If 2016 has officially been declared the “year of mobile”, then 2017 should officially be declared the “year of mobile marketing”.

Yes, 2016 is (finally) the year of mobile, and 2017 will become the year of mobile marketing.  What makes that a fact, you might be wondering…  and here’s the short answer –

2016 is the year that mobile search, mobile email opens, mobile browsing and mobile social media usage overtook the desktop/laptop to become THE way that things happen first.

Google’s been touting the #MobileFirst hashtag for quite some time (perhaps a bit prematurely according to some), and pushing out nifty little content blocks about how mobile is the way to go.  Here’s a good one about How People Use Their Devices, for instance.

[LISTEN: How Mobile Affects the Shoppers Journey – PODCAST]

Google is going to be a big part of making 2017 the year that marketers have to sit up and make sure they are creating their mobile marketing first.  Changing search priorities equals changing search results – if your business isn’t creating and displaying mobile friendly pages, you’ll be moved down the results lists, which can be a real problem for businesses with organic traffic who haven’t had to pay for Adwords or other search results.

[Tweet “Apple is mobile first when it comes to shopping too. “]

Apple is another company that is very mobile friendly (yes, obviously so, they invented the iPhone), and works hard to make a mobile experience for users that can be translated across compatible (read that as designed in Cupertino) devices through Continuity.  They’ve also added the ability to use Apple Pay on the web, when someone is shopping on mobile or when they’ve moved to their laptop to finish the purchase.

Mobile marketing begins when the customer is in the research phase.

MediaPost has a great article detailing how 78% of people that start their shopping research on their mobile end up making a purchase within a day.  This is a GIANT deal for mobile marketing and those of us who are marketers.

…just over half (57%) of U.S. consumers use their phones for grocery shopping, with clothing and apparel talking the top spot. Here’s what consumers in the U.S. use their phones for when shopping:

  • 58% — Clothing and apparel
  • 57% — Grocery
  • 41% — Electronics
  • 39% — Home goods and improvement
  • 37% — Beauty and wellness
  • 31% — Games and entertainment
  • 23% — Sports and leisure

We recently purchased a new gas range to replace the old, outdated electric one in the house we just bought.  We finalized the purchase online, but we started the search on mobile.  And we went to a couple of home improvement and big box stores in between so we could get an actual look at the range; these aren’t the kind of things you normally send back if the color isn’t quite right, you know?

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My other half came home from the store one day and mentioned that he had been looking at ranges while he was buying some hinges for a different project.  I jumped on my laptop and looked up the ones he was talking about, and then the handy comparison feature led me to a Samsung model that we’d never have noticed in the store (mainly because they didn’t actually have it, as we found out when we went to look at it).

Mobile searches convert into sales.

A quick search on my phone while we were in the store showed us that another home improvement store did have the range – two versions, actually – so we stopped in at store number 2 on the way home.  We also popped into a big box store with a premium kitchen appliances department and there was the range again.

We purchased the range online, using my laptop; the prices were the same at every store and we thought we’d buy from the store that had both options on the floor, since we actually saw the range there.  But no, they didn’t have one to deliver so they cancelled our order without telling us, and it wasn’t until two days later (and the last day of the manufacturer sale) that we found out we had no range coming.

We bought the second stove using the phone (in the car after we found out there was no first one), and they showed up an hour early with it on the delivery slot.

Mobile marketing has to take precedence over all other campaigns in 2017.

If you don’t do it, then your competition will, and you’ll be sorry for it.  There are countless stories of people buying stoves, Aston Martins, and all sorts of good and services while using their mobile devices to initiate – and in many cases – complete the transaction on the same small screen.

Seriously, up your game now or be sorry that you waited.