Mobile World Congress 2016: Google's guide to getting your business noticed on smartphone

 
Ian Carrington
Mobile Deivices Users In Tokyo
We look at our phones before we look at our partners or our cat (Source: Getty)

On Monday, marketers will flock to Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress - four days of presentations, networking and plenty of sangria.

But what most will be looking for is how to convince prospective customers to engage with their brand on the most intimate device we own.

Smartphones have become so ingrained in our lives that for many of us it’s the last thing we look at before we sleep and the first thing we see when we wake up - even before our partner or cat.

We could argue the pros and cons of this long into the night but what’s clear is, for businesses, reaching customers on their smartphone in the moments that matter is possibly more important than any other channel.

But where do you start? Mobile website or app? iOS or Android? The more technology evolves, the more questions there seem to be - and it’s not only marketers looking for answers. Your customers will ask why they should bother downloading your app or visiting your mobile site.

With apps in particular you’re asking consumers to trust your brand to the extent they will install your property onto a device they carry at all times. That’s not easy, and driving app downloads is a challenge for mobile marketers, only a quarter of all apps downloaded are even opened. However for loyal and returning customers apps are a very effective way to market.

We work with brands to promote their apps across our network - including Google Search, the Google Play store and YouTube - using our Universal Apps Campaigns.

We’ve worked with brands such as Tesco and Very.co.uk to encourage downloads of the Tesco Groceries mobile app and the MyVery app. Very.co.uk generates more than 60 per cent of sales from mobile and by using Universal Apps Campaigns, Very were able to increase installs of the MyVery app by 189 per cent, which in turn led to 4.5 times as many browsing shoppers converting to sales.

Whilst apps are clearly effective for loyal customers, you can’t ignore the mobile web, where 66 per cent of m-commerce takes place. The mobile web needs to be fast and simple. Mobile users demand the same experience and performance from the mobile web as the desktop, so ensure the site loads quickly, check it’s touch friendly - if the targets are too small then mistaken clicks will result, turning a user off the site.

Finally, for e-commerce sites, make sure you have clear labels and signposting on the site, especially to the payment section.

Mobile creates moments for advertisers to engage users on a device they love. Making sure they delight their users in both apps and the web is essential.

Measuring these moments is also critical and the winners in business tomorrow will be the ones who are able to correctly value mobile and give great experience to their customers and potential new customers.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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