Building Mobile Strategies for Boardrooms and Boutiques

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 1, 2013 0 Comments

HOW MOBILE-ENABLED DECISION-MAKERS ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ENTERPRISE.

The consumer is in control. The customer is king. Both phrases rang hollow until mobile came along. And now the reality is firmly established: Mobile has delivered the keys to the kingdom to consumers.

History has shown how each new successive technology tilts the balance more in favor of the consumer. The Internet ushered a new era of pricing, product transparency, and ease of communication and commerce. But mobile took it a step further, divorcing place from time of action with unprecedented speed.

Marketers are still coming to grips with this reality. At stake is not just missing incremental sales, or a switch-up in marketing strategy and tactics. What is being discussed in savvy boardrooms is the future of the enterprise’s business model. In other words, failure to adapt to a new mobile-driven reality threatens the viability of businesses from the Fortune 500 to the Inc. 5000 and even the boutique shops in every corner of the globe.

Marketers should keep an eye on four trends that will shape the business environment in the next five years. A defining characteristic of these trends is mobile-enabled decision-making and the expectations born of such power. So start taking notes.

CONSUMERS EXPECT INFORMATION AT THEIR FINGERTIPS

Consider these services: email, texting, photos, news, books, music, games, address book, television, video, calendar, calculator, weather check-up, maps and Web browsing. Consumers spend more time conducting these activities on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, than on desktop and laptop computers – a dramatic switch in consumer behavior in less than 10 years. Consumers are now accustomed to extreme convenience in this right-here-right-now world. This impatience will inform their buying decisions across the board, which means mobile-friendly websites, applications, optimized emails, mobile commerce, SMS campaigns, mobile payment options and highly targeted ads are must-haves, and speed in delivering these services is key.

UNIFORM CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND BRANDING ACROSS MEDIA AND CHANNELS

Consumers do not shop channels. They shop brands. They expect the same level of service across stores, online, call centers, catalogs and on mobile. The ease of searching, shopping and buying is paramount. The look-and-feel matters now more than ever, from four-inch screens to 60-inch screens, from catalog covers to store windows. Dropping the ball in one channel is not just a lost sale – it is a lost customer. Ensuring that the brand’s values translate to a small screen is challenging. Hanging on to the customer’s attention on that small screen is even more challenging. Studying the brand’s particular customer base and its behavioral patterns is especially critical.

MARKETING AND PRIVACY: A DIFFICULT TANGO

The extreme personal nature of smartphones and tablets will bring advertising and marketing closer to consumers – uncomfortably close, many would say. Expect new protocols to emerge over the collection of vast amounts of personal data and their application to targeted marketing. The value exchange will have to be clearly spelled out. And even that may not be enough to prevent government regulation geared to protecting consumer rights. What will work in brands’ favor is the trust they have earned from their customer base. A mobile sale is the highest badge of trust. It should be earned with respect for the customer’s time, space and tastes. Permission-based outreach grounded with consumer tastes and behavior, as well as geotargeting, will redefine marketing. While mobile gets a disproportionately low share of marketing spending, expect the shift soon as time spent on mobile media outpaces every other channel and medium, including television and computers.

THE FIRST RETAIL DOOR IS MOBILE

Mobile first, mobile always, mobile everywhere. Do service providers, agencies, brands and retailers really know the potential? Consumers still find it difficult to shop on mobile. They still cannot connect the dots from their mobile device to the retail store. Decisions within organizations are still made based on channels. The digital department should no longer exist. And the silo should exist only on the farm. Again, it pays to understand evolving consumer behavior. What are three things a consumer would not leave home without? Keys, wallet and phone. Where is the phone most of the time? On or within three feet of most consumers. What do consumers do when they first wake up? Check the phone. What do they do when they get home from work? Check the tablet. What do they do before going to bed? Check the phone. Marketers and retailers – at least those who get it – constantly aim to delight their customers. Their customers are going to bed right outside their retail door. How will they welcome them when they wake up? 

Mary Clark, SVP, Next-Generation Roaming Services and Standards, discusses the importance of engaging end users and the role of Syniverse in meeting mobile needs for enterprises and operators.

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