Mobile Market – Communication That Sells
By 2014, mobile internet use will overtake that of the desktop. Over 90% of mobile phone users have their phone within arm’s reach 24/7. These statistics may seem overwhelming but not unexpected. In many developed and developing countries across the globe, smartphones are increasingly becoming the norm. It is estimated that over 70% of people in developed countries own a smartphone. Developing countries trail closely behind these figures.
Viral Transfer – faster than you think!
The vast outreach of smart phones or cell phones has led to the newly coined term “viral information transfer.” Breaking news is no longer limited to television and newspapers. Information is now available instantaneously with the touch of a finger. Recognition of the utility of mobile phones can be alluded to the fact that worldwide, mobile traffic has doubled between 2012 and 2013. Mobile phones surpass all class divides and barriers. Contract plans and instalments have made smart phones affordable to all. Whatever the budget, there is surely a fully functional phone that is available on the market. This wave of ‘mobile traffic’ is far from sudden; over the year’s obsession with these ever-shrinking devices has been steadily increasing. As convenience and efficiency increasingly become the principles of life, the popularity of mobile devices continues to rise. Take Singapore for instance; on this tiny island alone, we have more phones than people, approximately one and a half times more.
The addictive nature and vast outreach are what make cell phones and Smartphones the marketing tool of our era. Gone are the days of newspaper and TV Ads. If Ads can’t be followed up with ease, chances are that the Ad will not yield effective results. Mobile commerce transactions currently amount to $1.5 trillion annually and is expected to reach $3.2 trillion by 2017. Four out of 5 consumers use smart phones to shop. What are the reasons that back these overwhelming statistics?
1. Going the extra mile
Today’s discriminating customers want to be privy to special or sensitive information not available on big and formalized Ads or billboards. Detailed information about a product often make it more reliable and enticing as it fosters a relationship and brand loyalty. There are many ways in which Mobile Marketing is suitable for establishing such a result. Firstly, there is something innately personal about receiving an Ad on a cell phone that is incomparable to any other form of media platform. Secondly, it is easy to provide such information in a concise manner due to the nature of cell phones. You can convey detailed product information like ingredient sources and nutritional profiles through short codes, mobile tags, and QR codes. Little snippets about a brand’s history, commitment or promotions every couple of months will no doubt build brand loyalty.
2. Shop alone, no more
People are 62% more likely to buy a product when there is someone else contributing to the decision of making a purchase. With applications to integrate mobile-friendly websites and social media, it is easier to make a product the centre of discussion, with input from friends and family. As people continue to discuss brands and their products, a sort of progressive marketing ensues as outreach increases.
3. Shopping with ease
Research shows that consumers are 3 times more likely to buy a product if the payment process is easy. For instance, McDonalds’ and other EZ-link accepting stores have seen a spike in sales. It’s easy and fuss-free – just wave and go. The same goes for Visa Paywave. Now apply this to mobile marketing which facilitates credit card booking easily or allows for a pick-up location to be determined easily. Even mobile applications which do not promote online buying but instead determine locations and available inventory items can boost sales if the application is user-friendly.
4. Customer is king
Mobile marketing doesn’t require complicated and fancy applications nor does it require the specifications of a Smartphone. Through simple text messaging or using What’s App, an active discussion can be sparked with customers. Cell phones can be used to conduct surveys, polls, encourage feedback and relay the fruits of loyalty to long time customers. All one really needs to do is liken mobile phone numbers to a massive database and a tool for mass consumer communication.
And so we have touched on the main segments of marketing. One aspect of Mobile Marketing that is almost always forgotten is customer service. Particularly as we talk about establishing brand loyalty, good customer service goes along way in keeping it alive. Customer service is as much a part of Mobile Marketing as anything else. Making services available to consumers via their mobile phones when they run into obstacles is a good way of ensuring that Mobile Marketing truly embodies an active relationship between brands and consumers. Simple things like enabling text-message queries for privileged consumers go a long way to ensure a diversion from the static nature of passive television and newspaper advertisements.
Finding the right balance
Like every process, method or tool, Mobile Marketing too has its limitations. Research has shown that Mobile Marketing is especially good for mid-priced goods as they require less time in determining whether or not a product is worth a financial commitment. Mobile Marketing is perfect for capturing the essence of impulse buying. An attempt at Mobile Marketing for luxury goods may well tamper with the prestigous elusiveness of luxury goods. Similarly, in the case of low priced products, Mobile Marketing may well be attributed to junk. Essentially, Mobile Marketing is about achieving that fine balance between classy and trashy. It is about going past fancy applications back to the basic functions of cell phones; to connect and be connected.