By Doug Mow
We are in the midst of a massive marketing shift in which mobile computing is becoming the primary power player for reaching the individual consumer. Just as the Internet shifted the way we shop, mobile is revolutionizing how businesses interact with customers.
Consider the facts. By 2013, more people will access the internet via mobile devices than via desktop PCs. By 2015, tablets and smart phones will outnumber PCs. And by 2020 there will be 10 billion-plus devices in the hands and pockets of consumers.
A lot of excitement and hype is generated each time a new, faster, smaller and more functional device hits the market. But the real excitement takes place behind the scenes. That’s where marketers and developers create apps and programs to give consumers the seamless, flawless and instantaneous gratification they demand and expect.
The potential of mobile location-based services, mobile search, mobile commerce and mobile social is enormous and enable an exciting array of new marketing and consumer communication capabilities.
Consumers are instantly connecting to their favorite brands on social media, making quick price comparisons before making a purchase, or posting their opinion about their latest purchase.
In our professional and personal lives, mobile devices have become our information hubs. Consumers are connected and tuned in everywhere, all the time. Such an environment offers marketers a personal point of contact and the ability to connect with individual consumers of all stripes via multiple channels through a single device.
Many Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are embracing this new frontier of mobile marketing, hoping to get one step closer to the consumer. But mobile marketing is not simply replicating a PC browser experience in a smaller form factor. Marketers must recognize the unique opportunities of tapping into the personal relationship between a consumer and their mobile device.
For example, socially savvy CMOs are looking beyond the simple expectation of transforming a Facebook “Like” into a purchase. They are mining social networks for new product ideas and building deep consumer loyalty through social interactions and a constant exchange of information with the mobile consumer. They are applying mobile marketing strategies to grow brand awareness, increase revenue streams and compete with larger companies.
Mobile apps also help CMOs improve client services and loyalty by providing their customers with a tailored user experience. Companies can offer their customers online self-service while monitoring social networks for new ideas for services and products. These services must be secure at both ends of a transaction and in full compliance with a company’s IT strategy and doing so requires a complex IT infrastructure.
To be sure, the growth of mobile devices and apps show no signs of slowing. Companies that integrate into their long-term marketing strategies this new paradigm of marketing to the individual rather than the defined demographic will reap the benefits.
Follow Doug on twitter @dougmow.