Riding the wave of the $160 billion tsunamiArticle
Back in the days of mainframe computers, no one could have fathomed these huge devices fitting in the laps of users in only a few years. Technologies just like everything else in the universe follow a curve of evolution, with the lesser weaker ones eventually dying out. Some foresee it happening to the less-mobile personal computers of today, which will be replaced by the tablets and smartphones of the world. This is evident from the increasing adoption rates of these devices worldwide. Currently there are 5 times as many mobiles as PCs in the world, with this number expected to double maybe triple over the years. This trend has huge implications for marketers and consumers alike. Mobile is driving a second, more profound internet revolution by changing the manner in which consumers interact with brands, thereby disrupting traditional business models with its ubiquity. The mobile’s omnipresence now calls for marketers to not only include mobile in their marketing mix, but instead have mobile-focused marketing strategies to capture the attention of today’s on-the-go consumers.
Why is that?
Mobile is possibly the only platform that allows you to have a personal relationship with your customers. You can greet each of your customers by name, guide them through your stores or your site, and give them product recommendations and real-time savings-all from their mobile devices. As a platform it offers many advantages for marketers to greatly enhance brand experience and interactions of their customers:
Offers Real-time engagement
Mobile devices are something your customers and prospects carry with them at all times. It offers endless opportunities for you to have real-time interactions with them in the form of product announcements, incentives, rewards and more. The advantages of spontaneity, brevity that this platform offers greatly enhances the quality of interactions and conversations with customers.
Reduced targeting errors
In comparison to other personalized messaging channels, mobile uses phone numbers as a customer’s unique ID as opposed to IP addresses or cookies as used previously by marketers to determine a user’s information.
For marketers, QR codes allow advertisements, brochures, posters, billboards – to direct users to mobile landing pages that contain much more information and interaction capabilities than can be afforded on the printed page. This integration between print and web via mobile adds a new dimension of communication to any marketing or outreach effort.
Mobile usage provides marketers with the knowledge of their prospective and current customer’s geographic location which can be leveraged to engage in extremely relevant and meaningful conversations with them like never before.
Not just another distribution channel.
The advantages cited above clearly show how mobile goes beyond being just a distribution channel to a platform for improving consumer experiences with a brand. Many B2B brands have realized the potential of this platform and released customized solutions focused on mobile. For instance, Ricoh Innovations Corporation which is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd, launched a visual search platform called Ocutag using which mobile apps connect users with a variety of related digital media through the simple capture of an image, for easy access to customized multimedia content and other services. Companies such as Ricoh have realized the need for companies to engage their customers by presenting targeted, highly customizable, actionable information in a format which will reach them at all times.
The Future is here.
Sales of mobile content, including apps, games, video and TV, along with mobile browsing and ad revenue, raked in $161bn during 2012 alone, with mobile expected to break the $200bn barrier in just three years. But for this to take place, marketers have to stop viewing mobile as just another channel which they may or may not use in their marketing mix; the true power of mobile will only be unleashed when they start leveraging it as a platform in itself. The future of marketing is mobile, are you ready to embrace it?