Daniel Burstein

Mobile: Device or segment? (MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #2)

January 7th, 2019

You might be reading this blog post on a smartphone. Or perhaps you’re about to listen to this podcast on your phone. Because mobile has taken over. We have all become cyborgs now — part human, part machine.

Don’t believe me? Just trying going without your phone for 24 hours. Go ahead, I dare you.

As a marketer, these societal changes should spark some curiosity questions. How do these customer behavior changes help you help the customer make the best decisions? How can you better serve customers on mobile devices and increase marketing performance?

And really, what is mobile anyway? Is it a device — just the same people we’re trying to reach on the desktop but with less screen space? Or is it a segment — people’s behaviors (and perhaps even the people) are so different when they’re on a smartphone that we need to approach them in an entirely different way.

We cover this topic in MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #2. You can listen to this episode below in whichever way is most convenient for you or click the orange “Subscribe” button to get every episode sent right to, let’s face it, your phone.



Listen to the podcast audio: Episode 2 (Right mouse click to download)

More about episode #2 – You must consider the human behind the device

Mobile marketing is a hot topic, but don’t just think about it in terms of technology. Or usability.

As with any other human communication mechanism — from the caveman grunt to the printing press to the secret handshake to the telegraph, radio, email, you name it — using the mechanism correctly is just table stakes. It’s all in the nuance of how you use it.

To illustrate my point, I give you Og and Zog. When Og first learned to grunt to Zog, I’m sure his initial focus was the mechanism for communicating, learning how to make the grunting sound in his mouth. But when Og realized that a high grunt would put a smile on Zog’s face while a low grunt would cause anger, ah, then complex human communication was truly born.

Fast forward several millennia, and mobile isn’t really that different now, is it? Creating things technologically on mobile is only the beginning. You must consider the human behind the device. And this is where marketing experimentation can really help — trying different communication tactics and seeing how human behavior changes.

This is a conversation we engaged in robustly on the podcast’s second episode, with a few key highlights below:

  • 3:00 – Rebecca introduces our topic du jour (or should I say, du podcast) — is mobile a device or segment?
  • 5:00 – Matt actually went without a phone for 24 hours. And lived to tell us about it. Hear what you can learn from his unintended experiment.
  • 8:50 – For this experiment with a healthcare company on an “m dot” site, the mobile conversion process was taken from five steps to two steps.
  • 11:00 – How do you discover that next big idea to truly drive results? Matt and Rebecca actually flew out to a call center in California to get qualitative data that helped them better understand customer motivations and make the next A/B test successful.
  • 14:28 – We discuss when it’s beneficial to treat mobile visitors as a segment.
  • 15:47 – Think shorter is always better? Not for this experiment with another healthcare industry company.
  • 19:03 –We discuss an app interrupt experiment. Companies tend to go after app downloads big time because they hear that these customers are more valuable.
  • 21:40 – Kids, you’ll never understand how hard we had it. We discuss this quote from Rebecca Mead’s article in The New Yorker about podcasting and the role of friction in mobile — “[Podcasts] had to be laboriously transferred from a computer to an MP3 player or an iPod.”
  • 22:16 – A quick explanation of the free mobile marketing micro course from MECLABS Institute that can help you increase your mobile conversion rates
  • 33:10 – Load time. It’s critical in mobile. Because … oh I’m too impatient to even complete this sentence. Just listen to the podcast.
  • 35:03 – Nice brick and mortar experiment, another example of really needing to understand the motivations of your mobile visitors.
  • 40:05 – Best mobile website ever? I say its Google. Even though it was designed before the rise of smartphones, it’s the perfect example of easy usability, low friction, clear conversion objective and high value for the customer when visited on a smartphone.

You might also like …

Increase Mobile Conversion Rates: Free micro course with five classes (each under 12 minutes) to help you maximize the impact of your messages in a mobile environment

Mobile A/B Testing: Quality assurance checklist

Mobile Email Marketing Chart: A look at the mobile and desktop email funnel for nonprofits

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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