by Caitlin Edwards
This week saw bipartisan debating across the mobile landscape: Desktop Design vs. Mobile Design, Responsive vs. Mobile-Optimized, QR Codes vs. Direct Mail. With all of these strategies pitted against one another, marketers have some big decisions to make! Luckily, in many cases you can have your cake and eat it too. Rather than focusing on an either/or scenario, many of these articles encourage marketers to find a happy medium.
To the debates:
Monday, October 1
The Clean Web Movement: Mobile’s Influence On Startup Design by Sarah Perez for TechCrunch
“It now suddenly seems more ‘right’ to have web apps that feel lightweight, like their mobile counterparts. And that’s what minimalism does.”
The “bigger is better” approach to desktop web design, with all of the bells and whistles associated with winning digital marketing awards, may soon be a thing of the past. What we’re seeing now is more and more startups paring down their desktop sites to the sleek and functional aesthetics utilized by mobile web designers. Sites like Medium, Svbtle, and Flipboard are leading the charge, but it won’t be long before we see some of the bigger players follow suit. “Mobile First” is the name of the game, a term coined by Luke Wroblewski, and if you haven’t had a chance to read his seminal article on the topic, we highly suggest you check it out asap.
Tuesday, October 2
“While I highly doubt the candidates intended this, their opposing approaches to the mobile web represent the ongoing debate of responsive design vs. hybrid mobile website.”
Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking – isn’t this a little self-promotional? But while Mashable chose to focus on the candidates’ apps and mobile payment strategies, and Forbes highlights their mobile marketing spend, we thought the most interesting contrast resides in Obama and Romney’s dueling mobile web strategies. Obama’s site is responsive, while Romney’s is a separate mobile-optimized version – so who wins? Well, both and neither. Both candidates’ approaches have their pros and cons, but in the end we maintain that the best strategy is a combination of both. Desktop/tablet responsive with a separate mobile-optimized site allows marketers to optimize for smartphone user behavior without completely disregarding the growing tablet market (whose behavior is much more similar to desktop). See? Not everything needs to be black and white (or red and blue).
Wednesday, October 3
QR codes beat out direct mail in driving response by Chantal Tode for Mobile Marketer
“Per the report, the median response rate using mobile action codes was 4.5 percent to 5.9 percent and the average 6.4 percent. In comparison, the average response rate for direct mail is 4.4 percent, according to the Direct Marketing Association, and the average response rate for a catalog is 4.3 percent.”
Now I know there are many pundits heralding the end of QR codes, but apparently the numbers disagree. Although it seems almost unfair to pit QR codes against a dying medium like direct mail, it does illustrate that consumers are becoming more comfortable with the concept of scanning and are more likely to respond positively now than they were, say, a year ago. But does this mean your business should drop its direct mail budget and go all-in on QR code marketing in popular magazines? Of course not. Make sure that QR codes make sense in the context of your target market and their shopping behavior. However, you may be shocked to find out that most of your consumers have smartphones, and they’re already scanning.
Thursday, October 4
600 million of Facebook’s 1 billion users are mobile by Emil Protalinski for TheNextWeb
“Hidden in Facebook’s 1 billion monthly active users announcement today is one statistic particularly worth underlining: the service is now seeing 600 million monthly active mobile users. Given the growing importance of mobile, and Facebook’s emphasis on it, this is worth underlining in itself.”
Congrats, Zuck, you hit a billion! What’s even more impressive is that 600 million of those billion are mobile users, and given that Facebook only had 425 million monthly active mobile users when it announced its IPO this past February, that number seems to be growing fast. Protalinski tried contacting Facebook to determine how many of those 600 million are mobile-only users, but received word that these numbers probably won’t be available until the next earnings announcement later in the month. We’ll wait with baited breath!
Friday, October 5
America’s Mobile Comeback by Dan Frommer for ReadWriteWeb
“For the first time in a long time, two American companies are driving innovation and leading one of the planet’s most important industries.”
We’re all feeling pretty patriotic during election season, so what better way to celebrate America than point out that we’ve managed to dominate the global mobile device market? Frommer takes the reader on a brief tour of the cell phone universe circa 2006 (a year before the iPhone came crashing onto the scene), and discusses how two American companies, Apple and Google, developed software that revolutionized the mobile industry. It’s a rather self-congratulatory read, but who doesn’t love that every now and then?
That’s it for this week, folks! Join us again next Friday when we recap the week to come.