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It’s the Destination, Not the Journey

February 28

Last month my colleague, David Spector, TMP’s Global Head of Mobile, wrote a wonderful piece on what makes for mobile success — I wanted to use this opportunity to expand on one point that I think is too often overlooked. Always ensure you have a mobile-friendly destination.

As we already know, in almost every corner of the world, there is talk about a “mobile revolution” and with the growth of the smart phone and tablet market we are seeing more content available that is designed for mobile devices. With this growth in mobile device use, we are also seeing more innovative marketing ideas being generated that allow these devices to interact with offline media. (Think QR codes, Augmented Reality, image recognition, etc.)

As with any new technology, as we become used to using these devices really quickly, we also begin to expect more from the content available to us. Too often I have “scanned” a QR code on a flyer, only to be taken to a web version or a PDF of the same flyer. This reminds me of the early days of the world wide web where many organizations created an Internet presence and replicated (as opposed to complemented) their offline materials.  

The key to a successful campaign where you are asking a user to interact, is not to disappoint at the destination. Even if your QR code is sending the user to your website, it’s important to remember that browsers on mobile devices are much the same as the ones on a computer, but unless your website is optimized for mobile, they most likely display a mini version of your website—and it’s not always pretty.  

Unless the visual experience is good it’s likely that people will leave the site. A study on smart phone usage by Compete.com found that 83% of mobile web visitors abandon sites that were not optimized for mobile and 60% of users were unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone.

In addition to this, I’ve heard many arguments from recruiters that start with “but how will the user apply to my job from a mobile”…. I’m not convinced that this is the point—(at least, not yet). What we want to do is provide the user (job seeker) with the opportunity to find relevant information and do something with it.

For example, if your applicant tracking system is not yet optimized for mobile applications, maybe you could consider having a link to your job to “email this job” … you can email it to yourself, or to a friend right there and then. Another example could be to simply invite the user to request more information from a recruiter. Scale down the experience and you are more likely to have a better conversion rate.

In the U.S., we have already seen a surge in smart phone owners and in turn, many companies have been optimizing their sites for mobile. In Europe, we are also seeing this trend and a recent ComScore study that analyzed smart phone use in five European countries, noted that Germany had the fastest growth rate of 89 percent year on year (2010 – 2011) and that the UK had the largest audience with 20.4 million mobile media users via smart phones.  In addition, a recent survey by Potentialpark found that as many as 19% of job seekers use their mobile devices for career-related purposes (and more than 50% could imagine doing so).

With these kinds of numbers you have to ask yourself:  Is your site optimized for mobile? Does your campaign live up to the expectation at the destination? If not, 2012 might be the year to make it so.  If you want to see David’s top tips on mobile success, you can read them here: http://www.tmp.com/articles/tips-for-mobile-success-/569/
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