Do B2B Brands Really Need to Go Mobile?


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A version of this post was first carried in DM Confidential

In the B2C world, mobile marketing campaigns abound. Starbucks, Adidas, Target and Nordstrom use mobile marketing to enable payments, drive store traffic, distribute reward points and engage over social media.

B2B marketers have been relatively slow to embrace the mobile, despite its intensely personal and universal appeal. Consumers and business users alike keep their smartphones next to them, at all times and 90% of them even take it to bed. Even so, most B2B companies don’t even measure which devices are used to access their websites.

Here are some of the often-heard excuses that B2B brands give for not going mobile.

  • It is not REALLY that important.
  • How many people access our site with their mobiles, anyway?
  • Our product is too complex to be researched /bought over the mobile.
  • It can wait till next year.

Now take a look at these facts.

The Smartphone Explosion

  • IDC says smartphone shipments to retailers will touch 717 million in 2012, up 45% from last year.
  • comScore estimates that 110 million people use smartphones in the US as of May 2012, that’s almost a third of the population.
  • A Morgan Stanley report says the number of mobile Internet users will outnumber desktop Internet users by 2014.
  • According to Palo Alto-based, research house, Radicati Group,730 million people used their mobile phones to check email in 2012, that is about 34% of email users.

What’s More? People Use it for Business

Below are facts that speak for themselves.

  • Six in ten European executives consider the iPad to be a useful business tool, says CNBC’s Mobile Elite 2012 study.
  • Some 65% of iPad owners take it along when traveling on business, says CNBC’s study.
  • Business executives search using their mobile phones seven times a day sometimes for business, according to a Forbes‘ survey.
  • “Enterprise resource planning” was searched 74,000 times in a month through laptops and desktops and as many as 22,200 times through mobile devices.

Now take a look at yourself:

  • Check your website traffic. What percentage of people accessed it from their mobile devices?
  • See percentage of mobile searches using your top five keywords.
  • What percentage of recipients opened your e-newsletter on their mobiles?

Do the numbers justify the time and talent needed to make your company go mobile? That’s a question only you can answer.

While you evaluate your decision just take two minutes out to view your website on your smartphone. Is it painfully slow, text heavy and tough to navigate? Is that what you want your most tech-savvy prospects to see? That’s a real bummer!

We suggest you do 3 things to get started with mobile marketing in 2013:

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly – Responsive Design or Otherwise

Think about responsive design for your website. This technology, fast becoming a standard, offers a high-quality experience for the viewer with layout and content altered to suit varied screen sizes of multiple devices. It uses a single URL be it for the laptop or smartphone. Thus you are spared the trouble of making multiple versions.

Alternatively, you could choose a piece-meal approach. Optimize parts of your site which would appeal to the smartphone user. Think of the smartphone user as someone interested in quick results and byte-sized information. So don’t bother optimizing that 40 page, whitepaper.

  • Create a fast mobile site with large buttons and basic text.
  • Minimize the number of steps required to complete a task.
  • Prioritize and cherry pick pages and content. Choose specific content, make it short and crisp, thus easy to consume on the small screen, while on the go.
  • Have a product demo video and a customer testimonial video. Visual content works well for the mobile.

Make Your Email Readable on the Mobile

Find out which are the most popular devices used to read your emails and optimize for the most popular operating systems.

In the emails:

  • Keep the text short.
  • Reduce graphics so the email will load fast.
  • Use big buttons.
  • Use plenty of contrast.
  • Avoid forms or keep them as short as possible.
  • Make a mobile-friendly landing page.

Don’t Forget to Promote Your Mobile Site

So you’ve built a mobile site, don’t just sit on it. Promote it through your website, e-newsletters, email campaign and of course, social media.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shreesha Ramdas
Shreesha Ramdas is SVP and GM at Medallia. Previously he was CEO and Co-founder of Strikedeck. Prior to Strikedeck, Shreesha was GM of the Marketing Cloud at CallidusCloud, Co-founder at LeadFormix (acquired by CallidusCloud) & OuterJoin, and GM at Yodlee. Shreesha has led teams in sales and marketing at Catalytic Software, MW2 Consulting, and Tata. Shreesha also advises startups on marketing and growth hacking.


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