Top 5 Objectives for Investing in Mobile Web – Generate Revenue

March 22nd, 2012 by

This post is the final entry in our series of Top 5 Objectives for Investing in Mobile Web. We previously covered increasing engagement, customer satisfaction, appearing innovative and building loyalty.

Let’s face it, when all is said and done, making money is an integral part of business. And with the U.S. mobile market booming into the hundreds of millions of devices and billions in commerce and advertising dollars, what better way to generate some additional revenue than through these little smart devices at our fingertips 95% of the day?

It makes sense that over one-fourth of marketing decision makers selected revenue generation as an important part of their mobile strategy. But however important revenue generation is to your mobile strategy, I encourage you to go back and make sure you understand the first four objectives in this series. Customer engagement, satisfaction, innovation and loyalty are all catalysts toward increased revenue. Without a satisfied and loyal customer procured through proper engagement and innovative techniques, you can almost certainly kiss any hopes for increased mobile revenue goodbye.

In this post we’re going to take a look at how your mobile site can get you a slice of the mobile revenue pie.

At its core, earning revenue from your mobile website is similar to earning revenue through your desktop site, or any other online presence for that matter. Typically it’s done through ads or sales, and occasionally a mixture of the two (think freemium).

Ad-based revenue

Mobile advertising generated upwards of $1.23 billion in the United States last year and is only expected to grow larger — potentially 4 times larger over the next 3 years. On top of that, click-through rates for iPhone passed 4%, Android hovered around 3% and tablets with large screens, like the iPad and Galaxy Tab, saw CTRs over 9%! If you’re thinking of increasing your revenue through mobile ads, the time is now.

The obvious start to maximizing mobile ad-based revenue is by having an optimized and engaging mobile web experience. Upgrading your mobile site can have an enormous effect on the metrics necessary for maximum ad revenue: bounce rate, pageviews, and visitors. A better mobile site means more visitors that spend more time looking at your content, greatly increasing the amount of click-throughs your site sees, and thus revenue.

A great example is Baby Gaga, a popular online pregnancy education source. They saw a 104% increase in unique visitors and 82% increase in mobile pageviews within two weeks of launching a mobile optimized version of their site. Ultimately, the new mobile site led to greater user engagement and a 50% increase in ad-revenue.

Building an optimized mobile web experience is only the beginning to a successful ad-based revenue strategy. It is equally important for the ads you are serving to be relevant (or targeted), engaging, attractive and non-intrusive — or else they won’t be clicked. Typically selecting a reputable ad network like AdMod, Google’s AdSense, JumpTap or Millennial Media will be your best bet. And if you have a lot of inventory, chances are you’ll need to work with all of them.

Sales revenue

Mobile based sales have skyrocketed since the holiday season and mobile commerce sales are expected to surpass $11 billion this year. Some companies have seen nearly 10% of their overall revenue come from mobile purchases and others, like Fandango, have seen nearly one quarter of sales from mobile devices!

Successful mobile commerce begins with – you guessed it – a properly mobile-optimized website. A recent Nielsen study has even shown that consumers favor the mobile web shopping experience to the mobile app shopping experience. So give the consumer what they want. An engaging and well-designed mobile commerce experience will help draw in the sales you’re looking for, and will continue to grow as mobile moves forward.

If direct commerce transactions on mobile are a little too much for your company today, you’re not out of luck. Studies have also shown that mobile websites and local searches done on mobile devices directly lead many consumers to the store for more information or to make a purchase.  Additionally, a Google exec further made the connection between mobile and brick-and-mortar by saying 27% end up making an in-store purchase. Many consumer are looking to mobile as an enabler to their eventual purchase in a complementary channel (in store, over the phone or desktop site).

A lot of work goes into gaining revenue from a mobile strategy and website. If revenue is a primary goal, remember that maximizing customer engagement and satisfaction are integral in getting started. Stats like the ones reviewed here show just how big the mobile revenue pie is growing larger by the day. Having a well-designed mobile strategy and an optimized mobile site is a surefire way to grab a piece.

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