Mobile devices have become in the last few years an extension of our arms. It’s likely today to see people walking in the street, on a sunny day, looking at the screen of their phones, rather than enjoying the nature or city around them. Mobile usage has grown dramatically and keeps growing. The information availability has skyrocketed in the past few years. Just remember when you spent a night out with friends and there was a question or doubt no one knew about. The night would have ended like that and people would move forward with their lives regardless of the answer. Today, our natural reaction is to pull out the phone and look for that information, in real-time.
The advantage for users are clear. However, from a business perspective, how can a company make the most out of this new communication mean? What are the best practices for mobile marketing and m-commerce? In the next few years, marketers will be faced with even more challenges on how to keep up with the always-changing technology infrastructure and connection points their brands will have with users. Mobile connectivity will become more and more relevant and it will affect B2C sales strategies that companies implement.
What Will The Future Hold For Us?
Mobile devices are going to become the first mean of communication brands have with users. Already today, in many countries, mobile is the preferred way to get in touch with customers. Depending on the region your company operates, however, you might experience different results.
Already in 2017, according to a study done by Stone Simple, average usage on mobile devices per category had increased between 5% to 10%. An overall increase is not the only thing to keep in mind for marketers. In some countries, mobile is the first and only mean for communication and connection. Looking at the latest Comscore’s Digital Future in Focus report, in countries like India, Indonesia and Mexico, mobile-first users have long past the desktop population.
How Will Mobile Affect Your Business Strategy?
Keeping in mind these changing factors and new technology coming up in the next years, marketers and brands will need to keep an open mindset when it comes to communication with consumers. It will not be only about surprising your existing or new users with some new ad formats, it will be about personalization, hyper-targeting, right timing, speed of messaging, ad relevance and much more.
What are the key factors that will influence business strategy moving forward? Here below we take a look at 5 ways mobile will affect the business strategy for brands.
5G: The Unimaginable Future
When it comes, it will be incredible. 5G technology promises new and unimaginable things for today’s marketers (and users). This new connectivity solution will be about 10x faster than what we experience now with 4G. HD videos will be downloadable in less than a second, and users won’t need to be on WiFi!
5G is coming to change the way marketers and brand communicate with consumers. As a marketer, you should envision a future where users will seek only relevant and meaningful information at the moment they want. Interruptions and general targeting will not be forgiven. The mobile device will be the mean to generate instant desired over something they need.
Native Apps Will Take Over
Already today, letting a user experience anything in a non-native environment is a sin for brands. Mobile native apps offer a much smoother, faster and reliable experience to users, that is hardly comparable to an m-site environment. Yet, today, many brands still need to understand that.
Millennials have already embraced in-app shopping with a staggering 61% of them buying already within retail apps. If that hasn’t convinced you, 58% of millennials mentioned that purchasing through mobile apps is far better. Are you willing to miss on the next generation of big spenders?
Location, Location, Location!
This has been a mantra for real estate agency, but marketers should start including this in their daily strategy. As said above, 5G will soon be arriving (estimated by 2020), and location-based marketing will become crucial for your brand to reach users in the right moment when they need the most.
Brands in the travel, transportation and of course shopping vertical will need to capitalize on location tracking to ensure the right message is presented to users when needed. For example, if Starbucks would send me a coupon code when I am at home, rather than when passing by their stores, I will be more likely to disregard that message and find it irrelevant (and annoying).
Location-based marketing shouldn’t be a thing of the future, as today the technology is there. However, brands are yet to embrace such opportunity to maximise connections with their users.
AR For A Better Experience
Today augmented reality is not yet seen as a major way to interact with users when it comes to branding or marketing. However, the future will change things.
Some brands have already tried to implement AR in their strategy, but due to lack of proper connectivity things haven’t worked as expected. Yelp has been one of the pioneer in this with its app Monocle, but most likely you haven’t heard of it.
In the near future, when mobile will keep taking over our lives, AR apps will be part of our daily usage, even Google Glass might make a come back. In this, brands will be expected to create formats that fit an augmented reality environment to engage with the users in the right way.
Experience New Ad Formats
With all these changes ahead of us, we need to keep experimenting and moving away from old traditional ad formats. Marketers will need to be more creative in engaging with potential users. Mobile video ads is growing and marketers are planning to keep increasing their budget on this relatively new format. However, video is not the end-point. Interactive ads using new technologies ahead of us will create a new level of connection with your users. On top of that, with the new GDPR regulations in place, interactive ads have the possibility to ask for users consent before presenting them with a message, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
The future is without any question mobile. Marketers and brands cannot shy away from this communication mean and should not “just do it because we have to do it”. Users prefer mobile interaction. What we see today in mobile is not what we will see in the near future. You, as a marketer, will need to embrace the change and think multi-channel (not anymore only desktop and TV) to create multiple touch-points with users and deliver the experience they are looking for. The new users are tech-savvy, they won’t forgive any abuse of their time with irrelevant ads. The future is coming, are you ready?
Luca is an experienced sales executive and business coach with a background of over 10 years in sales and management. When not working, Luca runs one of the leading online magazines for startup knowledge, MyStartupLand, with the aim of providing meaningful and helpful content to startup founders and business people.