Mobile Marketing Statistics to Help You Plan for 2017

Are you reading this from a mobile device?

Based on the following statistics (and walking into any Starbucks) — I’m willing to bet you are.

Inbound marketers have been following the upward trend of mobile marketing for years, but it’s reached a point that all marketers can’t ignore it anymore.

Optimizing for mobile and creating a mobile marketing strategy are two things that if you haven’t done already, you have to do in 2017. — No excuses.

Just take a look at the following 31 mobile marketing statistics, if you’re not convinced:

1. Over 36% of mobile subscribers use iPhones or iPads to read email and 34% of subscribers only use mobile devices to read emails. (Informz)

How many people in your office have an iPhone or iPad? Take the time to see how your company emails look on those devices before pressing “send” and you’ll lower your risk of disappointing over one-third of your subscribers.

2. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)

With so many cell phone services giving away free smartphones with their contracts, this number is only going to keep increasing — which is good news for companies with a mobile marketing strategy.

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3. 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. (Smart Insights)

This is why you want to produce valuable content that makes it easy for your buyer persona to find you online.

4. 33% of consumers start mobile research with a branded website. (Smart Insights)

This is why you want to produce valuable content to make your brand the authority in your niche. (Are you starting to see a pattern here?)

5. 26% of consumers start mobile research with a branded app. (Smart Insights)

Despite the explosion of mobile apps in the last few years, consumers still trust search engines the most when researching a product or service.

6. Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites. (Smart Insights)

Consumers might prefer to do research elsewhere, but they want to consume media through an app. Provide a great experience for your persona in your app and handle your marketing on the web.

7. Tablet devices account for the highest add-to-cart rates on e-commerce websites at 8.58%. (Smart Insights)

As an online retailer, you should give extra attention to the design and user experience of the tablet version of your website.

8. Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up. (ExpressPigeon, 2014)

I’ll admit it, I’m part of that 50% who reaches for my smartphone when I first wake up.

This is one of the reasons that email marketing continues to be so valuable. People are addicted to their smartphones and when your persona subscribes to your newsletter, they’re giving you permission to communicate directly to the device that rarely leaves their hands.

Smart companies understand this concept and don’t blow it by sending spammy emails that lose their persona’s trust immediately.

9. The percentage of companies optimizing email for mobile devices increased by 22% in 2014. (Adestra)

Businesses are catching on. Sending emails without a clear mobile strategy will get you left behind!

10. The two most popular ways companies are optimizing for mobile are 1. using a simple template that works for all devices (52%) and 2. creating a mobile responsive email template (39%). (Adestra)

Optimizing emails for mobile is the bare minimum. Smart businesses optimize every aspect of their emails to generate more leads and increase their conversions.

11. 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy. (Salesforce)

All of the data has shown that mobile marketing is profitable and shouldn’t be ignored.

12. 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business. (Salesforce)

For many of our tech clients, mobile marketing is the top priority and it has shown to have a high ROI.

13. 58% of companies surveyed have a dedicated mobile marketing team. (Salesforce)

If you have the resources, it makes sense to have a team of people with an expertise in mobile marketing to get the most benefit from your marketing efforts.

14. Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)

Is your company “phoning in” the mobile experience of your website? Not only are you turning away potential customers, but you’re sending them straight to your competitors that provide a better mobile experience.

15. Pinterest is the most mobile social network and 64% of its referred traffic comes from either smartphones or tablet devices. (Mobile Marketing Watch)

Facebook and Twitter get all the attention, but companies targeting mobile users should look to attract them on Pinterest as well.

16. By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. (Marketing Land)

Advertising online to desktops will soon join direct mail as one of the “old ways” of advertising.

17. In 2014, smartphones accounted for over 33% of all online traffic compared to tablets at  just over 12%. (Marketing Land)

I know it sounds redundant, but having a responsive website is no longer an option — it’s a requirement.

18. Mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last three years. (Email Monday)

If your mobile subscribers aren’t opening your marketing emails, it’s not them — it’s you. Here are five seemingly harmless details that drastically affect email open rates.

19. 79% of people surveyed use their smartphone for reading email — a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls. (Email Monday)

We’ve reached a point where the “phone” part of a smartphone is just a feature and not the primary function, which is good news for brands that use Inbound Marketing as their primary strategy.

20. 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)

This is something that Apple has mastered and proven to be very effective. Consumers now expect a seamless experience and brand consistency.

