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Should there be any doubt remaining as to the growing dominance of mobile, here’s a statistic for you: according to research collated by eMarketer, 2014 marked the year that time spent on mobile surpassed time spent on desktops or laptops for the first time – and that trend is set to continue over the coming years. Furthermore, 55% of all traffic to LinkedIn is from mobile. And when it comes to SMBs, 25% say they use their mobile devices at least once per hour for business purposes.
These are just some of the insights that underpinned eMarketer’s recent webinar on B2B mobile marketing trends in 2016. With an overarching theme that mobile is continuing to grow and will therefore inevitably have an impact on the workplace, there were three key takeaways that highlighted the challenges SMBs face, as well as possible solutions.
1) Adaptive content can help shorten the B2B buyer cycle – but, citing research from the CMO Council, 48% of B2B marketers don’t have the right content to match their target audience. This is important to note for several reasons. First, you may be surprised to hear that the B2B buyer cycle is actually getting longer – 44% of US B2B buyers said it took at least 4 months to make a major purchase decision, and 53% said that their purchase-cycle length had grown since the same time last year. With more than 33% of B2B decision makers reading at least 6 pieces of research before making a purchase, generally digitally and on mobile, putting a focus on creating better content is key.
Takeaway: Value-led content such as case-studies and customer testimonials will resonate far more strongly than sales pitches but it’s crucial that the content is easy to digest on mobile.
2) B2B mobile ad spend is seeing huge growth. In 2016, mobile ad spending is predicted to reach $42 billion, against $25 billion for desktop/laptop ads. And while there is still a disconnect between being able to fully track effectiveness vs. spend, 64% of B2B marketers plan to increase their mobile marketing budgets over the next 12 months. The two key reasons cited for this investment are increasing brand awareness, and increasing customer engagement. What the research also revealed is that for B2B marketers, spending on events is also up – from $11 billion in 2011 to $12 billion in 2014, whereas spend on print had fallen.
Takeaway: What this means is that to remain front-of-mind, and to go toe-to-toe with your competitors, an ad presence on mobile is increasingly critical. And in the B2B marketplace, digital cannot replace face-to-face relationship building, both elements of the marketing mix must work to support each other.
3) Data and marketing technology solutions are changing the role of the marketer. In 2011, there were approximately 100 companies selling marketing technology solutions. In 2015, that figure has grown to a staggering 1,876. Developments such as programmatic ad spending mean that mobile will become increasingly data-driven.
Takeaway: Increasing the weight you place on marketers’ skill-sets to be able to best use these new tools – or engaging with an agency to do it for you – will be essential for success.
Finally, the report also highlighted that mobile is a key contributor to blurring the lines between work and free-time, but to my mind it also brings a potentially great positive when creating a mobile marketing strategy. We are all heavy users of mobile, we know what a good mobile brand experience feels like – and what doesn’t – and that should help inform a powerful, cross device experience with mobile at its heart. If you’d like to discuss how we can help shape your mobile strategy, as ever, please get in touch.
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