3 Questions For When Mobile is the First Screen

my iPhone family pileMobile devices are expected to be the primary mode of internet access in the next three years. This is worth saying again: Your company’s digital experience will be primarily via mobile devices.

The current response from marketing falls woefully short of where they need to be in a few short months.

Discussions of mobile marketing quickly turn to apps, mobile sites and how to make content mobile-friendly. Even when embraced, this response is eerily similar to early websites, which extended brochures to the web by merely converting to HTML and adding hyperlinks.

The current approach of designing for a secondary user channel (the desktop) and extending to a primary channel will soon seem backwards. Mobile will be the assumption for marketing, not the extension.

How different is this? When mobile is first, here are questions you might hear:

The email is great. Does it look OK on a laptop too?

Smartphones are already the preferred email device for one-third of executives under 40, and 44% of executives expect a mobile device to be their primary business device (PDF source). If you are a B2B marketer, your email should already be designed with mobile users as one of your primary audiences.

How do we need to adapt this content for a full size monitor?

Increasingly, content is key to marketing, and most content is designed for the desktop. When mobile is the first screen, content will be designed for the mobile audience first.

Is our website ok for everyone, or do we need to create a desktop version?

This is my favorite question. This cuts through the app and mobile site banter and gets to the heart of the issue. What is the critical functionality, information and entertainment you provide? If it is appropriate for a mobile experience, why isn’t it already there? What else are you looking to add to your desktop site, and what benefit will that provide to your niche desktop audience?

Interested in more on the changes mobile is driving? Here are two more posts I recommend, both posts (and the comment discussion on them) were part of the inspiration for this post.

Your Turn

What questions would you add, and are you hearing any of these questions asked yet? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

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