Considering the commonplace usage of smartphones today, it might seem surprising that it’s actually been less than a decade since the innovative iPhone was introduced. The launch changed the way we consume data and subsequently revolutionised the way that companies seek to interact with their customers.
Smartphones, tablets and mobile devices have now permeated all aspects of our lives. It is expected that most people will be able to pick up their emails, make payments and access the news online, at will and while on the move. This assumption means that the majority of companies have tapped into mobile marketing in some form, even if it’s simply a case of adapting their website for viewing on a mobile device.
But of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. New devices, methods of tracking, dynamic content, and multiple points of content consumption provide more opportunities for savvy marketers than ever before. With mobile applications, wallets and wearable technology just a few of the new introductions over recent years, a host of new opportunities are emerging for marketers – along with the associated challenges of trying to keep up with the break-neck speed of technological change and shifts in consumer behaviour.
On average, we check our mobiles 100 times a day. Moreover, the times at which we look at our mobiles vary throughout the day and into the evening. In the B2B arena, for example, it’s a common working pattern for senior executives and decision makers to go online on a Sunday evening in preparation for the working week ahead. Similarly, employees whose working environment prevents mobile access – for example, laboratory-based scientists – will do much of their email correspondence or social media activities outside normal office hours.
By understanding their target audiences and using mobile marketing effectively, companies can greatly extend their marketing reach and engagement with their target audiences. As customers continue to shift their attention (and spend) to mobile, successful marketers need to view mobile as a critical component of the overall customer experience.
The introduction of mobile wallets has meant that online payment has become easier and easier. Google Wallet and PayPal are prime examples, and are being used more frequently both in B2C and B2B transactions. Looking ahead, the lines between online sales and mobile marketing are predicted to become ever more blurred. Marketers will increasingly complement their online content with sales functionality; likewise, mobile wallet platforms will look further at the non-payment side, with more focus on marketing aimed at building customer loyalty. As a result, mobile-enabled sales activities will grow.
A word of caution, though. Amidst the hype of new technologies, it is essential for marketers not to lose sight of their customers’ needs. In the future, companies will need to personalise content and improve targeting as consumers are beginning to find mobile marketing more and more intrusive.
For advice on getting under the skin of your company’s target audiences and how best to take advantage of future trends in mobile marketing, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org