Fast changes in technology can leave businesses crumbling. When companies don’t, or can’t, adapt to the newest technology fast enough, it can end in disaster. The single biggest challenge for businesses right now is the transition to mobile technology. The way consumers are using the internet is changing rapidly. People are moving away from PCs and even laptops. They are becoming more reliant on phones and tablets. In the coming years this will evolve to watches and other wearable items.
Your business needs to embrace this change now. This is not a future technology. This change is happening right now. The smartest and best companies will be those that learnt to harness and dominate it. It doesn’t take much to become mobile-ready. A little investment now will go a long way. Make sure your website is presentable and usable on mobile devices. Get this right now, and it will set you up to change the way your business operates in the future.
Mobile technology is not just changing the way your customers use the internet. It also changes the nature of marketing, ecommerce and how you operate on a global scale. Setting yourself up with a good mobile website is just the start. That’s the baseline for your mobile business. Once that’s in place you need to consider mobile marketing and how to truly take advantage. It is an exciting new market and it could help your business flourish.
Mobile technology is one of the fastest growing markets. Laptop and PC use is decreasing year on year. On the other hand, mobile internet usage looks set to increase from 175 million to 265 million over the next two years. That’s in the US alone. If you’re a global business this number increases exponentially. The European market is moving towards mobile technology just as fast.
This number skyrockets when you look at Japan. In many developing countries, they are skipping laptops and PCs altogether. The technology is now so good, they can move straight to mobile devices. China, Brazil and India are the biggest examples here. Although their industries made use of computers, their general consumers did not. They are investing in mobile phones, however. If you want to grow your consumer base on a worldwide level, you need a good mobile strategy.
With mobile usage increasing with such rapidity, you’d expect mobile shopping to rise with it. In fact, it is rising at an even faster rate. After social media, ecommerce is now one of the top reasons why consumers go online on their phones. 20% of all ecommerce is done online. That’s a huge chunk to be missing out on if your online store isn’t mobile optimised. This chunk is set to rise to a whopping 50% in the next three years. When half of all online shopping takes place on mobiles and tablets, you can’t afford to be left out.
Mobile technology changes the way we use the internet
This is particularly important and is often neglected by businesses. Creating a mobile optimised site alone will not suffice. You need to think of it as an entirely different website. People browse the web on their phones and tablets very differently to on a laptop or PC. Mobile users can’t digest large chunks of information. They need simple web copy and intuitive design. Your marketing message must shortened into less than a couple of sentences. Your mobile store must be intuitive and easy to navigate. Think of large buttons and concise wording.
Mobile technology changes advertising
Mobile devices are slowly replacing traditional media. Radio is now replaced with Spotify and other music streaming services. TV is being replaced by Netflix and other on-demand options. This is all happening on tablets and advertisers are still figuring out how to take advantage. Traditional TV and radio ads are no longer so effective. We have learnt to tune them out and listenership figures are dropping far too fast.
Mobile technology opens new marketing channels
Instead of bemoaning the death of traditional advertising, embrace the opportunities that mobile brings. With small screens and slow internet connection, mobile marketing wasn’t an option a few years ago. They are now powerful and fast devices with large screens. They can now handle marketing. When done in the right way, mobile marketing can be very effective.
Mobile devices are built around the user’s life. They add the apps they need regularly. They download the games they like and the music they are into. They use social media in a very personal way. You can tap into this and really target your marketing. It will save money and you’ll reach a more specific audience. Use catalogue systems from Matrix CMS to keep data on your consumer base and learn how to target more like them.
Location based marketing
Now that all smart phones come equipped with location services, you can target consumers. Everyone carries their mobile phone with them. That means that location based marketing is possible. Take Starbucks, for example. When you enter the vicinity of one of their stores, their app vibrates and pops onto your home screen. It is inviting you into its store via your phone. You’ll have to find your own unique way of making the most of location marketing. Starbucks is just one example. You could offer coupons or discounts when your consumer is within the radius of your services. It’s a chance to be really creative with your marketing. Best of all, its unintrusive and actually helpful to your users.
Most of the ‘popular’ apps in the stores are social media apps. Social media and communication is at the core of our mobile phone and tablet use. After all, phones were invented to communicate. Remember that a significant portion of those using social media are using it on a mobile device. Take that into account when you’re posting to your channels and marketing online. Are you linking to a mobile optimised site? Will your images and videos display correctly on a mobile device?
Alongside social media and shopping, gaming is the other big player in the mobile world. You can take advantage of in-game advertising. The trick is to create an immersive experience with relevant marketing and ads. This will take some creative thinking and a good partnership.
Finally, remember that mobile device users are the perfect demographic. They are tech savvy, educated, social individuals with disposable income. You cannot afford to alienate this core user base. Everything is moving to mobile. Make sure your business moves with it, or it risks collapsing.
Thanks to Robert Scoble for the image.