cross-screen marketing solutions

Mobile Web: “Is there anybody out there”?

Those of you old enough to appreciate when an album was a body of work rather than simply a collection of songs built around formulaic hooks to increase iTunes downloads have probably, at some point, listened to and appreciated Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’.

A tale of descent into madness, the collapse of self and ultimately submission and through that redemption, the character, Pink, of whom the story is told, sings of the realisation that his relationship with his wife is finally over. While travelling, he continuously calls on the phone only to find that there’s ‘Nobody Home’.

Of course, back in 1979 all our phones were just there – home. Probably in the hallway, maybe by the bedside too, but certainly not in our pockets wherever we went.

Pink’s interpretation of the ringing out is the realisation of what he already knows. This isn’t simply a case of unfortunate timing, it’s really over. He has [sarcastically] “amazing powers of observation”.

The reality back then was that if you called at the wrong time, you wouldn’t get an answer. No call log, no voicemail, no sms. Catch someone or try again tomorrow.

Not so today.

If you call someone on their mobile you expect to reach them. No call can be missed, no message unheard. We can make direct connections with people wherever they are in the world, instantly.

And this is true of customers connecting to brands. Customers are using their phones right now to reach out to the businesses and brands that matter to them. But they aren’t always getting through. Often, there’s nobody home – and that can be the end of that relationship too.

Now you probably know that I’m not going to keep talking about voice coms today. In 2012 consumers are using their mobile phones for a lot more than that.

I’m not talking about dialling a number and having it ring out, I’m talking about consumers hitting a url only to find that the page doesn’t load, fit or work on their phone. That’s when, in the case of mobile web, there’s nobody home.

Prompting this piece is the news that among 100 leading brands in fashion, beauty, hospitality, jewellery and retailers, only two-thirds have mobile-optimized websites, and few of those are set up for users to shop, according to a survey by digital think tank L2.

This should be shocking, although with my own ‘amazing powers of observation’ it comes as no surprise. The brand manager and marketers that should be listening to this are letting the phone ring out.  Those that ignored mobile web and invested purely in native apps are finding there was no point, the apps stores are not where the customer is calling.  They are missing the customers and the relationships they had are breaking down.

With an increasing amount of organic traffic hitting websites from mobile devices now is the time to make certain that mobile web is firmly set as part of digital strategy. It is cold hard fact that this is how users want to interact and if they are shut out they go elsewhere.

The solution is easy. Mobile web is not difficult when you work with people like us at Wapple. We can help you answer the call of mobile web. Sure, there are some challenges but we’ve been there many, many times.

In Pink’s case, he makes the wrong choices and descends into madness. Now that cautionary line may be a little too strong for this tale but I think that we can all agree that not answering the call of consumers who want to connect is madness in itself.

I’m done now. Kind of a different post to normal this time. I’m certain that there are plenty of you who have never even listened to Pink Floyd. I guess I really am that old now but it’s never too late you know. Just, please, if you buy it on iTunes, play it in order not on shuffle!