Today's business buyers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to research products and services. According to Endeca's 2011 survey of B-to-B e-commerce providers (PDF), the mobile Web is among the top three most influential channels. With so many new mobile buyers, do you have an integrated mobile strategy—one that is tailored to the unique needs and preferences of B-to-B customers? If your answer is no, you're not alone.
Start with an evaluation of your current mobile investments. By understanding where your current mobile investments align with business and customer goals, you can anticipate gaps in your mobile infrastructure that could impact your strategy's long-term cost and effectiveness.
In the chart in the media player at right, we identify a hierarchy of mobile capabilities that you can deploy depending on your goals and where you are looking to engage customers in the buying cycle.
Early Stage Mobile Buyers Go to the Web
Your website is the most cost-effective channel in the awareness, lead generation and lead nurturing stages, especially for mobile visitors. Here's why:
- Most of Your Web Visitors are Still Anonymous In spite of the significant advancements in marketing automation, Web analytics and anonymous visitor tracking, the overwhelming population of your prospective customers are still anonymous visitors to your website and social media channels. They may be casual shoppers, early in their buying process where you should minimize your mobile app investments. Many of your web visitors are not even serious prospects for your products and services—they may even be competitors.
- The Rest of Your Web Visitors are Unsegmented While savvy B-to-B marketers are making huge investments in content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to attract targeted traffic, many B-to-B marketers still can't segment their Web audiences effectively. You just don't have enough data about your Web visitors to develop meaningful, actionable segments.
These and other limitations mean that early stage buyers who are visiting your website will rarely take the time to download a mobile app to consume your content, and if they do, the odds they use and update the app when you push out a new release are quite low.