21. 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)

The people have spoken. Your mobile site should make it as easy as possible for your persona to access your content.

22. Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. (CMS Report)

Yet another reason to give extra attention to the mobile experience of your website. If your brand is seeing higher conversions from desktop consider these four simple tips for increasing conversions on your mobile site.

23. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)

Web design is no longer just about looks — it’s all about the experience. Now, more than ever, great UX has a higher ROI.

24. 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)

Just like your mother told you as a kid, first impressions really do count. People use their mobile device to find a local business when they’re ready to buy and a great mobile website makes the decision even easier for them.

25. 83% of B2B marketers said mobile apps were important to content marketing. (Strategy Trends)

Remember when having a website was cool and not all businesses had one? We’re seeing the exact same trend with mobile apps today.

26. 48% of millennials view video solely on their mobile device. (Source)

If you’re targeting a younger audience, make sure to utilize video in your mobile marketing.

27. Mobile will likely account for 50% of all digital ad spend in 2016 (worth $100B). (Source)

A large part of your competition is likely already investing in mobile marketing.

28. By 2018, 8 in 10 email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices (emailmonday)

Mobile marketing isn’t just about apps and your website; even your emails need to be fully optimized to offer the best experience on the go.

29. 40% Of Mobile Searches Have Local Intent (Google Mobile Moments Study)

Even small, local businesses need to be equipped with a mobile strategy!

30. 70% Of Consumers Delete Emails Immediately That Don’t Render Well On A Mobile Device (Blue Hornet)

 

31. Mobile Offers are Redeemed 10x More Frequently Than Print Offers (eMarketer)

Key Takeaways:

  • You can safely assume that if your buyer persona has internet they have a smartphone.
  • People prefer reading emails on their mobile device and use their smartphones more for reading emails than for making calls.
  • Marketers are optimizing for mobile and focusing more on mobile marketing at an increasing rate.
  • Consumers are more likely to recommend and buy from the business that has a better mobile experience.
  • The majority of money spent on digital advertising is targeted towards mobile.

How does inbound marketing work?

After demystifying the basics of the concept in our previous eBang , it is now time to further understand the principles of inbound marketing .

It must first be known that the latter is putting various tactics into action. These tactics are often already used by companies, but not in a structured way. The inbound thus makes it possible to direct the efforts and to bring a rigor which multiplies the results:

  • Your prospects could cost up to 61% less to acquire;
  • You could even double your conversion rate!

The sales cycle seen as a funnel

The strategy behind permission marketing is summarized in an image: the funnel.

The goal is to bring in the most prospects from the top and make them evolve, from one stage to another, to convert them into customers.

The inbound marketing frames capture potential customers using a methodology in which the path leads is scripted, step by step.

From attraction to retention

In attraction marketing, everything is skilfully orchestrated for maximum profits. From top to bottom, here’s how you can define the funnel of a B2B brand and the tactics associated with each of the steps:

  • Attraction : SEO optimization of the site, creation of landing pages, digital advertising campaigns, publications on social networks, organization of events, etc.
  • Awareness and education : dissemination of blog articles, newsletters and informative videos.
  • Consideration  : publication of eBook , white paper , comparative infographic of different solutions, webinar, etc.
  • Purchase  Intent: Product Demo, Free Trial, Free Submission.
  • Conversion: (this is where we celebrate !)
  • Retention: training, upgrade offers, SEO program.

How do you put it all together?

The process of inbound marketing takes the form of specialized software that keeps track of everything that happens and triggers actions. Prospects are automatically qualified based on the actions they take.

For example: a visitor subscribes to the newsletter following his visit to the site. A week later, he receives a programmed message inviting him to watch a video. If it clicks, other actions will be triggered to maintain its interest and move it towards conversion. If it does not take action, other messages will attempt to generate interaction.

The golden rule in all this is to keep the conversation going! In B2B, the purchase cycle can extend over several years, hence the importance of never breaking the link.

Have these two eBang on permission marketing allowed you to see opportunities for your business?

What Does A Biz Dev Person Actually Do?

According to the Grand Unified Theory of Business Development, Biz Dev is simply about pursuing opportunities for long-term growth from customers, markets, and relationships.  Sounds simple enough, but has anyone ever set out to describe what a “Biz Dev Person” actually does?  How do they spend their day?  What should you look for when hiring someone for a Biz Dev role?

