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The Future is Mobile-First Marketing

The concept of mobile-friendly marketing is relatively pervasive today, but the future seems to be tied to a more radical shift in marketing thought: mobile-first marketing.

What is mobile-first?

When mobile devices first hit the market, software developers tried to cram larger platforms into a smaller space. This degradation of content led to some truly terrible user experiences. Designers looking for improvement came up with the concept of mobile-first design which required companies to scale up from clean and essentialized content rather than trying to downscale their content and design.

The resulting “mobile-first” design has proven that enhancement of design elements improves, clarifies, and essentializes an overall software package. Because the designers selected the most essential elements that any mobile user could access intuitively, scaled-up mobile versions were more user-friendly. These tended to have less confusing and wasteful content and appealed to consumers.

Applying design to marketing

The number of users of mobile devices has toppled those using desktop computers for searching and purchasing. Because of this, the concept of mobile-first is beginning to make headway in marketing. By starting with focused and optimized marketing design and statements that appeal to a mobile audience, marketing messages become more effective.

Essentialize content

Less is certainly more when it comes to your marketing message. 79% of online users are said to scan rather than read content in full. Therefore, digital messaging must be scannable and use bullet points and simple phrasing to boost comprehension. In addition, social media copy that is less than 40 characters has been shown to have 85% more engagement. The short and sweet format is very appealing to mobile audiences.

Video is king

More and more are receiving their information from short video content. When preparing video content it is important to prioritize visual messaging over verbal (and to include subtitles) – currently, 85% of all video content is consumed without sound – and to focus on getting to the point with a short-form video format.

Design emails for mobile

Your email campaigns are already being opened by a significant percentage of mobile users – a trend that is likely to increase. By designing emails specifically with mobile in mind it makes your desktop version easier to access. Emails designed for mobile have been proven to have a 40% higher open rate.


One essential part of mobile marketing has to do with personalization. Because the message is contained in a smaller space, it can be more easily diversified for targeted individuals. Millenials have come to expect this kind of directly relevant content to be delivered to them on their mobile device.

The Boston Consulting Group’s recent study claims that companies that have embraced this kind of personalization have seen a rapid growth of around 10%. In addition, they claim that over the next five years personalization will allow for a shift in revenue to the tune of 800 billion to companies that are properly employing these strategies.
Methods for mobile personalization can include:

  • Different messaging for first-time users
  • Exclusive mobile content
  • Messaging based on where a user clicked from (email, social media, a specific site, etc.)
  • Customer loyalty benefits
  • Customize for voice search

Over 50% of teens and 40% of adults use voice more than once a day to search online. Businesses need to prepare for this change by looking at SEO practices and prioritizing longer keyword phrases. Phrasing such as “Where is the best sushi in Chicago?” may have greater viability over short phrases like “Sushi, Chicago” as people who search through voice usually use full sentences.

Thriving in a mobile-first world means integrating mobile user behavior into all components of your marketing engine like retention, acquisition, and fulfillment. Mobile marketing focuses on personalized messaging, improved user experience, and accessible yet impactful content. This infographic from Red Stag Fulfillment includes 32 data-driven tips for applying these principles to your marketing!


Tips to Optimize Mobile MarketingSource: Infographic by RedStag Fulfillment, Mobile-First Marketing by Siege Media