Do you under­stand the mind of the mobile consumer?

In a 2013 sur­vey of more than 3,000 mobile users in North Amer­ica and Europe, Adobe delved into the mind of the mobile con­sumer. Adobe asked ques­tions that mar­keters and orga­ni­za­tions want to know, and con­sumers answered: Which mobile devices do you use? How do you inter­act with web­sites and appli­ca­tions? What do you want most out of your mobile expe­ri­ences? Con­sumers pro­vided valu­able insight into their mobile expe­ri­ences in media, travel, finance, retail, and more.

In this blog, I will give you the bot­tom line, or five best prac­tices that mar­keters can develop in order to delight mobile con­sumers. If you want to read the results of the sur­vey, you can down­load a copy here.

5 Best Prac­tices for Mobile Marketers

1 | Think like a Quar­ter­back: Reduce the Num­ber of “Plays” or Touch Events

In foot­ball, the fewer first downs nec­es­sary to score points, the bet­ter. If the quar­ter­back can throw one great pass down the field or hand it off to the star run­ning back for a touch­down, why not do it? The same prac­tice applies in mobile. The quicker you can con­vert your con­sumer, the bet­ter. They don’t want to touch, pinch, drag, or swipe five times to get to the “end zone.” They want two, at most three, touches to make your app or site pro­duce their desired out­comes. You need to think like Joe Mon­tana (@JoeMontana), one of the great­est quar­ter­backs of all time, and design the mobile expe­ri­ence with the path of least resis­tance to achieve­ment.” Con­vert your cus­tomers as quickly as pos­si­ble before the other team gains pos­ses­sion of the ball and you lose the game.

2 | Think Like a Fighter Pilot: Opti­mize for Speed

In the clas­sic Tom Cruise film, Top Gun, the main char­ac­ter utters those now-famous words: “I feel the need … the need for speed.” When you’re work­ing with your mobile design team, remem­ber to think like a fighter pilot: The faster your sites can load, the bet­ter expe­ri­ence you’ll cre­ate for mobile con­sumers. Accord­ing to the Aberdeen Group, “even a 1-second delay in mobile page load time equals a 7% loss in con­ver­sion.” Mobile con­sumers are not the most patient demo­graphic, so your mobile-optimized web­site or mobile app must be fast, stream­lined, and effi­cient. Your expe­ri­ence must speed­ily adjust con­tent size, res­o­lu­tion, and more based on your consumer’s mobile device.

3 | Think Like a Per­pet­ual: Design for Mobile Interactions

As described in my pre­vi­ous post on per­pet­u­ally con­nected con­sumers, the fre­quent use of both smart­phones and tablets is part of every­day life for “per­pet­u­als.” Instead of opti­miz­ing expe­ri­ences for mouse clicks and key­board con­trols, you need to design for touch inter­faces. Your mobile design must enable con­sumers’ fin­gers to fly across the screen, swip­ing, touch­ing, drag­ging, pinch­ing, and zoom­ing, ulti­mately trans­port­ing the con­sumer to their desired end. Think about men with large hands and ask your­self, will they be able to suc­cess­fully access this touch point? Large, sim­ple but­tons and touch points such as large video play but­tons are desir­able over small, com­pli­cated ones. Today, many com­pa­nies still deliver the PC web­site expe­ri­ence to per­pet­u­als who use their tablets to browse the Web. Con­se­quently, the oppor­tu­nity to delight the con­sumer often pro­duces the oppo­site effect, dri­ving con­sumers away because their fin­gers can­not eas­ily nav­i­gate the mouse-centric experience.

4 | Think Like a Detec­tive: Make Con­tent “Find­abil­ity” Easy

We know that “mobile users have high intent,” which means they are rout­ing to your app or web­site via their mobile device with a spe­cific pur­pose, or intent, in mind. Do you know what it is? Well, if you lis­ten to them, they will tell you. The mobile con­sumer will pro­vide you with clues via dig­i­tal behav­iors. Typ­i­cally, before they do any­thing on a mobile com­merce site, con­sumers will use “search.” The take­away for you is this: Mobile site search opti­miza­tion is cru­cial. If you’re not already doing so, you should “use explicit nav­i­ga­tional cues for easy brows­ing. Imple­ment auto-suggest and auto-correct in search input boxes to address the dif­fi­culty of mobile typ­ing. Pro­vide the most com­pelling, rel­e­vant top-search results opti­mized for screen size and loca­tion.” Don’t force your con­sumers to be detec­tives and dis­cover the cor­rect path them­selves. If the con­tent is buried seven lay­ers down, con­sumers will aban­don your expe­ri­ence. Instead, you should play the detec­tive, mak­ing their desired con­tent find­able and actionable.

5| Think Like a Sci­en­tist: Use Ana­lyt­ics from Day 1

The sci­en­tific method requires both mea­sure­ment and data to con­firm or dis­prove a hypoth­e­sis. You should think like a sci­en­tist and always require ana­lyt­ics for mea­sure­ment of every mobile expe­ri­ence. The use of ana­lyt­ics will allow you to omit activ­i­ties that do not improve your ROI while opti­miz­ing those that do. “Review your mobile sites and apps to ensure that ana­lyt­ics are in place to effec­tively mea­sure suc­cess. Direct mea­sure­ment of vis­i­tor behav­ior is impor­tant to under­stand­ing the effec­tive­ness and ROI of mobile chan­nels.” At a min­i­mum, it is imper­a­tive for your orga­ni­za­tion to acquire insights about device plat­forms and user engage­ment spe­cific to your con­sumers. This can­not be achieved with­out the deploy­ment of ana­lyt­ics as part of each mobile app, web­site, or campaign.

Mobile Mar­keters: Your Expanded Job Description

As if the era of mobile mar­ket­ing hasn’t expanded your job descrip­tion enough, I’m now sug­gest­ing that you add the skills of a quar­ter­back, fighter pilot, per­pet­ual, detec­tive, and sci­en­tist to the list. By expand­ing how you think about mobile, you will cre­ate expe­ri­ences that improve how con­sumers engage with your dig­i­tal brand and opti­mize busi­ness results from your mobile cus­tomers. Next week we’ll con­tinue look­ing into the minds of the mobile con­sumer for points to keep them highly engaged and com­ing back for more.