In order to communicate with customers cross-channel and on the devices they use everyday, businesses must include mobile as part of their marketing strategy.
Mobile marketing is defined by Kaplan as ‘any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device’.
With social media being prominent in consumer’s daily lives as well as useful in e-commerce, it is important to understand mobile social media, which is defined as ‘a group of mobile marketing applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.’
Kaplan proposed the 4 i’s as advice for mobile social media.
- Integrate your activities into users’ lives, to avoid being a nuisance
- Individualize your activities to take account of user preferences and interests
- Involve the user through engaging conversations
- Initiate the creation of user generated content
First off let’s look at some recent trends of mobile usage…
A report on the decline of TV’s popularity, explains how consumers now split their attention across multiple screens when looking for entertainment or information. The trends highlighted show that globally, TV has lost 13% of its audience, and the greatest rate of abandonment comes from the 14-17 year old age group. This is not surprising as kids these days all seem to have multiple devices and from a shockingly young age.The report also shows that other devices (mobile phone, tablet and laptop/computer) have all increased in accessing digital video content, whilst TV has decreased across various types of digital content.
The image to the left displays the most popular Smartphone Apps as of the end of 2014, with Facebook coming in as number 1 (shocking… not).
Grandma: “You young people always have your noses buried in your phones…”
This is true, and most of the time it seems we’re not even doing anything useful on our phone. Sometimes we might reply to a text, read the news, stalk someone’s Instagram or make a frustrated post about the metro trains service.
But, what are we really doing on our phones all the time?
The image above from June 2014 highlights how we spend our time on our mobiles. Social networking, games and radio make up almost half of our time spent on our devices. Using our phone for actual ‘phone’ purposes, as well as researching or navigating comes under the 34% highlighted.
The 2011 diagram depicts how consumers actually ‘snack’ on mobile content. According to their findings, we do most of our snacking in the morning, catching up on information we’ve missed while we’re asleep and likely also distracting ourselves from work.
Not only do we actively use our phones now for all information and entertainment, we tend to scroll on our screens purely because we’re bored and waiting for something to take our interest. Companies can capitalise on this by effectively reaching out to consumers and giving them something to do.
People these days can still be hesitant to make an online purchase, especially off their mobile device. However, retail takes up 5% of time spent on our phones, which is likely thanks to social media links.
By following Kaplan’s 4 i’s to effectively communicate with customers, e-commerce businesses can improve their mobile based purchases and make consumers feel at ease when browsing and buying. One of the problems with online purchasing and especially from a mobile device, is visualization. It can be hard to know your size, detect the quality of a product or compare multiple products. So marketers must make consumers feel at ease by providing clear and appropriate images, easy links and simple purchase and delivery options, with guarantees of quality and ease of returns.
The Iconic, Australias leading online retailer, specifically targets mobile customers with their mobile app. This is made clear with their slogan “Shopping has never been easier”. The mobile design is simple and appealing, with useful links, it allows shoppers to browse and buy anytime, anywhere and not have to make a commitment to sitting down to online shop and go through the process of browsing through the complicated online store via mobile browser. The Iconic also has strong social media links, with Facebook advertisements and communications through companies such as UNiDAYS. This company well reflects the 4 i’s: integrate, individualize, involve and initiate, through its mobile marketing strategies that allow for broad reach, easy accessibility and user generated content.
Is mobile marketing the way of the future for e-commerce?
How do you prefer to shop? In-store, online (browser) or mobile app?
Please share your thoughts on these mobile trends that have been discussed.
When do you think you spend most of you time snacking? On what? And for what reason?