“Mobile First” Mentality is No Longer Relevant

August 21, 2015

The phrase “mobile first” has always rung alarm bells with me. Since when has it ever been a good idea to over-simplify the customer experience to a single device? 

Marketing is so much more complex and nuanced than this; it involves users who interact with brands offline and online, on their phones and their desktops, effortlessly flittering between various channels all the time. Instead, then, mobile should be entrenched in the marketing mix – used as a core part of the overall journey and touch points. 

Marketing Week cited Ofcom figures last week, revealing that internet access has reached a milestone, with more users (totalling 33%) accessing the web via their smartphone than any other device. But brands are still finding it a challenge to ensure their marketing is mobile-ready. 

I find it surprising that brands seem to be seriously overspending on TV ads; last year, three times more was spent on TV compared to mobile.  Although only a quarter of purchases are made via mobile, they are used significantly within the longer buying journey – especially when it comes to comparing products and research. So, brands need to embrace a strategy that works across devices; rather than sticking to this “mobile first” mentality, we should see mobile as helping and supporting other channels. After all, so many consumers begin a task on one device and finish it on another.

Mobile marketing, especially via email, means consumers can keep going back to it to take in the content at their own pace, which – as we all know – is how the majority of people like to digest advertising, rather than having it forced down their throat. Again, with bookmarking in browsers – if you can get users through a journey on mobile then they are able to bookmark content and save it for later.

James Shepherd, Havas Media Group’s head of mobile, says that we’ve reached a tipping point and “mobile first” is not particularly relevant anymore; instead, we should “bake mobile into everything we do.” 

Are you, like me, frustrated with the “mobile first” mindset?

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director