Ah, technology! The faster we chase it, the faster it moves away. Very few businesses can move fast enough to keep up with how technology changes consumer behavior, and the 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report from the good folks at Marketing Sherpa shows us yet another example of that.
The shift to mobile from the desktop has been causing all sorts of disruption. According to an Econsultancy report, fewer than half of businesses (41%) are able to accurately measure the behavioral differences between mobile and desktop visitors. In fact, almost a fifth (18%) report that they have no clue (OK, that wasn’t exactly how they answered but you get that they’re operating in the dark).
Just 42% said they were fully designing emails to render differently on mobile devices, despite the fact that many consumers rely heavily on tablets and smartphones for email access.
Hmm. I wonder if these are the same 41% as are able to measure how mobile makes things different? Coincidence? More importantly, why is mobile lagging behind? Three-quarters said their web and email efforts were integrated; more than half had integrated social and email; and 35% have even coordinated email and blogging. I think I know: time.
The commercial web is going on 20 years old and web-based activities such as social and blogging take place in that now ancient environment Mobile is the shiny new object and businesses don’t like to invest in those sorts of things until they know they’re mainstream. Of course, by that time there’s another new thing – I wonder how businesses are preparing to integrate with wearable tech?
My advice to clients is this: investing in and supporting the shiny new objects as they become mainstream means you’ll be late to the dance. It takes time and resources (neither of which anyone seems to have) to get up to speed in these new spaces and starting when they’re just starting to be buzzed about means you’ll be ready when you need to be. Sticking your head in the sand (what are the 18% thinking?) and hoping they’ll go away only increases the chances that your business will be the one vanishing.
Now, let’s get back to the race.