Mobile devices’ smaller screens demand a new approach to design and content.

The way consumers communicate is moving—literally. With smartphones outselling PCs, and tablet computer sales expected to outpace desktop sales by 2013, today’s marketers must design for the small screen, says Eric Holmen, senior vice president of marketing at  e-mail services vendor Silverpop. Holmen will speak about designing for devices beyond the desktop at the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Forum 2011 in a session called “Moving e-mail into the mobile era.

Consumers view up to 20% of marketing-related e-mail on mobile devices, according to industry estimates.  That affects the format and the content that marketers can include in e-mail marketing messages. “This shift has changed when, where and how we communicate—no longer primarily on stationary office computers, but instead on all things mobile,” Holmen says. “Attention spans are shorter, inboxes are fuller and the fingertip is the new mouse.”

In this session, Holmen will share what businesses need to know about the differences between PC and smartphone e-mail, focusing on key topics such as content relevancy, text and layout. “We’ll share tips for making sure your messages are read and interacted with by people on the go,” he says.

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Holmen to speak because of the experience he brings as a 20-year marketing veteran to his role as the leader of Silverpop’s marketing efforts. Prior to Silverpop, he was the senior vice president of the wireless division of The Marketing Arm, an Omnicom company. He also served as president of mobile marketing firm SmartReply and in leadership roles in consumer marketing at Sears and at marketing technology firm Catalina Marketing.