Over half of UK adults are currently in ownership of a smartphone. Data-tech leaders Google and Experian Hitwise frequent our computer screens with reasons why companies should go mobile, yet many retail businesses and websites are still falling behind because they do not have an effective mobile marketing strategy in place.
In Google’s Mobile Playbook, Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, commented, “I don’t think people really understand how powerful mobile is going to be. [It will be] much more powerful than the desktop.” So, why is mobile powerful and why should a business go the extra mile to secure customers through this medium?
1. It’s not just about direct response
Many company heads are concerned about the direct response or direct revenue driven by silos within their businesses. Rather than having a cohesive relationship, there are frequent internal battles between offline and online marketing teams about who is driving X amount of revenue. However, to make the business flourish as a whole, we have to consider the knock-on effects that mediums such as mobile have. Although mobile phones/smartphones may not typically be a direct response channel, they are a central touch-point within the buying cycle. As can be seen in the Google data for 2012 below, whilst only 29% of UK smartphone users purchased a product/service on their phone, 60% made a product search. This demonstrates the high usage of mobile as a research tool during the conversion process. Essentially, mobile shopping is not solely about a direct purchase; it also plays a core role in engaging a visitor to the point where they become a consumer.
2. Let’s get local
AdWords, in addition to mobile-couponing apps, can stringently geo-target consumers, even down to the radius of a postcode. This is perfect for retailers who have an e-shop and a physical store location. Geo-targeted advertising cost-effectively aids in convincing consumers to enter a store, particularly when there is an enticing offer in tow. For example, any customer within 10 minutes walking distance from a shop can be served with an ad/offer that may help persuade them to enter and make a purchase. Moreover, let us not forget the 4G networks now available on London Underground, allowing more people to access the internet via mobile devices than ever before.
As can be seen in the Ipsos MORI report, access to the internet year-on-year has only significantly increased in one area – mobile phone. Visiting the physical store with mobile access also enables brands to connect with their consumers via social platforms and enables social-sharing capabilities, with many ‘checking in’ to locations via platforms such as Foursquare and Facebook.
3. Online Mobile business is international
As FMCGs themselves, mobile phones and smartphones are the perfect tool for those in the FMCG industry that are looking to push marketing strategies globally. This would be particularly suitable for targeting India, China and the USA markets, with Mobithinking identifying that 30% of the world’s mobile users are located in India and China alone. UK-wise, VisitBritain reported that approximately 20 million overseas visitors used a mobile phone when holidaying in the UK; retailers looking to attract tourists to their physical stores already have a device upon which they can capture/re-engage consumers.
Globally, we are embracing a more on-the-go culture, with huge advancements in technology and transportation fuelling this behaviour. Ofcom recorded that 46% of UK internet users access the internet via their phones, which denotes that more focus needs to be placed on mobile marketing strategies, particularly for UK-based businesses. More consideration should be placed on ensuring that websites are mobile optimised or that there is a mobile website or app readily available for the consumer.
With consumers being in possession of their mobile devices 24-7, mobile phones and smartphones are central to businesses serious about cultivating brand awareness and consumer relationships. To build successful mobile shopping strategies, growing brand trust and loyalty are essential to enhancing the longevity of a brand.
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