Weekly Marketing Update for March 10, 2020
For our digital marketing news roundup for this week, we cover a survey about how consumers react to brands that make them feel included and understood, as well as the latest steps Google is taking to prioritize mobile-friendly website.
1. Research Shows Customers Respond to Inclusive Ads
The Female Quotient, a female-owned business committed to advancing equality, teamed up with Google and Ipsos to conduct a 3,000-person study on how perceptions of inclusivity and diversity in advertising affect consumer behavior.
The first percentage is especially notable. In an age when marketing messages are mostly ignored by consumers, a strategy that encouraged 64% of respondents to take action after seeing an ad would be simply irresponsible to ignore.
Importantly, the results show that potential consumers are looking for more than surface-level claims: “It is not enough to put a rainbow on a product and call it a marketing strategy,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, a nonprofit and leading media organization that advocates for the LGBTQ community.
Carlos Santiago, co-founder of the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), adds that “…highly relevant ads go beyond winking and recognizing diversity and inclusion. Consistently, the most effective and impactful ads mirror consumers genuinely with positive reflections. These ads enhance brand perception, increase brand effectiveness, and significantly lift purchase intent and loyalty.”
How does the desire for inclusivity impact your business?
With more people connecting to each other and sharing their ideals, values, ethics, and morals online, customers are becoming smarter and are increasingly seeking products and services from businesses that align their values with their own. As a result, business owners should consider ways in which they can represent minority groups within their customer bases — provided these efforts are genuine, and don’t come off as an attempt to capitalize on popular social topics.
2. Google to switch completely to mobile-first indexing by September 2020
It may be a long time coming, but Google’s latest announcement impacts nearly every business with a website: the company has confirmed that by September 2020, all websites will be crawled and indexed using mobile-first indexing. (It was previously reported that this would happen by the end of 2020.)
Mobile-first indexing simply means that Google will prioritize websites’ mobile version when determining the search queries they apply to and how highly to rank them: “…our crawling, indexing,and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
Google started this initiative in 2016 and is now finally completing the process this year. The search engine shared that at this time, about 70% of the websites shown in its search results have already been switched to the new form of indexing.
With more Internet traffic and Google searches moving to mobile devices, the switch makes sense and shouldn’t cause any panic among business owners. But with an official date on the books, now is more important than ever for marketers to take their mobile sites seriously.
How will Google’s mobile-indexing policy impact your business?
If you have not already taken steps to make your website mobile-friendly, you could end up seeing your search rankings drop as a result of Google’s switch to mobile-first indexing – that is, if you haven’t noticed it already. And when your rankings drop, so does your business’ visibility to potential customers.
While there are a number of options businesses can use to make their sites mobile-compatible, Google recommends using responsive design, which allows you to use one website for all devices (rather than having a mobile version and a desktop version). To learn more about Google’s mobile-first indexing and what you can do to make your website mobile-friendly, read this blog post for a few tips. Or, contact us to discuss how you can optimize your website and marketing according to Google’s algorithms.
Want more helpful marketing insights that you can use to grow your business? Stay tuned on our blog for our Weekly Marketing Updates!