By now, most of us are aware of the huge media consumption shift brought about by the digital era. Consumers are spending more time online and mobile usage has downright exploded.
In 2016, 19% of global media consumption came from mobile internet use, and Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts predicts that this will rise to 26% in 2019.
Another report reveals that this year, there are 4.92 billion global mobile users, and 90% of this population is accessing the internet via a mobile device.
Clearly, mobile gadgets have taken over as the preferred device when consuming online media. This trend opens up new channels for brands to communicate with their current and prospective customers. As this happens, an unfortunate side-effect is that traditional channels are becoming less effective.
One thing’s for sure: it’s imperative for marketers to change their strategies if they want to effectively reach their audiences in the mobile marketing era. Here’s what you need to know:
5 Influential Trends Driving Mobile Marketing Adoption
1. Mobile App Usage
According to a recent study, 52% of the time that consumers spend on digital media are on mobile apps. In fact, global mobile app revenue from app stores and in-app advertising reached $88.3 billion last year, and it’s predicted that by 2020, revenues will reach $188.9 billion.
More importantly, 90% of media is consumed in-app as opposed to on mobile websites. So, it’s not enough to address the need for mobile-ready websites. To take full advantage of mobile trends, marketers need to target their audiences where they spend time, in mobile apps.
2. Mobile Retail
Another trend that’s changing the game for marketers is the rise in online purchases and integrated customer experiences.
According to a DMA survey, 80% of millennials use their smartphone in-store as part of their purchase. This gives marketers a wide variety of creative opportunities to reach their target audience and influence purchases—from flash sale alerts and coupons to promotions and discounts.
3. Geotargeting and Location Services
Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time is one of the top principles of digital marketing. As marketers continue to adopt mobile marketing strategies, geotargeting and location-based SMS marketing will continue to rise.
With geotargeting, marketing becomes more personal and well-timed, making it more effective in eliciting the desired consumer behavior.
A survey found that more than 66% of marketers claim that location-based technology provides exciting opportunities for mobile marketing. In 2016 alone, beacon messages generated $44 billion in revenue.
You can certainly expect marketers to continue their use of beacons and location-based technologies to provide consumers a highly personalized experience.
4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
In 2016, we witnessed the world go gaga over Pokémon Go’s and Snapchat’s location-based augmented reality features. Already, augmented reality is impacting consumer-brand interactions, and by 2021, AR is expected to become a $5.7 billion industry.
Location-based apps, social media platforms, online media streaming, and mobile games are just a few of the business applications AR brings to the table. More immersive experiences to look out for include test driving cars, virtual home buying, and a multitude of virtual tours.
Marketers will continue to adapt VR & AR technology to their digital marketing efforts. The immersive nature of this type of media makes them huge opportunities for audience engagement.
5. Online Media and Video Streaming Services
While traditional broadcast TV still reigns supreme, online TV and video streaming consumption through platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Apple TV are consistently gaining ground.
Media consumption on broadcast TV takes 2 hours and 5 minutes of consumer viewing time, while video streaming services capture almost an hour of consumer viewing time per day.
In the past few years, the growth of mobile has been exponential. Between 2010 and 2016, mobile internet consumption increased at an average rate of 44%, driven by the spread of mobile devices and advancements in technology.
Since mobile devices have become central to our day-to-day lives, its growth has slowed down, but online media consumption has risen along with it. This means that the pace of change is now slowing, and users are now adept when it comes to using mobile technology.
How to Reach Your Audience in the Mobile Age
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Five years ago, businesses and marketers saw the need for fully responsive websites that can adapt to any screen size and mobile device. This year, it is absolutely necessary for any business to have mobile-friendly websites that are easy to use. Consider it a bare minimum.
All statistics and studies point to this one fact. If your website is difficult to access on mobile devices, then you’re hurting your search engine rankings, and the few website visitors you have will most likely leave after the slurry of unformatted text, tiny buttons, and endless side-to-side scrolling.
Remember that 64% of mobile internet users abandon websites that don’t load within 10 seconds. So, push for the best user interface and fastest load times that you can provide.
Optimize your email marketing for mobile.
Most internet users have an email address or two that they keep active, and most professionals still communicate by email. This means that email marketing remains a relevant channel.
In fact, email marketing’s ROI is the most stable with an average return of $38 per $1 spent. When creating email marketing campaigns, it’s important to note that 57% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile.
Make sure that your emails are responsive to any mobile device to ensure that your emails are not deleted, and that your subscribers don’t move your messages to the spam folder.
Invest in a mobile app.
Not all businesses need a mobile app, but big brands like Nike are building entire mobile commerce sites. Reason being that mobile applications allow full customization, personalization, branding, and data insights.
If you want to nurture relationships to build loyal customers, offer a user-friendly mobile app that deepens customer loyalty and engagement. You’ll be able to send them personalized content and notifications that are tailored to specific triggers such as interests and location.
Go back to basics with SMS marketing.
Text messages remain the most reliable messaging system. Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now owns a mobile phone with over 3.6 billion users able to receive SMS messages.
Furthermore, 98% of all text messages are opened within three minutes, making them eight times more effective at reaching and engaging customers who opt-in. In fact, 50% of consumers in the U.S. make direct purchases after receiving an SMS-branded text.
Implementing an SMS marketing campaign will help you reach your customers in a more personal and direct manner.
Be visible and reachable on social media.
Social media platforms hold the largest online media consumption time, making it highly-beneficial for marketers to increase their social media marketing investments.
If your brand’s not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, then you’re probably missing out. Your audience is using social media, and you should too. Implement a solid social strategy to help grow your brand and create a more personalized customer experience.
Things to Keep in Mind
Today’s consumers are empowered. They can choose the content they consume as well as where and how they do it. They expect to communicate with brands at the time and place that is most convenient to them, and understandably so.
As such, businesses need to adapt to changes in media behavior to build better and stronger relationships with current and prospective customers. Mobile consumption is now central to everyday living for virtually every market, in all social classes. High adoption rates mean addressing the mobile shift is no longer a “should” but a “must”.