On Tuesday, eMarketer published the results of a Regalix poll indicating that only 50% of B2B marketers across the globe are actively using mobile marketing as part of their overall strategies. That is somewhat surprising, given that mobile marketing has been a focal point of every digital marketing conference I have attended over the past several years. That said, in retrospect the focus of most of those conference presentations has been on the B2C consumer. What about B2B buyers? Is mobile important for them, too?
Based on the poll results, most B2B marketers are struggling to put together effective mobile marketing campaigns. The companies in the Regalix poll that were actively pursuing prospects via mobile were collecting a variety of information to understand how their primary audiences find and consume mobile content. Most had ensured that their websites were fast and mobile-friendly, and some had advanced to using contextualized messages and personalized content. Still, despite their efforts, 75% of those polled said their tactics were just “somewhat” effective, with less than 25% of their website traffic coming from mobile.
If you’re a B2B company, these results could be discouraging – but don’t write off mobile just yet. B2B mobile strategies can be effective, but require you to work for every visit. An informal study conducted last fall by Kuno Creative found B2B mobile traffic was not growing at the same pace as B2C, but B2B businesses that were investing in social and content were making gains. “For the B2B websites that saw big jumps in mobile traffic, one thing was true,” wrote study author, Dan Stasiewski. “They were all creating content and consistently sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. More so than even having a mobile website, this demand generation activity was the biggest driver of mobile success.”
REAL-LIFE B2B MOBILE RESULTS
Given all this information, I was curious about B2B mobile results in real life. I dug into some 2015 Google Analytics data for companies in different verticals, and found both distinct similarities to the Regalix findings as well as some interesting differences.
1. TRAFFIC + SESSION DURATION
The first B2B company I researched got less than 10% of its traffic from mobile in Q1 and Q2. Its session duration for mobile was less than half of what is was for desktop, and it experienced no conversions from mobile. A second B2B company in a completely different vertical received less than 18% of its traffic from mobile sources, but its session duration was slightly better – a little over half of the time spent in a desktop session.
Finally, I looked at results for another company with a truly mobile audience – we know their primary customers are literally on-the-go all the time. When I looked at website traffic for both phone and tablet together, it was almost even with desktop traffic. Session duration for tablet visitors exceeded desktop, and session duration for phone visits was nearly even, meaning customers clearly use mobile as easily as they use desktop to engage with the client’s content.
Conversions were another story. In fact, mobile-fueled conversions for all of the B2B accounts I reviewed were in line with another data point from the Regalix poll, with 72% of respondents indicating that less than 10% of revenue could be attributed to mobile sources.
Making it easier for engaged, mobile B2B prospects to convert is something to focus in the coming months. Are hard-to-use forms making it difficult for prospects to make contact or ask questions? Is click-to-call enabled? A Google study from 2013 found that 57% of B2B tech buyers indicated it was “extremely important” to be able to call for information while researching a product, so click-to-call would seem to make sense for any client in the tech space.
SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
It is a given that any digital marketing strategy needs to include a mobile component – even for B2B clients. But understanding how each B2B audience uses mobile on a case by case basis is essential to success. Knowing the percentage of B2B buyers coming to you via mobile, then digging in to how long they stay and the content they engage with, can provide valuable insight for budget allocation and the design of future campaigns.