While Business Development may still mean many different things to many different people, at it’s core I believe a Biz Dev job is focused on 3 activities:

  • Customers: Find new ones and extract more value from current ones.
  • Markets: Figure out where new customers “live” (both geographically and in terms of “buying mindset“) and find a way to reach them.
  • Relationships: Build and leverage relationships founded on trust and integrity to facilitate opportunities.

“Well,” you might say.  ”That sounds pretty straightforward.”

Yes, it does sound that way.  In the simplest of terms, business development may be about figuring out how to sell more to customers, or finding new customers to whom to sell.  But to suggest that “that’s all there is to it” is to suggest that running a marathon just requires putting one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles.  Of course, training for and running a marathon requires a unique approach to making sure you don’t peter out before the finish line.  Similarly, business development requires a unique combination of skills to ensure that the value you derive from an opportunity persists for the long haul:

The Biz Dev Skillsets: Strategy, Sales, and Relationship Management

  • Strategy: How should you go about pursuing an opportunity?  How do you know which path is best?  Just because an opportunity is in front of you, doesn’t mean it’s a good one.  Understanding the fundamental drivers of your business, and the business of your customers, partners, and competitors, is critical to being able to make wise decisions in the pursuit of long-term value.  Being able to assess an opportunity for its potential to create long-term value, determine the paths available to you to pursue it, and understand the trade-offs and risks of one path vs. another, are core Biz Dev functions.
  • Sales:Whether you’re selling a product or the idea of a partnership, almost every business development role has some element of sales.  The process of navigating through an organization, identifying decision-makers and uncovering their unmet needs, and concisely demonstrating the value of what you can offer are core sales skills needed whether you’re selling a product, service, or partnership.
  • Relationship Management: From How to Win Friends and Influence People to Never Eat Alone, much ink has been spilled on the importance and value of strong, respect-based relationships.  Business development requires not only having an expansive network to help you facilitate a deal, but also a deep understanding of how to build and maintain new relationships to leverage them when needed.  Relationships with partners, customers, colleagues, and even the media, can all be crucial factors in not only getting in the door to a biz dev opportunity, but keeping it open.

“Wait a second,” you’re asking.  ”You forgot about partnerships?  Isn’t business development all about partnerships?”  In short, no, it’s not.

Partnerships are a common course to pursue a given business development opportunity, but they are but one option amongst many when evaluating the path to creating long-term value.  And though scouting, signing, and developing partnerships is an everyday task in many business development roles, the skills required for partnerships are really an amalgam of all other Biz Dev skills – a mix of sales, relationship management, and strategy.  As frequently as they arise in the day job of business development, partnerships are only one potential outcome of Biz Dev done right.

How Biz Dev Roles Change by Company Size

Does the role of business development change as a company matures from a startup to enterprise?  Yes and no.  In the early stages of any company, the role of business development is often left to the founder, CEO, or an early hire.  The role of forging partnership deals does take on an increased priority, as the decision of which potential path to pursue an opportunity often favors the sharing of resources that’s incumbent in partnerships.  But the day-to-day activities of business development remains the same: at a startup or a large company alike, whomever plays the role of “biz dev guy/gal” must be constantly evaluating the best path to create long-term value, whether it an option built in-house or pursued in partnership with others.

At larger companies, the role of business development may be divided across a broader array of individuals.  Sure, teams of people with “Business Development” on their business cards may focus on the full spectrum of activities, from sourcing business development opportunities to evaluating the opportunity’s potential to create long-term value and following through on the execution.  But just as often, the individual functions of the business development role may be split across an organization: a member of the sales team may source feedback from customers, who passes along an opportunity to create a new product to the Product Management team, who works with Finance to size and evaluate an opportunity and Operations to assess the resources needed to pursue it.  Perhaps none of those individuals consider themselves to be serving a “Business Development” function, but in total they are a collective BD team that seeks to create long-term value for their organization in very much the same way as an individual who plays every part.

“Pure Biz Dev”

In my view, a “pure” Biz Dev job will have some combination of all of the above skillsets – identifying and strategically assessing an opportunity to create long-term value and then executing on a path to pursue that value.  But whether you’re playing Biz Dev as a team-sport or an individual contributor, the interplay between Strategy, Sales, and Relationship Management informs the potential for a company’s growth path.   Business Development is a function that is varied, complex, and exciting – although the nature of Biz Dev may be ambiguous to some,  the importance of the role should be clear to all.

