Have you ever Googled something from your mobile device, find a link to a site that looks promising, click on it and…

Smashing Mobile Phone

  • You can’t read the text.
  • You can’t tap the right link.
  • The images are tiny. It’s a mess!
  • You’re frustrated and you’re gone!

This is what happens when a site is not optimized for mobile. This is what happens when your site does not use Responsive Web Design.

So, what is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design

Smashing Magazine gives this definition of Responsive Web Design:

“Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.

The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries.”

Designing your website using this approach allows the layout to transform and adjust specifically for the user’s screen. So, instead of having a website, a mobile site, a tablet site, you have one website that adjusts for all users.

The coding of the website will allow it to expand and reshape to the device being used to view it. Try this:

  • Open our homepage
  • Adjust the size of your browser window (grab the corner and drag the window smaller)
  • Note how the layout, navigation and page elements will move to fit the display window

As you can see, the design adjusts smoothly no matter the screen size. This means that this design will work seemlessly on a desktop, tablet, or any type of smartphone. Neat, huh? But, so what?

The Zero Moment of Truth

What is the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT? Google invented ZMOT and it is a moment you need to target. This is the moment when an idea is born and information is desired. A buying decision is about to be made.

This could be…

  • A guy in a bar thinking about his future, looking up engagement rings.
  • A woman taking the train to work, looking for career change.
  • A hungry tourist, looking for the best places to eat.
  • A dad at a playground, looking up schools in his community.

This is the moment before the so-called first moment of truth or FMOT when the consumer is staring at a shelf full of products about to grab one. This is the moment when the idea to look for that product strikes and they want to find out more about it.

ZMOT occurs now more than ever because of the easy access to information using tablets and smartphones. Consumers can now simply reach for their device and start searching, anywhere, anytime. Where are you in this moment?

Responsive Web Design and ZMOT

Simply applying responsive web design coding to your website does not mean you have a mobile marketing strategy in place. It means you have a site that will render appropriately for the mobile user. This is good and necessary, but it is simply the first step.

With ZMOT we now know that we are targeting these consumers when they are inspired and need information. They are on the go, impatient and expect answers quickly.

Sometimes, they will be taken to the homepage through a Google search. Responsive design will ensure that they see an interface that is easy to use so they can navigate through your content.

When a Mobile Only Page Makes Sense

To actively market to mobile users, you need to think about ZMOT. Think about mobile marketing opportunities:

  • an ad in a magazine
  • email marketing campaign
  • trade show booth
  • product display

These are instances where you’re asking a mobile user to go further.

On these ads or promotions, with a link, SMS promotion or QR Codes, send them to a page tailored to the specific campaign. Consider their needs in this role. What information will they be looking for and what information will help you turn them into a client?

What you don’t want to do is send them to your home page. They want something specific; give them this!

Your web developer can create a mobile landing page (or series of them if you are taking this to the next level) that’s geared specifically towards the mobile user. When they respond to one of those examples above from their mobile device, the coding will be set so that they see the mobile landing page.

On this page will only be information that they need and a call to action!

Mobile Marketing and Knowing Your Audience

Of course all of this hinges on you knowing your target client. You want to identify the buyer personas and list out their needs and your expectations. 

What do you think about responsive web design and ZMOT? How are you using this as a client and as a marketer? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you looking for some help with Responsive Web Design or have some questions? Contact us and we will help.

Jon-Mikel Bailey – Before co-founding Wood Street in 2002, Jon worked in sales, marketing and business development for technology and marketing firms. A popular speaker, he gives seminars on marketing, internet marketing, branding and web design to chambers of commerce, trade associations and colleges. He has a BFA in Photography from Frostburg State University and still shoots photos for Wood Street clients.

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