At last, it is safe to say mobile is most definitely in play. But we tend to see a wide range of interest and knowledge among marketers, which reminds me of social media circa 2008/9. Back then, most were asking fairly basic questions about social - what it is, what it means, etc. The usage numbers back then were rapidly increasing and already so astonishingly huge at that time that it really shocked marketers; the ensuing scramble for knowledge and understanding is still playing itself out to this day. That said, almost no one raises an eyebrow anymore when you mention “social media strategy”. They might ask you to be more specific, but they don’t question the concept or the need.
But that’s not necessarily so today when it comes to mobile. Does your organization have a mobile strategy? Based on experience, I’d have to bet it doesn’t. You may have run one or two pilot projects, and by now have an app or a mobile-ready website. But no long-term, holistic plan.
And the thing is, mobile is already plenty big enough to merit having a plan. And it’s going to keep getting bigger.
- Most experts suggest that by 2014, more internet sessions will happen on mobile devices than on PCs. There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers (that’s 77 percent of the world population). Growth is led by China and India.What other medium offers that reach?
- Mobile devices sales rose in 2010, with smartphones showing strongest growth, Nokia remains number one in both smartphones and mobile phones, but Android is expected to become the top OS for new smartphones in 2011.
- Feature phones sales (let alone ownership) still outnumber smartphones 4:1. If your mobile strategy doesn’t include feature phones, it doesn’t include most of your customers.
- Top mobile network operator for subscribers and revenues is China Mobile; for average revenue per user is 3UK; for lowest monthly churn is NTT DOCOMO Japan; and for proportion of revenues from data is Smart Philippines. But it’s not all good news. Mobile operators in developed countries could run out of profit in the next two to four years if they do not change their business models.
In light of all this, here are a few interesting (disturbing?) things you should probably already be addressing:
- Mobile IS social: 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize. Are your Facebook apps mobile-ready? Is any aspect of your Facebook experience mobile-purposed? These questions are merely examples. There are more than 350 million active users [44 percent] currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users. – Facebook official statistics (November, 2011).
- The mobile marketing universe has probably expanded since you last looked. What haven’t you yet tried/considered? Near-Field Communication (NFC), Mobile device security, Mobile cities, Device detection, Mobile health (m-health), B2B mobile marketing, Mobile research (m-research), Mobile barcodes, Mobile applications: native v Web apps, Design for mobile, SMS marketing, Mobile social networking. Lot of potential ground to cover here.
- The way people use search is going to change because they will increasingly be doing so on mobile rather than a PC. This represents a huge threat and concurrent opportunity for Internet marketers, and it is only those that can truly appreciate how the Internet will be consumed via these various new mobile devices that will prosper. A few examples*:
- Using mobile to type-search. Using a traditional keyboard to enter a search query into Google is usually easier and quicker than doing the same on a mobile device. It is highly likely therefore that users will search for shorter keyword strings on mobile devices, or rely more heavily on tools such as predictive text or Google Suggest. This will likely influence the way sites optimise their content and carry out their link building.
- Search by image. Tools such as Google Goggles allow users to very quickly search the Web using images on their phone or photos taken on the fly. Applications of this technology include taking a picture of a book in a store to find the best price, or using the picture of a restaurant front to find customer reviews. Ensuring your content and imagery are optimised for this form of search is likely to become increasingly important.
- Sociability. 91% of mobile Internet access is to socialize, compared to 79% on desktops. If Internet marketers haven’t been listening to the “search turning social” talk of recent years, then they certainly should be now. If they still cannot engage with individuals and groups on a social level they will be missing out on a massive proportion of mobile Internet usage.
(*Source: Duncan Heath via Forbes.com)
Let us know if you’d like to talk mobile strategy. We’re all ears (and thumbs!)
This post was also published to the Gage Marketing Blog.