By Jim Ittenbach
Sometime in 2015, a quantum shift occurred in the way individuals connect with the world around them. The facts are in: among U.S. adults, 3 in 4 internet connections—regardless of age—originate from a mobile device, and 7 in 10 of these connections include the use of an app.
In fact, we’re now well past the mobile tipping point as this report from comScore shows. So, it’s no longer a case of asking whether mobile marketing is important—it absolutely is! It’s now a question of how best one can use the statistics to understand how consumers behave when using different types of mobile devices and what their preferences are.
Our own survey research into digital records validate that a clear majority of our survey participants are now using smartphones to both keep up with their busy lifestyles as well as to take our surveys.
As such, a decree to develop a supportive digital platform that responds to the way consumers want to connect to their information, retail consumptions or even business suppliers must be adopted by leadership to keep pace with competition.
More importantly, consumers must be able to receive “personalized alerts” about the types of retail offerings, events and engaging activities that matter most to them to even break through the clutter of messaging that they are exposed to daily. This can be achieved via smart analytics derived from personal interest profiles, transaction data, or internet metadata. Soon all consumers will be able to effortlessly connect to all that matters—anytime and anywhere.
The most interesting data from comScore, however, is that a major part of their digital future shows that marketers need to engage and build up interest using visual and dynamic pictures. Their data shows that most consumers are employing multi-mobile platforms and will often be multi-screening, sites on mobile and or desktop devices interchangeably.
Therefore, we need to be careful with interpreting data about consumer digital behavior, since they spend most of their time on smartphones checking email and using social media. This has led to the common mantra of “mobile-first” design, which is dangerous, or at least overly simplistic! When he was the Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt talked about a mobile-first approach. The reality is that while smartphone use is overwhelmingly popular for activities like social media, messaging and catching up on news, many consumers in western markets have desktops and tablets as well as smartphones. Today’s marketers must remain vigilant and develop strategies to engage the multichannel majority. This explains why mobile conversion rates are typically lower and why the breakdown between retail sites is often equal between smartphone and desktop.
As such, consistent experiences across all device platforms must be deployed. Yet, the look, feel and brand depiction must be uniformly connected within each digital platform to be fully effective. The best way to stay on top of your marketing game is to: 1) challenge the effectiveness of all that you are doing now and 2) regularly connect to your competition’s site on your smartphone.