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Now or Never – Hop on the Mobile Marketing Growth Train

Eighty two minutes.   That’s the average amount of time an American spends on their mobile device on any given day.  The addiction started way back in 1999 with the introduction of the Blackberry, or as most of us lovingly refer to them “the crackberry.”

If you are like most of us technology hungry souls, one of the first things that you ask yourself on the way out the door is “Do I have my phone?”  There of course is a perfectly good explanation for that.  Smartphones of today have not only become an extension of our home desktop computers, but in some instances they even replace the clunky box and monitor.   You can shop, research, bank, and entertain yourself with silly mind numbing games all on a tiny computer that easily fits into your pocket or purse.

Let’s face it mobile is on the move up and, barring any unforeseen “Technology or Zombie Apocalypse”, it’s here to stay.   The switch to mobile movement is gaining momentum.  As a result, any brand or publisher trying to “reach out and touch someone” will need to quickly jump on the bandwagon or risk being left in the dust.

Here are a few reasons mobile is on the move:

1.  Everyone (even my 81 year old Grandma) has a mobile device of some kind or is considering buying one.

Times are changing.  The days of the clunky desktop pc is dying (sniffs and pouts), just try selling one on eBay or Craigslist.  Mobile internet growth, on the other hand, is soaring higher and higher.   Of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones in use, 1.08 billion of them are smartphones, and a whopping 3.05 billion are SMS enabled.   It’s predicted that by the end of 2015 that 81% of US mobile customers will have smartphones.  This being said, any global business expecting to attract new customers and deliver value online will find that they must adapt to mobile or die with the desktop.


2.  Mobile eCommerce is where the money is.

Mobile retail has been projected to grow to a whopping $204 million in 2014 and to nearly half of ALL online retail sales by 2018.  In 2013 alone $39 billion of all online sales were made on mobile devices.

3.  Monetizing mobile users works.

Take Facebook as an example.  After revamping its site and mobile app viewer experience, the company’s mobile ad revenue growth has become the leader of it’s success.  A huge percentage of users now access Facebook through their mobile device alone.

In April 2013 mobile analytics vendor Flurry released a useful summary of category of app usage across smartphones and tablets which shows that app usage dominates browser usage.



Where should you start?

Enough with the facts and figures proving that mobile is now on top and King of the technology mountain.  You are probably asking, “So what do I do with all of this? And where should I start with my mobile strategizing?”   To help  you figure that out, let’s first take a look at the top mobile trends for 2014.  This would be a good place to start looking for innovative mobile marketing strategies so that you too can ride the mobile wave and improve your overall global marketing positions.

1.  Wearable Technology – Wearable technology is clearly meshing our daily life with a technology boost.  This advancement is providing businesses with opportunities only previously seen in comedic scale on Star Trek.  Now we can wear a stylish Lifeband that wirelessly communicates with our smartphone to tell us if we need to run a few more miles prior to eating that big piece of chocolate pie.  Or slide on a pair of Google Glass so that we can video said run around the neighborhood.  The point is, as wearable technology gains popularity and continues to embed itself into our everyday lives, marketers can take advantage of this.  This technology will make interactions effortless between the marketer and consumer creating a seemingly seamless opportunity for continued sales galore!

2.  Improved Location Targeting –  There is a great deal of excitement around location based mobile marketing and the methodology has grown tremendously over the last few years.  In 2014 this technology is only going to improve further.  With location based marketing, you can do double duty, promoting your brand while helping potential customers find you (if you are a traditional brick and mortar business).   You can also use location based marketing to help locate where your customers are in the world, potentially helping you to market more relevant items to them in the future.

3.  Mobile Video –  According to statistics put out by research firm Yankee Group, 2014 will see mobile video viewing levels equaling PC for the first time.  Enabling this change are faster wireless networks, better devices and affordable data plans.  All of this will result in people spending increased time watching video content on mobile devices.   Where there is content there is also ads.  Mobile video ads are expected to become the top ad format.  Facebook’s books Instagram video and Twitter owned Vine are both brand new avenues in the mobile marketing arena that are now competing with the YouTube giant.   According to eMarketer, US ad spending for mobile video is set to quadruple to nearly $2.1 billion by 2016.

4.  Mobile Messaging –   WeChat, WhatsApp, Pheed, or even Snapchat.  All of these mobile focused social messaging apps are growing their monthly active users at astounding rates.  If you aren’t already familiar with these apps, they allow users to communicate with text, images, video and other media in real time on simple visually appealing platforms.  This data represents a massive opportunity for businesses to get in front of their mobile customers.

Let’s also not forget about good old SMS and that 3.05 billion of today’s owned mobile devices are SMS enabled.  That’s 3.05 billion customers that can be reached with a single text message.

  • SMS sees an engagement rate 6-8 times higher than email marketing.

  • 90% of users who enroll in an SMS loyalty program feel they gained value from it.

  • Text messages are usually read within 5 seconds of receipt!

  • SMS coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than print or email coupons.

  • 70% of people say they would actually like to receive offers on their mobile phones!

5.  App Marketing – In the last few years, app promotion was more about reaching the coveted number one “most downloaded” spot.  This year the strategies have shifted toward a more CPI (click per install) sensitive approach.  We are also seeing new metrics this year that have a more clear focus on generating ROI based positive campaigns.

This data from Nielsen on mobile media time shows the consumer preference for mobile apps which account for 89% of media time in mobile as might be expected from the use of the most popular social network, email and news apps.

Head scratching facts

Here are just a few (ok maybe a little more than a few) mobile technology facts.  As you read over them, I urge you to think of the possibilities surrounding mobile marketing.  How far could you take your business with this rapidly growing technology?

  • Mobile now accounts for 12 percent of Americans’ media consumption time, triple its share in 2009. (Source: Digiday, 2013)

  • Of the 70 percent of shoppers who used a mobile phone while in a retail store during the holidays, 62 percent accessed that store’s site or app and only 37 percent of respondents accessed a competitor’s site or app.. (Source: ForeSee, 2013)

  • By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people. (Source: Cisco, 2013)

  • The number of US mobile coupon users will rise from 12.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million in 2014, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones. (Source: eMarketer, 2013)

  • 65% of U.S. shoppers research products and services on a PC and make a purchase in-store. (Source: Cisco, 2013)

  • 54% use or would like to use digital touchscreens in-store. (Source: Cisco, 2013)

  • 48% use or would like to use a smartphone to shop while in-store or on the go. (Source: Cisco, 2013)

  • 80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores. (Source: Moosylvania, 2013)

  • Time spent with mobile apps starting to challenge television: consumers are spending 127 minutes per day in mobile apps–up 35 percent from 94 minutes a day in the same time last year–and spend 168 minutes watching television per day. (Source: Flurry, 2012)

  • 57 percent of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Similarly, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience (Source: Compuware, 2012)

  • 91% of adult’s have their mobile phone within arm’s reach (Source: Forbes, 2014)

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