"We're a B2B company so most of our web visitors are on desktop."
Seems a little presumptuous right? But surely it must be what's going on in marketing meetings behind the closed doors of many UK businesses. How else can we explain the continual creation of 'desktop only' web sites in B2B?
This is old news but it's not easy to predict how someone will engage with your content. That means you have to build a web site that provides the same kind of experience irrespective of the device. The comfortable B2B image of someone interacting with your web site on a monitor with a landscape viewport of 1024 x 768 pixel screen is outdated. In some cases it may be true those users are still a sizeable chunk, but that chunk is getting smaller all the time. In terms of technology, user types are getting more fragmented. Not convinced? just check your Analytics (1 in 10 businesses never do!). The different viewports are growing in size, the amount of devices too.
And behaviour and context — where and how people view your content — is changing too. B2B office workers are just as likely to meet your web content away from the confines of their desktop PC. They're using their mobile devices away from their desks, in the coffee room, at a conference, on the train, out on their lunch break. But still a staggering 39% of business sites are not optimised for these mobile devices and not providing a good experience for the business audience in these situations. It distinctly feels like some in the UK business community are behaving like an ostrich in the face of a changing world?
I can provide a 'real life' example. You've written some killer blog content for your web site that really addresses the needs of your audience. You're ready to share these pearls of wisdom; your Tweet is carefully crafted to make it impossible for them not to want to read on. Twitter (which of course emanated from an SMS-based messaging system) estimates that 75% of its users are mobile, so it's likely that the majority of your audience will read your Tweet on their mobile device. So far so good...but then your link sends them to a frustrating 'pinch and zoom' web page which makes it almost impossible to read on their device. You can hope they read it later, or save it to Pocket or a similar app, but people do happily consume content of all types (short and 'long form') on their mobile devices. All you've done is make it difficult for them to do this.
And although social media has driven mobile access there are other channels where companies are adding an unnecessary hurdle to the user journey. How about email marketing messages that have a big call-to-action sending you to an unoptimised web page? I've even seen large consumer brands do something similar with QR codes, so in fact using an old mobile-only technology to send to a desktop-only destination!
Marketing at its core is about removing obstacles and friction to make it easier for people to buy. With bad mobile experiences you are just adding friction and creating more obstacles. Your audience won't thank you for this. Customers will be frustrated whilst prospects could simply look elsewhere.
As marketers and designers its our duty to provide a great experience at every point in the engagement with an audience. Not only will they demand this but they will reward it with their trust and advocacy. So why wouldn't you?