For B2C marketers, it’s clear that mobile has to be a high priority. Smartphones are so prevalent that to negate the presence of mobile as an important channel would be like ignoring any web browser that launched after Internet Explorer 8.
For B2B marketers, the importance of mobile hasn’t been as clear. After all, in the B2B space, people generally perform their research and other due diligence during working hours – frequently from their desk computers. They’re exchanging information with their colleagues via email and internal collaboration tools. Plus, the nature of corporate purchases doesn’t necessarily lend itself to seeming to be a good fit for mobile. The truth is, if you are a B2B marketer who doesn’t have a mobile strategy, you’re missing the boat and are already behind. Download the Mobile and the B2B Buyer infographic. [PDF] [PNG]
Mobile Matters in B2B
As much as the corporate purchase process seems to be desktop dependent, the truth is business buyers are adapting to the new mobile world and marketers must, too. Corporate bring your own device (BYOD) polices as well as the growth of tablets in the enterprise are contributing to changing behaviors.
A result of this a growing dominance of mobile in the purchase process. For example, research has shown that a majority of B2B customers read reviews on mobile devices. They also read product details as well as compare features and prices (not quite the majority there, yet) on mobile devices. For B2B buyers, mobile has become a key tool for consuming content.
Execs Love Mobile
Historically, executives have lagged the rank & file worker in the adoption of new processes. With mobile, they are leading the charge.
Ninety percent of executives use smartphones on a day-to-day basis and a growing number of them are switching to tablets for business-related tasks. A huge seventy percent of executives use mobile devices to research product and service information when they first learn of a product offering. A full third of executives reveal that they are still referencing information from their mobile devices when it is time to make a decision. Finally, just over half of execs say they will use mobile devices as their primary business platform over the next three years.
The primary decision makers at your prospects are going mobile. Almost two-thirds of them say a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy from or engage with a vendor.
Mobile Video is Growing Fast
Video is generally regarded as one of the most engaging media types on the web. YouTube is full of product demos and similar videos from business-to-business vendors. That’s smart business but it’s not enough.
Approximately 56% of B2B professionals view videos on their mobile devices. The question is, are they getting the information they want from their videos. Video consumption behavior on mobile devices varies greatly from desktop video consumption – which is probably what you had in mind when you created your videos. A video that reaches 25% completed on a desktop is three times more likely to reach completion than it is on a mobile device. Moreover, only 16% of videos consumed on mobile achieve 75%.
Simply having the videos isn’t all that matters. Having a well thought out strategy for those videos is critical to delivering your message to the ever increasing number of B2B buyers who use mobile devices.
User Experience (UX) is Critical
This is a point that can’t be made too much. Your quality of your site’s user experience has to be a priority for you. As it is on the desktop, it is also so for mobile site visitors. Ease of navigation, loading speed and mobile optimized content all play a role in whether mobile users will even bother to proceed past the landing page of your site.
Research from Google shows that fifty-seven percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Moreover, forty percent of users have visited a competitor’s site after a challenging mobile experience. Additional research demonstrates that challenging mobile experiences aren’t terribly uncommon. Seventy-three percent of mobile Internet users have encountered a web site that loaded slowly and fifty-one percent of mobile users have come across a site that crashed, froze or had an error. These types of bad experiences have a direct impact on users’ willingness to engage with your site.
Delivering high quality mobile user experiences requires creating a strategy that relies on UX best practices, usability and content testing, and site optimization in the form of responsive web design or other mobile specific content delivery.