Some day in the nearly immediate future, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a bold warning label on the latest-and-greatest smartphone that cautions: Negative effects include a need for instant gratification and loss of patience.
It may not be on the consumer packaging, but these are real cautionary words straight from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. All of us have tasted a bit of this frustration already. But by 2020, Pew Research predicts a dangerous downside for hyperconnected people, mainly those under the age of 35.
Today, most everyone has a Smartphone within easy reach. The mobile device has Wi-Fi and high-speed connectivity. And when typing a search question is tedious and slow, voice search is fast. We simply talk to the device and expect answers—via text, image, video, map and/or graphics—in less time than it takes to read this sentence.
Futurists envision evolutionary changes in the human brain. Until then, being “always on” has trained us to expect instant answers and immediate satisfaction. Technology shrinks weeks or hours to a fraction of a second, and we—Internet users and consumers—have wholeheartedly embraced the new benchmark.
These relatively new instant gratification expectations create challenging new consumer demands. And speed—or the lack of it—is at the core of several, surefire ways to doom your mobile marketing efforts:
Don’t be mobile friendly. When Google puts mobile users first, the world of search conforms. Any website that isn’t “mobile optimized” or a responsive small screen design, risks a ranking penalty with Google.
Slow to load erases visitors quickly. Consumers, customers and/or patients will either find you instantly or not at all. Depending on which survey you follow, at least half of visitors abandon a mobile retail site if it takes over three seconds to appear. Within five seconds, three out of four consumers have abandoned your site. A target of one second or less is an ideal standard.
Don’t bother checking every page, link or cranny. Many sites are originally built on a desktop, big screen. But it’s first viewed on the small screen; the ubiquitous mobile phone or tablet. Poor performance on the smartphone, such as broken links, challenging navigation, non-functioning videos and the like, triggers an impatient switch to another site.
Don’t make your email mobile-friendly either. The impatient world opens more than half of all email messages on a mobile device first. Readers want to find concise, easy to read, email messages that are simple and uncluttered.
Your mobile marketing strategy has to be designed to fit the physical requirements of the hardware, and the immediate, “I want it now” expectations of us (everyone) the viewer. We’re learning that nearly every aspect of Internet use is quick if not instantaneous. It’s an expectation that includes same-day services, overnight package delivery, and extra fees for quicker TSA screenings, earlier boarding group or better seats on the airplane.
The surefire paths to mobile marketing disasters all patiently assume that it’s a same-as-usual user with a slightly smaller screen. That's wrong on both counts. Mobile visitors are becoming the first and most important audience group. They expect immediate answers and gratification, and they’re impatient with anything else.