Manufacturers are among the most mobile-unfriendly marketers, according to a report by Engineering.com. An analysis of 100 manufacturing company websites found that 79 percent “weren’t usable” from a mobile device.
If this describes your company, you should be alarmed for several reasons.
First, if you think that your customers or prospects aren’t searching on mobile, you’re very likely wrong. Mobile search surpassed desktop search in 2014, and the gap is widening.
What Others are Doing
A recent survey of some 700 business leaders across multiple industries found that most are investing heavily in mobile marketing. The survey, conducted by Open Mobile Media, aimed to get beyond the buzzwords and marketing-speak that often obscure facts and to gather hard data about what business leaders are actually doing and planning. Some of the findings should get the attention any company that doesn’t have a mobile marketing plan. If your company is one of them, here are 3 reasons you need to mobilize your marketing sooner rather than later.
- Your competitors are doing it. The survey found that 65 percent of companies already have the most basic element of mobile marketing in place–a responsive web design that delivers a strong mobile experience–well ahead of the manufacturing sector. Another 20 percent plan to deploy a responsive website in the next six months. Also, 41 percent have a dedicated mobile marketing team.
- They’re planning to invest even more. Some 83 percent of respondents said that they are going to invest more in mobile marketing next year, with just 13 percent saying their budget would stay the same or get smaller.
- Apps are growing fast. The fastest growing mobile channel identified by respondents was mobile apps. Companies are going beyond engaging mobile searchers on their websites to deploying apps that make it easier to engage with brands. Mobile native apps–those coded to in the programming languages of the mobile operating systems to accelerate performance–are also growing fast.
The mobile marketing ante is being raised. Marketers are responding and racing to stay ahead of the competition. Customer behavior is fueling the race. More people search for products and services on mobile devices than they do on desktop devices. Manufacturing marketers need to think “mobile first” rather than simply adapt a desktop experience to mobile devices.
Google is Watching
If you’re a manufacturing company looking to get found online by people searching for products, services, and solutions, the lack of a mobile marketing strategy can deeply damage your search rankings. Google now penalizes web pages that are not responsive and the search engine is ratcheting up the penalty as the mobile revolution takes hold. As the Association of Equipment Manufacturers says, “Equipment manufacturers and others are at the mercy of Google – and its ever-changing search algorithm – when it comes to how and where customers are able to find them online.”
If your company is one of the 21 percent of manufacturing companies that have a mobile-friendly website and that are investing in mobile marketing, you are in a position to leverage a competitive advantage when it comes to reaching new customers and retaining existing customers. Those without a mobile strategy will fall further behind. At the same time, the opportunity is still there as such a small number of companies are using the mobile channel.
The first step is simple. Make your website mobile friendly. Start by using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to assess where you’re at now. And then follow its recommendations for what you need to do differently.