversations
  • Respond directly to customers
  • Constantly read articles about best practices in social and on new channels and tweak what you’re doing

In short, social is about conversations and moving ideas forward. It’s not about everyone rushing in, yelling about their product, and moving on. That’s actually what social ads are for, oftentimes — but that’s a topic for a different post.

Understand the ROI Implications

Even though social media isn’t a ‘traditional’ business channel — i.e. publishing or trade shows — it can be really effective. One study showed that skilled social media users are 6x more likely to exceed their quotas. Visually:


That graphic is from 2014, yes — but similar information exists as recently as July 2016. Sales professionals who use social media are 79% more likely to attain quota than those that don’t, for example.There are numerous examples of people using ‘social selling’ — yes, selling on social — to crush their quotas.

Now let’s do a quick math and probability exercise. (Don’t worry; it won’t be hard.)

Let’s say you predominantly sell your product in the United States. 58 percent of the adult population of the U.S. is on Facebook. Now, that’s not 100 percent, no. But 6 in 10 is a better probability of 4 in 10. And while all the U.S. Facebook users haven’t liked your page and may not see your content, but social media has a huge invisible audience. You may share something and, because someone who has liked your page shares it, a totally new person sees it. If what you shared was cool/interesting (which everything should aspire to be), you may gain a new interested customer via this “invisible audience.”

Organic social use (i.e. not social ads) and ROI is all about customer experience. You’re developing relationships with customers. Maybe they buy a ton from you down the road, or maybe they buy one item or service. It honestly doesn’t matter at the relationship-building stage. What matters is this, visually:


There are hundreds of charts online about customer experience has gained in importance in recent years. The one above, from MarketingSherpa by way of additional research, has a good tie back to the bottom line. Notably, customer experience leaders are outpacing the market (or the S&P 500 Index). Customer experience laggards are falling behind. Those numbers will only grow — in both directions — over time.

Social media is a huge part of that.

Changing how you think about business terms and ideas

This is the hardest part for most organizations, but for social media to matter in your business, this has to happen.

To start, consider this quote from an article done by UPenn’s Wharton School of Business:

Employers also often underestimate the cost of layoffs in immediate financial terms, as well as in the lingering burden it places on remaining resources — both financially and emotionally. “There is definitely a huge problem in HR generally that the stuff that is easy to put on a spreadsheet outweighs the stuff that isn’t,” says Bidwell.

Ignore the word “HR” for the moment and replace it with “marketing” or whatever department you sit in. Would you say the last sentence is still true? “The stuff that is easy to put on a spreadsheet outweighs the stuff that isn’t?”

If that’s true in your business — it’s true in many — then you probably have a hard time getting going with social media as a business advantage. Why? Because you’re probably creating those ‘spreadsheet metrics’ for executives around things like impressions, likes, and shares. That’s typically called “social media engagement.”

Hard truth: it doesn’t really matter that much. The posts on social media with the highest levels of engagement? They still get 99 percent of their traffic from paid, not organic, reach.

If customer experience is relevant to your business, find a metric within social that tracks back to that. Monitor that. Report on that. An example might be: “New customer leads acquired via social,” divided by channel. Another example might be “Customer service issues addressed,” again by channel.

Track, monitor, and report those metrics. Now there’s a tie back to the business.

Baby Steps

Facebook got to 500 million users in six years. By contrast, it took about 35 years to build the highway system in America. Digital tools scale quickly. When something scales quickly, there are a limited number of rules around it and people are rushing in to define best practices and processes at every turn. To an extent, that’s what happened with social media — and that’s why “how to do social media right” and “how to tie social media to business goals” are still major stumbling blocks for companies, even 12 years after the founding of Facebook.

There are a series of steps you can take, some outlined above. You can always call us for more information or ideas, too. We love helping brands find ways to leverage social for growth.

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