Mobilizing Your Web Presence

Bob Egner Guest Blogger: Bob Egner, VP, Product Management and Global Marketing at Episerver

We’re nearly three quarters of the way through 2011 and digital marketers are still scrambling to manage, measure, and monetize their expanding online presence. The rapid growth in mobile Internet usage is staggering and it challenges digital marketers to accommodate a multi-channel and multi-touch web presence. Though I could incorporate glaring statistics to terrify marketers into investing in a mobile strategy right now, I’d rather marketers focus on mobilizing right, rather than mobilizing right now.

CMS Vendors and third party partners need to educate marketers about the right direction for their mobile strategy. 

Let’s be honest, tech-savvy digital marketers are more susceptible than others to succumb to G.M.O.O.T. – Give Me One of Those – leaping headfirst into mobile app creation. As a marketer myself, I really appreciate the enthusiasm of such practitioners. But I’d also like to challenge this instinct and encourage marketers to consider the benefits of moving cautiously into the mobile space.

Three Reasons to Think Twice

Here are some quick arguments in support of creating a mobile-optimized website before launching into a mobile web app.

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.
    1. 64% of mobile apps are never used after the initial download. If you haven’t completed extensive research on your customer attitudes and mobile needs there is no reason to believe your branded app would be well-received or even utilized. I want our clients to succeed in the mobile channel. To do that, you need a well-informed game plan based on actual mobile usage of your website.
  1. Get the full benefit of SEO
    1. Mobile apps add no SEO value to your overall marketing strategy. You should carefully weigh the traffic you will lose from your mobile viewers who will only access your content from the native app – which is not searchable.
  1. Minimize custom development work
    1. If you dive straight into a mobile app, you have to develop a custom framework for each mobile device you’d like the app to function on. Furthermore, this content is not reusable across platforms. That means you duplicate the work for apps on iPhone and Android devices. Do you currently know which smartphone dominates your mobile visitors? If not, you need to go back to the drawing board.

As marketers, we know that digital technologies will impact consumer expectations and will continue to challenge old ways of doing things. Our roles and responsibilities for lead generation, customer care and public relations are overlapping. The path to conversion is more circuitous than ever, involving multiple touch points across multiple channels.

Episerver & Your Mobile Presence

Episerver recently launched MobilePack, a free plug-in for our CMS clients to quickly and easily get their mobile website or mobile web app online with minimal cost and development effort.

Bob Egner is an expert at leading marketing and product management activities for software companies. With over 20 years of industry experience, his executive roles have focused on growth through communicating core value, innovative marketing and online programs. Bob joined Episerver in 2009 to increase visibility for the company in the US market and continue momentum in Europe. Recently, he has accomplished similar objectives for companies ranging from startups such as Egress Software and Espial, to larger public companies including Check Point Software Technologies, and Protect Data.