2013 Marketing Strategies and Trends: Part 1 – The Responsive Web

It’s a technology-driven world, and our marketing departments are evolving and adapting to reflect the continual advancements. Like anything in business, its always better to be ahead of the curve. So what does the future hold in four of our key areas: Websites, Print, Video and PR, and what will your marketing departments be talking about?

Here are a few highlights from our latest Lunch and Learn presentation:

Part 1: The Responsive Web

The future is mobile and in high definition! With so many devices and browsing habits to support, creating a single website that uniquely responds to different browsers is an efficient way to make sure your brand is consistent and your content always available.

What is responsive web design? It is a web design and programming technique that allows a developer to create a single website that will adapt its layout to the device on which it’s being viewed — desktop,  laptop, smartphone, or tablet. A site built with responsive design will automatically re-size for different devices, sometimes drastically changing how navigation works and content is laid out.

An excellent example of responsive design is the website for The Boston Globe. Even on a desktop computer, you can experience how flexible the site’s layout is by clicking and dragging your browser’s window to different widths.

By 2014, there will be more mobile than desktop users accessing the internet. This audience will expect feature-rich websites that respond to touch, the dimensions of their mobile device’s screen, and contain information that is relevant to them on-the-go. When building a responsive website, it’s important to consider not only the technological needs of your mobile audience, but also their information needs; quick product info, account access, and location finding are all vital features for a mobile site. Responsive design isn’t just about shrinking a website; it’s also about providing content that is the most relevant to the mobile user.

Ironically, moving to a smaller device isn’t a herald of a loss in quality — exactly the opposite. Tablets and smartphones are ushering in a new era of HD displays, most notably pioneered by Apple’s Retina technology. High definition screens have 4x the resolution of normal computer screens, making web graphics look fuzzy. It will be important to keep ahead of the trend and begin converting your website to support high definition in order to prevent corporate brands from looking stale and outdated.

From a maintenance perspective, a responsive website is also the best way to keep information consistent across devices. While many companies opt to create a separate mobile-only website, it can become very easy for the two sites to get out of sync, sometimes to the point where information is absent, out of date, or even conflicting.

Questions to ask your web development agency about responsive design:

  • Is my mobile site responsive design, or a stand-alone site?
  • For which devices will the responsive website be optimized? How will the website work on devices not specifically accounted for?
  • Will animation and other feature-rich functionality have to be dropped for the mobile versions of the website?
  • Will the website load quickly on smartphones and tablets?
  • How will the website look and work if a mobile user tilts their phone or tablet, changing viewscreen orientation between portrait and landscape mode?
  • How should my mobile and desktop content differ? How can I manage this content?
  • Will the mobile versions of the website support touch-screen gestures such as the long-tap and swipe?
  • How will desktop-only interactivity such as mouse hovering work on a smartphone or tablet?
  • How can we begin to support high resolution displays, like the Retina iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro?

This is part one of a four-part series about 2013 Marketing Strategies and Trends. The next edition, Online Video in 2013, will be posted next Wednesday, November 21. This series is a follow-up to our Fall 2012 Lunch and Learn educational series, an information-rich presentation we provide for our partners each quarter.

Appleton Creative is a award-winning, full-service advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through print, web, social media and video production – all in house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.

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