Back To The (Mobile) Future

Back To The (Mobile) Future
06 Aug 2013

This post was originally published as an article in the online magazine GLOSS, a publication of the LBDGroup.


Australia has the third highest mobile penetration in the world, only marginally behind Japan and Korea, so some would argue the future is already here or that we should at least be leading it. Although I think there is still an awful lot of work required to embrace the present, there are certainly some big advances ahead. I’ll try and break these down into what I think are some of the most significant.


Mobile Overtakes Desktop Internet by 2014


For anyone with a website, this means that more people will be accessing your products and services via a mobile device than a desktop or laptop. So if your site is not mobile friendly, or mobile ‘responsive’, you are literally saying “I don’t want to serve you”. Google are placing much more emphasis and priority on mobilised sites so it will not only be important for your existing clients but also from an SEO perspective and therefore potential clients.


Retail Goes Mobile


In 2012, a global study of over 200 million shoppers on mobile commerce websites, aimed at determining “which nation most often shops on the go”, found that Australians are the leaders with 47 per cent of all our traffic to commercial websites coming from mobile devices. With this sort of demand and consumer driven activity there is no way that retailers can continue to lag behind. Currently 71% of people that visit your site and get a bad mobile experience will go to a competitor – more and more organisations will experience the Borders effect!


Tiny Banners? What Are They?


Mobile advertising will evolve into a format that is more engaging, contextual and relevant. Once media agencies get their heads around the fact that mobile isn’t about mass marketing – it’s about personal one to one connections – and start listening to what consumers have been saying about mobile banners ads since day dot, theywill realise that there are much more effective ways to connect and engage with consumers other than a flashy banner that interrupts your screen, and hopefully takeovers (where an ad takes over your screen) will be an annoyance of the past.


Quantified Self


Mobile and wearable devices have given us the ability to measure pretty much everything we do. We measure how fast we run, what we eat; even how much we sleep. Some insurance companies are now using this data to calculate life insurance premiums. The growth of wearable devices and our obsession with measuring ourselves will continue on a faster curve than can be easily measured.


Location Based Marketing


This is something we have talked about for a while. The problem so far is that location based services or marketing is pretty clunky. We have been focussed predominantly on the technology and not the consumer experience. In addition to this LBS doesn’t really work that well indoors. Our current perception of location based marketing is that when you walk past a fast food restaurant, I send you a message saying get a free burger with your coffee. For a small minority that could work but it’s not really that sophisticated. Imagine instead if you had a shopping list app and on it you had entered tea tree oil and then next time you walked past a chemist you were sent a ping or a reminder to pop in and buy your tea tree oil – that’s so much more powerful, contextual and relevant than an uninvited message about a burger. Especially when you may or may not be a burger eater!


Mobile Payments


The jury is still out on this one and there is no one clear leader, but PayPal are certainly leading the payment war through multiple channels. This month the company has expanded payment program which now allows consumers to pay for goods at cafes, shops and bars using their existing PayPal account, and a mobile application. A 2012 study by Paypal found that on average mobile shoppers spend more; online shoppers spent on average $500 online, while Australian mobile shoppers spent on average approximately $1,275 – more than twice as much and a 26% increase over the previous year. Frequently, they use their devices for research, completing their purchase later on a desktop or laptop.


So there you have it. The future may be, to paraphrase Shakespeare, a different country – but mobile is here and now, so why not take advantage of the present and jump-start your mobile marketing? Your future business self will thank you.


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