The last few years has shown an unprecedented growth of smart phones and tablets. According to Coda Research Consultancy, in 2015, the number of mobile users could reach 158 million in the United States. Another study, from the Centre for Retail Research in Nottingham, conducted in January 2015, predicts that the share of smart phones in relation to the population would be 69% in the US and 67% for Canada.
Given this change in practice, companies are adapting and new terms are emerging, such as m-commerce and m-marketing. The mobile site is taken into account in marketing strategies, even in the B2B sector.
Some tools for mobile marketing
Responsive or adaptive sites:
To differentiate the two concepts, I invite you to visit this blog post. Notice that since April 2015, responsive websites have become essential since the Google algorithm penalizes non-responsive sites! With such sites, the company has only one URL for the website to adapt to the screen resolution used. The company therefore provides a consistent customer experience and content management remains centralized.
A mobile site is going to be a site that is different from the original company’s site, and has a specific URL. Its content management will therefore be done independently. We commonly find these sites linked to commercial sites. It allows customer experiences to be optimized according to the operating mode.
They number in the millions and cover a staggering number of areas and features in B2C. But do they have a place in B2B marketing? For companies already executing B2C marketing, it’s just one extra step to integrate B2B into their marketing strategy. It’s therefore only natural that banks have started to develop specific applications for their corporate clients, such as the HSBC Business Banking app. There’s also Carlson Wagonlit Travel, who’ve implemented the CWT To Go app for business travelers. Another application dedicated to this area is from the Accor Group: Away on Business, which allows for booking of hotel rooms, among other things. Finally, an example from the pharmaceutical sector: Pharmacy Times, which is informative in nature.
Although mobile apps don’t necessarily belong in all marketing strategies, they can be relevant for smaller companies than those just mentioned. One such company would then stand out from its competitors by offering its customers a unique shopping experience. Imagine a heating\ventilation system maintenance company (B2B by definition!) developing an app that that allows it to remotely control HVAC equipment. By adding a service and maintenance scheduling function to the app, based on the parameters of the equipment or problems that might come up, and with the addition of geo-localization features, wouldn’t their customer’s experience become unique?
Finally, remember that mobility is gaining ground, even in B2B companies. Not taking that into account when planning your marketing strategy could be dangerous in the long run. Giving it serious consideration however, could lead to a strong differentiator. Mobile shouldn’t be taken as a ‘’me-too’’fad to follow but rather as a specific answer to one of your company’s challenges. Ask yourself whether m-marketing has its place in your business strategy and if so, you can then innovate to differentiate and offer your customers a unique experience!