Every where you look, people are using smartphones, tablets and hybrids to keep connected with the world around them. The Digital, Social and Mobile survey conducted by We Are Social in January 2015 shows that 3.6 billion people use mobile devices with a penetration of 51%. In that same survey it was found that there was a 5% increase in the unique mobile users from January 2014 to January 2015.
According to GO Gulf Web Design Dubai, conversion rates on mobile devices is 300% that compared to a desktop. Mobile devices already accounts for a third of all sales transactions online around the world and the figures point to growth for 2016 and beyond. In the State of Digital Marketing 2015 infographic, it was found that 80% of people primarily accessed the internet using their smartphones.
Implications of mobile marketing growth
Mobile marketing is taking over desktop marketing. What are the implications for marketers and brands?
1. There will be an increased investment in mobile apps
The Adobe Mobile Marketing Survey 2014 found that there has been increased investment in mobile app development. Although it is possible for brands to market using Facebook and Twitter (there are 1.2 billion Facebook monthly active users with 30% only ever logging in from a mobile device), marketers will want to write their own code for apps. A mobile app has the advantage of being user friendly for customers and for data collection, targeting, location tracking and push notifications. Customers will be notified immediately when a special offer or advertisement is published; it is hyper targeted marketing.
2. Created for mobile users
The tipping point occurred for mobile when the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users (ComSCORE, 2014). The implication of this statistic is that marketing should be focused on being mobile first. A mobile-first approach includes mobile responsive website designs, touch friendly ad banners, optimally placed CTAs, QR codes and other ad placements.
3. Marketing based on location
Real time location based marketing is a powerful method to target customers. The technology requires GPS and geolocation; there is insufficient advances in this area so far. Location based targeting is different from check ins where the customer does not receive ads prior to checking into a location. Implemented properly, location based marketing can track customers and adopt different personas for ad campaigns. Customers can be notified of special promotions when they are in close proximity to a venue. There is greater scope for interaction and customer conversions when the mobile technology senses a lead.
4. Personalised for mobile
The close proximity of a smartphone to their user makes this more personal compared to tablets and laptops. The ease of access implies faster intake of information. 76% of people in a survey by SAP 2014 said that they were more likely to read a message delivered via SMS and that SMS was the best way for businesses to contact them. The psychology behind mobile marketing is increased personalisation. Getting the mobile user’s attention using their name, recent purchases and updates on discounts are all examples of mobile personalisation. Allowing the mobile user to opt out and disable notifications when in different time zones should be considerations.
5. Payments via mobile
Mobile security and customer’s perception of mobile security has been increasing in recent years. Mobile payments are now completed through mobile apps when the customer finds the product in store and there are many retails outlets that participate in mobile payments. PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Wallet are the mobile apps available in 2015 but marketers are interested in customers paying through their own apps. Mobivity, a patented technology that drives sales, has projected a 60% increase in mobile payments for 2015.
6. The serious matter of privacy
Any device that collects data will be vulnerable to hacks and other privacy breaches. A mobile app contains a lot of sensitive data which is why customers are reluctant to opt in. Sometimes, the benefits will override the risks, such as personalised ads and promotional offers. Customers are willing to hand over data only if the marketing is clear about what will be done with the data and if there are parameters of data usage. Difference Data Protections laws should inform mobile marketers about how to deal with sensitive data.
Mobile marketing is growing fast and will disrupt the way ecommerce companies target and advertise to customers. The statistics supporting this growth should give marketers plenty to think about in the coming years. Mobile marketing is no longer a matter of speculation-it will happen and it will be led by customer demands for mobile friendly shopping.