Imagine you’re on the train commuting home. You whip out your smartphone to weed through messages in your crowded inbox and open an email from a business with an enticing offer in the subject line. The email invites you to click a link to download a report with relevant tips for your line of work. Sounds good. But when you click the link, you’re confronted with a lengthy registration form. You want me to fill out 15 boxes using only my thumbs? Forget it! Next email.

Register on the Go

At Adobe, we recently discussed redesigning some of our landing pages. The pages in question target business customers and contain registration forms that help us add to our pool of data. We found that most visitors reached our landing page after clicking a link in an email. The pages were designed and optimized for a laptop or desktop PC. But what do many busy business folk use to keep up with email on the go? Bingo! Their smartphones and tablets.

It’s not that we hadn’t thought of the mobile user before—far from it—but mobile is becoming more essential to B2B engagement than it was even a year ago. New challenges spur us to find fresh solutions to keep pace with how people use their mobile devices today.

The data we gather through forms like these is important, but it doesn’t do us much good if B2B users don’t bother to fill out the forms. We’re hoping to solve the problem with a responsive mobile redesign to key landing pages. That means visitors will now be directed to a device-specific page when they click through from email. If they’re on a mobile device, they’ll discover smooth, simplified navigation and shorter forms with autofill options. The idea is to reduce friction on the page to accommodate for the friction that’s inherent to the device itself.

Download across Devices

Forms aren’t the only problem. Remember that hyper-relevant report that caused you to click through in the first place? Let’s say you get through registration on your phone, click the link, and get your free download­, only to discover it’s a three-page PDF. Even if you have a PDF reader on your device, squinting at text for so long will probably give you a headache. So you save it until you get home, flip open your laptop, and realize the report only exists on your phone now—you’ll have to go through the whole rigmarole again to read it on a 13-inch screen. Forget it! What’s on TV?

We came up with another convenience for the B2B mobile user: a simple forward-and-share option for the free report. That way, when users download the document on their mobile devices, they can send it directly to their email or cloud storage, where it can wait to be read on a desktop or laptop.

B2B Mobile Marketing Can’t Be Ignored

In the past year, the average tech company set aside only 3.8 percent of its marketing budget for mobile optimization, apps and ads. However, some predict a shift in the coming year because many B2B marketers are not entirely satisfied with their mobile efforts. We’ve reached (and then surpassed) a global tipping point in mobile use. In 2012 alone, smartphone sales rose by 63 percent, and mobile’s overall contribution to total Web traffic jumped 117 percent.

Moving forward, it would be a mistake to focus only on mobile ads. The keys to boosting mobile conversion rates are the same we’ve used to unlock digital: personalizing sites, developing useful and relevant content marketing, and delivering true value to customers. Mobile technology can be integrated with the entire marketing chain and made to work hand in hand with digital strategies already in place.

I’ll dive deeper into ways to optimize your B2B mobile efforts in future posts. In the meantime, what are your biggest concerns and brightest solutions for B2B mobile marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments area below.

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