Clearing the Clutter

Tiffany Weimar - December 16, 2010

The information age is arguably the most robust yet mind provoking period in time.  While it has lead to an enormous amount of technological advancements, it has also forced many of us to spend valuable time deciphering between what is useless information (and ignore it) and information that will add value to our personal and professional lives.  We are, and continue to live in, a period of information overload!

As marketers, the challenges continue to increase as a result.  As technology advances, we need to be mindful of how best to advertise through new portals and simultaneously pay special attention to the content [and amount of info] that is being delivered.  From e-newsletters, promotions, to business updates, marketers must add value to all distribution efforts in order to create and retain a credible, loyal customer and prospect base.

To better understand how to optimize our marketing efforts, it is important to understand the trends affiliated with the times, especially in the evolving interactive marketing industry.  One of the biggest movements influencing content creation and distribution revolves around mobile devices.

…Why? Mobile is about to explode!

How many times have you opened a newsletter on your mobile device only to realize that you weren’t able to view the images/content correctly?  Many of these users will automatically delete the email from their phone, knowing that they won’t visit their desktop later in the day to view the message.        

Understanding marketing on mobile devices is critical for a few reasons.  Firstly, the increase in popularity of mobile usage is leading to an increase in mobile email and mobile website users.  As a result, email design will start to be more heavily influenced by mobile devices (iPhones, Android-powered smartphones, and iPads). Emails (their content and images) must now be transferrable to the small screen. 

According to Email Insider, the distinction between emails and mobile emails is disappearing. Email design will be impacted greatly, as will the amount of content provided.  When creating email designs, optimize how it appears on small screens by keeping the following in mind:

  • Email widths need to narrow (width about 600 pixels)
  • Font sizes need to increase so they’re more legible on small screens.
  • The space between links and the size of buttons need to increase to allow large fingers to hit links accurately. That will also mean navigation bars with fewer links in them.

Another priority for the New Year should be creating a mobile version of your website.  Not only does the amount of content need to change on your website, but the types of information you provide needs to as well. On-the-go users typically aren’t shopping or making purchases from their mobile devices, rather are looking for business locations, phone numbers, and/or hours of operation.  Make your mobile website user-friendly and concise by including only the most relevant and necessary information/services.  The good news is, mobile website design doesn’t require a significant investment of time or money, and so it is economically feasible for even the smallest of businesses.

Embrace the trends!

Business leaders must continue to amend our delivery methods and content to adjust to the advancement in technology.  By doing so, the user experience will enhance and ultimately increase interest in the content being delivered.

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