As consumer behaviors shift so must marketing strategies. Mobile is no longer the second screen, so why is mobile still at the bottom of business’s marketing plans? Salesforce’ State of Marketing report revealed that 90 percent of marketers agree that it’s increasingly important to “create a cohesive customer journey.” What is the most effective technology to enable a complete journey? Mobile.
There are a number of ways to implement mobile marketing into your strategy. At the very basic, all websites should be mobile responsive. A poorly designed mobile website will disrupt your customer’s journey by providing a poor user experience. For example, if a customer wants to make a purchase on their smartphone, being unable to do so because of a poor design or experience could result in not only a lost sale but a lost customer if your competitors have already optimized for mobile.
What can you do integrate mobile into your marketing strategy? Almost half of surveyed marketers use SMS, push notifications, mobile apps or location-based functionality — up from 23 percent last year. Mobile apps are one of the most expensive option but can be great for news sites and web services. For e-commerce businesses, mobile ads might be a simpler option to drive users to their website. Retailers have many innovative opportunities to integrate not only mobile ads and apps into their website but location-based technologies like iBeacons, push notifications and geofencing. Right now, only 18 percent of surveyed marketers are using these technologies.
As marketers continue to understand the power of mobile tactics, they should no longer be part of a separate strategy but an integral part of overall marketing plans.
The Internet of Things has exploded over the last couple of years as smartphones and the ability to be always connected has become an increasingly integral part of our lives. Bonnie Cha at re/code describes the Internet of Things as “the connection of everyday objects to the Internet and to one another, with the goal being to provide users with smarter, more efficient experiences.” You can see her “Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Internet of Things” here.
Google’s acquisition of Nest last year set the stage for IoT to expand this year and the conversation about IoT’s impact on everyday life was discussed widely at CES. Consumers are increasingly aware of connected homes and cars. A study by Affinnova showed that consumers mostly want connected home appliances and products like refrigerators that enable remote viewing of your contents and recommends recipes, smart light bulbs that notify you when a bulb has gone out and connected sprinkler systems.
But how is the Internet of Things impacting retail? First, connected home sensors that send notifications to your phone to indicate when you out of a product like washing detergent, milk, or light bulbs are great for retailers. Creating a easy way for consumers to order these products right from their phone means that retailers have the opportunity to improve customer experiences and loyalty.
Next, connected technologies like beacons and NFC will likely increase in 2015. These technologies enable retailers to communicate with consumers in a meaningful way based on their location, delivering deals and notifications that are relevant in real time. The iPhone 6 and ApplePay will also influence retailers to adopt NFC technologies for easy checkout experiences.
The most important thing for retailers to take advantage with the Internet of Things right now is data. Whether connecting your products to home sensors or using in-store location technologies, analyzing data will enable retailers to better understand their customers. When are they shopping? Are they accessing your app while in store or at home? Do they prefer app notifications, or SMS? The more brands and retailers understand their customers, the more they will be able to connect with them at the right time, place and in the right manner.
How do you see IoT impacting retail this year?
We have seen some amazing breakthroughs and innovations in the mobile space during 2014. Brands have embraced the power of beacons in campaigns, ads have become more relevant, and ApplePay could potentially revolutionize mobile payments. Businesses are beginning to understand how mobile marketing and tactics can increase sales and build a better relationship with their customers. So what can we expect to see in 2015?
ApplePay could make mobile payments mainstream. Brands and apps, especially those that are retail-focused, can now make the user experience even more seamless. Eighty-six percent of shoppers use their smartphone to compare prices and browse sales. Connecting these with the ability to make a purchase without entering credit card information, or by just using their phone in store, will make an easier and faster shopping experience, in store and online.
More Location Based Marketing
Major retailers like Lord & Taylor and Walgreen’s have rolled out major pilot programs to test the effectiveness of using iBeacons for in-store marketing. In 2015, expect to see more brands using iBeacons, geofencing and push notifications to engage with customers and create innovative campaigns. About half of consumers say they are open to sharing their location and information in order to join a rewards program.
Better Content & UX
With the ability to use location and big data to better understand users and customers, expect to see better content and more intelligent UX. Advertisers, marketers and publishers recognize the effectiveness of delivering more relevant content using these tools, and are using new methods to understand how to connect better. Expect apps, ads and content to become more engaging and relevant.
What trends would you like to see in 2015?
Mobile is no longer the second screen; it’s the first. Consumers around the world are using their smartphones for everything from making payments to browsing the internet and brands are hopping on board to ensure mobile experiences are exceptional. Location based technologies and big data are helping apps and businesses deliver consumers user experiences that deliver content users want based on their location and preferences.
Mobile has come far in the last year with beacons and mobile payments getting a big boost. But those numbers are expected to grow even more in the next year. Here are nine stats to prove it!
By the end of 2014, 6.9 billion people will have cell phone plans. That’s about 95 percent of the world’s population.
There are 143 million smartphones and 71 million tablets smartphones in the US.
Five percent of smartphone owners aged 18-44 can’t recall the last time they didn’t have their mobile next to them
A survey of UK smartphone users found that they use their phones for 221 tasks consuming three hours and 16 minutes per day.
In Europe, mobile commerce is expected to account for nearly 50 percent of all online sales by 2018, according to Forrester.
In the last year, purchases made using a smartphone or tablet increased 48 percent to $8 billion.
It’s just young people shopping on mobile – 25 percent of mobile shoppers in the US are over the age of 55.
Half of B2B vendors sell through mobile phones and that is expected to rise to 75 percent by the end of 2014.
Mobile advertising has doubled from $4.4 billion in 2012 to $8.5 billion in 2013. By 2017, mobile advertising is expected to hit $31.1 billion.
It’s safe to say 2015 will be another big year for mobile! What are you most excited to see?