What is your favorite thing about your smartphone; the music, the games, social media, email, camera, or the ability to have all the services you want all on the same device? Whatever benefits you derive from mobile technology as a consumer, they correlate directly to opportunities in the mobile space that one business or another is taking advantage of. Is your company taking full advantage of its mobile opportunities?
Incorporating the Future of Mobile Into Your Marketing Strategy
In our earlier blog The Mobile Marketing Road Less Travelled, we referenced IDC  estimates that by 2015 more US broadband users will access the internet on a mobile device than on a PC-based/wired device. As we have seen over the past five years, usage of mobile phone technology has advanced dramatically and is continuing to do so. Including mobile in the marketing strategy is increasing ROI for many businesses that are discovering how best to engage with their customers wherever they are. Companies are also getting better at providing great customer service using mobile technology helping them to maintain a happy consumer base. Seeing the advancement in smart phones capabilities of just the last few years, it’s exciting to imagine what the future holds.
So, what’s in store for us this year? Let’s take a look at some statistics about how we use our smartphones and also some predictions about what we might expect to see in 2013.  
- Adults spend more time on mobile media than they do reading newspapers and magazines combined.
- 42.8% of marketing executives plan on increasing their mobile marketing spending budget in 2013.
- 80% of retailers will be making an investment in mobile commerce.
- 99% of smartphone owners use their mobile browser at least once a day.
- 3 out of every 5 searches are conducted on a mobile device.
- 9 out of 10 mobile phone searches result in a purchase or visit.
- 75% of mobile users use their device for shopping.
- 74% of mobile users use their devices to check their email.
- More than half of all emails will be opened on a mobile device.
- 52% of adult mobile phone owners use their devices while in a store to get help with purchasing.
In light of these unbelievable statistics, how best can we in the business world position ourselves to benefit from the world’s swiftly-growing dependence on their mobile device? Playing with their smartphone has become an addictive behavior for most users, so why not turn the behavior in to a strategy and a source of revenue? The best way to ensure that we maximize ROI from our mobile strategies is to listen to what consumers want and do our best to anticipate their needs. How do we appease every consumer on the market? The answer is we can’t, but looking at what most consumers want overall is a good place to start.
In Ayantek’s recent SMAC Stack conference, Jeff Takle, Director of the Innovation Lab at Abt associates offered up some tips on how mobile can benefit the business world. Jeff most recently led Abt’s mobile strategy, which helped teams in 40 different countries create and quickly launch custom apps and leverage mobile technology to drastically improve access to advanced medical care in sub-Saharan Africa.
Jeff’s strategies for pleasing at least 90% of mobile clients are as follows:
- When it comes to mobile development, integrate an existing team or technology into your current workflow, or hire custom developers. There is little return on building your own mobile team and a high risk of talent-obsolescence if you do so.
- “Fast” is more effective than “right.” Unless there are liability or compliance issues, having an up and running imperfect app (contributing to your bottom line) is better than taking longer to satisfy every need of every stakeholder; that’s what updates are for.
- Organizations have different “innovation appetites,” and so do consumers. Be aware that you keep your functionality simple and appropriate to the audiences you’re serving
- Create adequate space and flexibility to address future needs, this reduce the need to go back for redesigns when adding functionality in VX.0 releases.
Jeff shared a number of more specific strategies and tactics that contributed to his ability to improve medical outcomes in developing countries using mobile. Many of these are applicable to all industries, so I encourage you to check out the video of his presentation when it becomes available.
Predicting the needs of mobile customers as you are generating a strategy around mobile may seem stressful, however time spent in doing so should result in an improved possibility of return. All the statistics point to a continuing bright future for mobile – Now it’s time to take advantage of this great opportunity and put it to work for your company. Welcome to the future of mobile!
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