February 14, 2014

For the Love of Mobile

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Pew Research Center released a study saying that although mobile and other electronic devices can be a source of tension, they often help bring married couples closer together. The study found that a quarter of couples surveyed said they texted their partner when they were both home together and nine percent has resolved an argument online or by text message. Some other key findings from the survey included:

  • Twenty-five percent of cell phone owners in a marriage or partnership said their spouse or partner was distracted by their cell phone when they were together
  • Forty-two percent of 18 to 29-year-olds with cell phones in serious relationships say their partner has been distracted by their mobile phone

Although this study says a lot about the impact technology has on our love lives, perhaps the most important aspect of this survey is not buried in the results. Rather, it is the study itself that indicates the exact place mobile technology holds in our society. We have reached the point, for better or worse, that the most reputable research companies are investigating how mobile impacts our relationships. Mobile technology and the Internet have become a part of almost everything we do, both in our personal lives and in business.

Considering the omnipresence of portable devices in today’s society, the simple fact is that companies without a defined content strategy for mobile are going to have difficulty competing in today’s business world. On top of the overall prevalence of portable devices, Google Hummingbird—a new algorithm that enables Google to better understand natural language—has propelled the importance of mobile-friendly content to even greater heights.

Additionally, mobile is one of the most effective ways to actually reach potential customers. According to Techpedia, 98 percent of SMS text messages are opened, 83 percent within three minutes of being received. With the number of smartphones expected to surpass two billion in 2014, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Thomas Husson believes this year will be transformative for mobile marketing.

“Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world,” Husson said. “That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations -- it will transform your entire business.”

There are a number of ways your company can tailor its content for on-the-go users, including focusing on catchy headlines, writing a little shorter and using more video. But above all else, you need to think about what you like to read and watch on your phone as you ride the train. Because when it comes to creating content, the single most important step you can take is to picture yourself in the user’s place. Do that—and they’ll love you for it.  

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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