The Basics of Business Development

“Executive–Business Development”, “Manager–Business Development”, or “VP–Business Development” are impressive and heavyweight titles often heard of in business organizations. Sales, strategic initiatives, business partnerships, market development, business expansion, and marketing–all of these fields are involved in business development, and are often mixed up and mistakenly taken as the sole function of business development, which leaves the question: “What exactly is business development?”

This article explores the nitty-gritty of business development, what it encompasses, and what, if any, standard practices and principles to follow.

What is Business Development?

In the simplest terms, business development can be summarized as the ideas, initiatives and activities aimed towards making a business better. This includes increasing revenues, growth in terms of business expansion, increasing profitability by building strategic partnerships, and making strategic business decisions. But it’s challenging to boil down the definition of business development. First, let’s look at the underlying concept, and how it connects to the overall business objectives.

Concept and Scope of Business Development

Business development activities extend across different departments, including sales, marketing, project management, product management and vendor management. Networking, negotiations, partnerships, and cost-savings efforts are also involved. All these different departments and activities are driven by and aligned to the business development goals.

For instance, a business has a product/service which is successful in one region (say, the United States). The business development team assesses further expansion potential. After all due diligence, research and studies, it finds that the product/service can be expanded to a new region (like Brazil). Let’s understand how this business development goal can be tied to the various functions and departments:

  • Sales: Sales personnel focus on a particular market or a particular (set of) client(s), often for a targeted revenue number. In this case, business development assesses the Brazilian markets and concludes that sales worth $1.5 billion can be achieved in three years. With such set goals, the sales department targets the customer base in the new market with their sales strategies.
  • Marketing: Marketing involves promotion and advertising aimed towards the successful sale of products to the end-customers. Marketing plays a complementary role in achieving the sales targets. Business development initiatives may allocate an estimated marketing budget. Higher budgets allow aggressive marketing strategies like cold-calling, personal visits, road shows, and free sample distribution. Lower budgets tend to result in passive marketing strategies, such as limited print and media ads, and billboards.
  • Strategic Initiatives or Partnerships: To enter a new market, will it be worth going solo by clearing all required formalities, or will it be more pragmatic to strategically partner with local firms already operating in the region? Assisted by legal and finance teams, the business development team weighs all the pros and cons of the available options, and selects which one best serves the business.
  • Project Management/Business Planning: Does the business expansion requires a new facility in the new market, or will all the products be manufactured in the base country and then imported into the targeted market? Will the latter option require an additional facility in the base country? Such decisions are finalized by the business development team based on their cost-, time- and related assessments. Then project management/implementation team swings into action to work towards the desired goal.
  • Product Management: Regulatory standards and market requirements vary across countries. A medicine of a certain composition may be allowed in India but not in the U.K., for example. Does the new market requires any customized (or altogether new) version of the product? These requirements drive the work of product management and manufacturing departments, as decided by the business strategy. Cost consideration, legal approvals and regulatory adherence are all assessed as a part of a business development plan.
  • Vendor Management: Will the new business need external vendors? For example, will shipping of product need a dedicated courier service? Or will the firm partner with any established retail chain for retail sales? What are the costs associated with these engagements? The business development team works through these questions.
  • Negotiations, Networking and Lobbying: A few business initiatives may need expertise in soft skills. For example, lobbying is legal in some locales, and may become necessary for penetrating the market. Other soft-skills like networking and negotiating may be needed with different third-parties such as vendors, agencies, government authorities, and regulators. All such initiatives are part of business development. (For more, see: Why Lobbying Is Legal and Important in the U.S.)
  • Cost Savings: Business development is not just about increasing sales, products and market reach. Strategic decisions are also needed to improve the bottom line, which include cost-cutting measures. An internal assessment revealing high spending on travel, for instance, may lead to travel policy changes, such as hosting video conference calls instead of on-site meetings, or opting for less expensive transportation modes. (For more, see: Best Ways to Purchase Cheap Airline Tickets.) Similar cost-saving initiatives can be implemented by outsourcing non-core work like billing and accounting, financials, IT operations and customer service. Strategic partnerships needed for these initiatives are a part of business development.

The business development scenario discussed above is specific to a business expansion plan, whose impact can be felt by almost every unit of the business. There can be similar business development objectives, such as development of a new business line, new sales channel development, new product development, new partnership in existing/new market, and even merger/acquisition/sell-off decisions.

