The many different ways to distribute content today represent both a chance to reach viewers in new ways and a puzzle when it comes to choosing an approach. Devices that can display visually rich materials are many and varied, and through technology such as HTML5, creators have ways to reach just about all of them. This means they will have to regard their many options and decide which elements to include within releases, going for the best possible presentation. The one constant is that users are not going back - they can view mobile content and seem disinclined to go back to the PC status quo.
The new world
EContent contributor Lin Pophal recently explained that 2014 was a giant year for mobile device usage. Now, when companies want to promote themselves, they will have to contend with viewers approaching through tablets and smartphones.
Fortunately, the major shift from print content to digital has already taken place, and the current switch from PC to mobile options is a lesser echo of that first shift. It was already standard procedure to make materials available in an online realm. Now, they must simply be tuned to better suit the smaller screens that have become so prevalent. Pophal put the beginning of this mindset in 2007, at the dawn of the iPhone era.
Pophal quoted Cadient CTO Bryan Hill, who explained that there is a need for organizations to make their marketing experiences respond to the devices users employ. Users who look up a company must get a welcome that suits the screen they use. Any incompatibility is an encouragement to surf away and work with another business, one that maximized its technology to respond to the hardware in question and serve up information that is viewable and well presented.
If 2014 was a big time for content access through mobile devices, 2015 promises further enormous progress. Pophal referred to the Shopper Experience Study by Cognizant and Retail Information Systems and explained that this report found many companies not doing enough with their mobile offerings. The author extrapolated that this year, using content will mean considering what firms could be doing to impress mobile-equipped viewers.
One of the many challenges present in 2015 may be an expansion of which devices consumers choose - and how they combine them. Pophal quoted Web Talent Marketing's Justin Emig, who explained that individuals will soon set up their own ecosystems out of many mobile screens, combining existing items with wearables to stay plugged in.
Supported by numbers
The amount of data passing through mobile devices will be staggering within a few years, proving that ignoring the use of smartphones and tablets is probably a mistake now and definitely will be going forward. Cisco recently predicted that there will be 5.2 billion individuals connected by mobile devices in 2019. These individuals will collectively have 11 billion devices. The fact that this is the direction the market is heading underlines the need to optimize for mobile screens as soon as possible. Holdouts may soon be ignored as information gathering processes could begin and end in the mobile realm.