Going Digital

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Let’s take a look at the numbers.

There are more than 27 million cell phone subscribers in Canada – 327 million in the USA and most of the developed world has access to a cell phone.

Assuming you and I are “average”, it is suggested we are using our mobile phones an estimated 2 hours and 51 minutes per day on non-voice activities If we include time logged onto a computer (nearly 2 hours and 12 minutes), each of us is online for over 5 hours a day…

going digital

Further, the average person checks their phone more than 125 times daily, and many sleep with it next to our beds (as if it is our one and only prized possession).

150 times a day

This isn’t breaking news, but mobile phones have changed society. We have phones at the dinner table or on vacation. We back out of plans more often now by texting our friends and then receive a response along the lines of: “OMG, AYFR? LOL”. (Oh my Gosh, Are you for real? Laughing out Loud). Mobile is even changing our language.

Our phones have become a source of relaxation and entertainment. It’s how we get the news, a mall, a bank, and an avenue to stay in constant contact through text, email, voice calls, and social applications.  You can send a 140 character tweet, post something about your friends birthday on Facebook, find the perfect sunset picture for Instagram, watch countless movies or shows on Netflix, or listen to random stations on SiruisXM, Spotify (Rdio, Pandora, Grooveshark or any other music streaming site) – all via mobile device.

With information being readily available through our mobile devices, our consumer behaviors and patterns have changed.  We can now shop, compare, buy and pay without leaving our couch. We are more informed, more demanding and more focused on our own needs than ever before; we can compare prices at the click of a button.

It’s no surprise more advertising dollars are being spent on mobile marketing. Businesses know we are on our phones constantly, and many have increased their mobile advertising spend over 100% from 2012 to 2013. Various sources predict it will increase another 62% in 2014, reaching $29.4 billion.

What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is activity directly geared to the mobile devices. It provides customers with time and location sensitive/personalized information and promotes goods or services.  It can be in the form of SMS, MMS, push notification, App-based and other avenues.

Simply put – mobile marketing allows businesses to connect with you and I through our mobile phones.

The mobile channel is an exciting opportunity for businesses to have constant contact with each customer, and allows them to build an interactive and engaging relationship. Businesses have the tools to identify consumer’s personal identity, certain behaviors, location, and social/online patterns. When we sign up for a mobile platform, we can get access to a variety of offers that can reward the business with customer engagement, loyalty, and increased customer lifetime value.

So how are modern companies use this model? Simple. They create a more powerful customer relationship.

Constant Contact: Mobile allows for instant results.  Businesses have continuous connectivity with the consumer no matter where they go.  If a business sends an offer or promotion, it will be carried around in the consumer’s mobile device allowing her/him to access this information at any time they need it.

Customer Tracking & Intelligence: Mobile can provide businesses with consumer information such as demographics, travel patterns, communication and social engagement, spending patterns and overall behaviors.  This can help with improving services, and utilizing this information will improve their marketing needs to be consistent with customer wants.

Engagement and Emotions: Mobile phones are very personal devices that reflect the use and interest of the owner. It’s interactive, allows the consumer to respond quickly to messages, share with successes and build relationships. Mobile marketing allows for messages to be easily forwarded on to friends, family and beyond through social media avenues (i.e. helping make things go viral).

Mobile Transactions: Mobile devices have full mobility. Which means click-throughs, redemptions, or online purchases and mobile payments are available and easy.  Soon we will have the option to pay for anything and everything through our mobile phones. Buying coffee, paying for dinner or gas can all by done by simply showing your phone. On the vendor side, mobile allows them to instantly update a price or send a new offer directly to the consumer’s hands to pull them into their business.

Mobile provides us with what we want, when we want it. It’s convenient, easy to use, direct and personalized. By taking part in mobile marketing platforms and channels, we get an inside track to the information, special offers, new products and savings.

We no longer have to go anywhere for the information we want, as it can all be found in the palm of our hands.  Conversations can be had on one mobile platform or another…if some businesses don’t make the transition to mobile/digital (or if they don’t have a good strategy) they are inviting these conversations to go to one of their competitors for the answers or conversations.

With more people using mobile phones every day the risk can be significant if businesses don’t find a way to engage with their customers.

If companies don’t engage and have answers, they will lose customers and ultimately sales.

If they don’t anticipate and act to the changing of how people receive and search for information they will be doomed.

Businesses must anticipate customer needs and wants, innovate to produce great products, and exceed customers always increasing expectations. In the Age of Information, life moves pretty fast…you in?

Mitch Carefoot

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