For example, in the case of a merger, significant cost savings can be accomplished by integrating the common functions of the house-keeping, finance, and legal departments of the two firms. Or, a business operating from five different offices in a city can be moved to a large central facility resulting in significant operating cost savings. But would this lead to employee attrition, if the new location isn’t convenient for everyone? It’s up to the business development team to assess such concerns. In essence, business development involves high level decision-making based on a realistic assessment of all potential changes and their impact. Through new ideas and initiatives, it aims to improve the overall business prospects, which drive the functioning of the different business units. It is not sales, it is not marketing, it is not partnering. Instead, it is the eco-system encompassing the entire business and its various divisions, driving overall growth.

The Right Fit for Business Development

A business developer can be the business owner(s), or the designated employee(s) working in business development. Anyone who can make or suggest a strategic business change for a value-add to the business can contribute towards business development. Businesses often encourage employees to come up with innovative ideas, which can help in improving the overall business potential.

Businesses also seek help from external incubator firms, business development companies (BDC) and small business development centers (SBDC). However, these entities assist in business establishment and the necessary fine-tuning only during the early stages of business setup. As a business matures, it should aim to build its business development expertise internally.

What Should a Business Developer Know?

Since business development involves high-level decision making, the business developer should remain informed about the following:

  • The current state of the business in terms of SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). (For more, see: Executing a SWOT Analysis.)
  • The current state of overall industry sector and growth projections
  • Competitor developments
  • Primary sources of sales/revenues of current business and dependencies
  • The customer profile
  • New and unexplored market opportunities
  • New domains/products/sectors eligible for business expansion, which may complement the existing business
  • The long-term view, especially with regards to the initiatives being proposed
  • The cost areas, and the possible options of cost-savings

What Drives Business Development Activity?

Due to the wide open scope of business development and activities, there are no standard practices and principles. From exploring new opportunities in external markets, to introducing efficiencies in internal business operations, everything can fit under the business development umbrella.

Those involved in business development need to come up with creative ideas, but their proposals may prove to be unfeasible or unrealistic. It’s important to be flexible, to seek out and take constructive criticism, and to remember that it’s a process.

The Bottom Line

Business development may be difficult to define concisely, but it can be easily understood using a working concept. An open mindset, willingness for an honest and realistic self-assessment, and the ability to accept failures, are a few of the skills needed for successful business development. Beyond the ideation, implementation and execution of a business development idea, the end results matter the most. The bright minds in business development should be ready to accommodate change in order to achieve the best results. Every approval or disapproval is a learning experience, bettering preparing you for the next challenge.

What, Exactly, Is Business Development?

“I do biz dev.”

Few times in history have more ambiguous words been spoken.  Ask ten “VPs of Business Development” or similarly business card-ed folks what is business development, and you’re like to get just as many answers.

“Business development is sales,” some will say, concisely.

“Business development is partnerships,” others will say, vaguely.

“Business development is hustling,” the startup folks will say, evasively.

The assortment of varied and often contradictory responses to the basic question of “what, exactly, is business development” reminds me of the way physicists seek to explain what, exactly, is the universe.  With conflicting theories on the nature of black holes and bosons, the ultimate goal for those scientists is a Grand Unified Theory, a single definition that can elegantly explain how the universe itself operates at every level.

Lacking any concise explanation of what business development is all about, I sought to unite the varied forces of business development into one comprehensive framework. And eureka, for I have found it – the Grand Unified Theory of business development:

Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.

There is elegance in simplicity, but perhaps this definition leaves you wanting more.  At its heart, business development is all about figuring out how the interactions of those forces combine together to create opportunities for growth.  But a theorem requires a proper proof, so let’s break that statement down:

Long-Term Value

First, what do I mean by “long-term value?”  In its simplest form, “value” is cash, money, the lifeblood of any business (but it can also be access, prestige, or anything else a company seeks in order to grow).  And there are plenty of ways to make a quick buck for you or your company.  But business development is not about get-rich-quick schemes and I-win-you-lose tactics that create value that’s gone tomorrow as easily as it came today.  It’s about creating opportunities for that value to persist over the long-term, to keep the floodgates open so that value can flow indefinitely.  Thinking about business development as a means to creating long-term value is the only true way to succeed in consistently growing an organization.