Why Mobile Is the Real Digital Marketing Battleground – Here’s Why #70

For years, having a desktop browser website was more than enough as your home base on the web, but the real battleground for the future is mobile. In this episode, Eric Enge and Mark Traphagen explain why and give you tips on how you can win the mobile battle. (Transcript and all links mentioned below the video.)

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Mark: The world of mobile continues to explode. Major players like Google, Facebook, and Apple are investing massively in efforts to establish themselves as the dominant player in the new markets that are emerging as a result. Now, these companies are betting in a big way on continuing changes in mobile usage and in user expectations from mobile devices, and that means you should be, too. It means you need to have a mobile-first mentality.

Eric, in what way is this mobile exploding on the scene?

Eric: Well, for one thing, the rise of installed mobile devices is happening faster than we think. According to the data you see here, PCs, tablets, and smartphones will represent only about 25% of the installed internet-enabled devices by 2020. That’s only four years. Just a few years ago, those devices took up two-thirds of all internet devices. That’s what we can call a disruptive change.

Projected growth of mobile device usage.

Mark: We’ll be interacting directly with all these new devices that will make up 75% of internet-connected devices?

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Eric: Well, no, actually a lot of them will be operating in the background with little or no human intervention. For example, imagine a refrigerator that monitors what food you normally have on hand and automatically adds missing or expired foods to a shopping list. That could be very useful, but you wouldn’t necessarily need to interact with that device much at all. However, there will be an increasing number of mobile devices with which will interact within many different ways. Even now devices with substantial keyboards like PCs and tablets make up only 40% of internet-connected devices.

Mark: Can you give us an example of a non-keyboard way we interact with such devices?

Eric: Sure. Mark, how many episodes of Here’s Why have been published by April 2016?

Mark: [computer voice] As of the end of April 2016, there were 65 episodes of the Here’s Why videos series available to the public.

Eric: There you go. The primary way we’re interacting with these new devices is by voice. That has opened up whole new challenges for software and device providers as people tend to make requests by voice with much more natural language than when they type.

Mark: Now, in your article on Google’s new RankBrain machine-learning algorithm, you said that part of RankBrain’s function may be to help Google better handle search queries coming from voice searches.

Eric: Right. From what we know about how RankBrain works, it appears to use machine learning to better understand various ways humans express things, and then use that knowledge to translate an unusually worded query or just a somewhat confusing query into something the regular Google search algorithm just can understand better.

Mark: Okay. So, at the beginning of this chat, I mentioned several companies that are investing heavily in adapting to our mobile future, companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple and others. Now, who seems to be winning the mobile war so far?

Eric: Not an easy question at all. Recently, I watched a great video by Chartbeat’s Tony Haile. He showed some ways in which Facebook seems to be capturing early dominance in the mobile market, at least for certain types of content. This example shows Facebook’s ability to dominate a major story on mobile, factoring that 47% of Facebook’s billion-plus users address it only on mobile and 65% check Facebook from mobile at least once per day. You can understand why Facebook is making such a strong investment in being mobile-friendly.

Facebook's dominance in mobile

Mark: As we are taping this video today, Facebook has just announced that its Instant Articles feature is now available to all publishers. Now, true to its name, Instant Articles allows your content to appear almost instantly on Facebook mobile and presents it in a very easy-to-read format for the mobile viewer.

Eric: Yes, and, of course, Google already has put out its similar initiative for fast loading content on mobile devices called AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Mark: Right. Now you’ve got a lot more for us on this topic of the mobile revolution in your article for the Moz Blog. Our viewers will want to check that out, especially your action plan for how businesses and sites can take advantage of the move to mobile.

Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.

Subscribe to Here’s Why

About the Author

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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Thoughts on “Why Mobile Is the Real Digital Marketing Battleground – Here’s Why #70”

  1. Nick Colakovic

    Hey Mark, really interesting episode! Thanks for mentioning Facebook’s Instant Articles, it sounds like a useful feature.

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