Blog: Rethinking the Mobile Consumer

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Smartphones have transformed our daily lives. We are a new generation of people who are in a constant state of activity, communication, and community building wherever we go. This change in how we live has made it increasingly more complicated for brands to navigate their marketing tactics.

To be effective in mobile marketing, marketers must RETHINK how their customers are living – and what is the best way to reach them. To that end, the following five mobile trends will help you understand the fast-evolving mobile nature of your customers in order to effectively plan your marketing for 2013.

1. Always Active

“Wallet, keys, smartphone.” That is the check we do before we leave our homes. We are a generation who are constantly engaged. We are searching, browsing, communicating, buying, and playing, often all at the same time. It is possible to be productive and entertained wherever we are.

Picture this: your customer is on their way to lunch to meet a friend. On their way they search for a good restaurant, download a coupon, and communicate to their friend where to go. On the way, they pay a bill, listen to music, and play a round of “Word with Friends.” This is all done in a matter of minutes. Rethinking how, when and where your customers engage with their mobile device is the first step to understand how and where to reach them.

2. Multiscreen Lives

With 86% of mobile internet users actually using their devices while watching TV (Source: Microsoft), we don’t just sit on the couch and watch TV anymore. We are a generation in front of the TV, with our phones, laptops, and tablets in-use next to us. Television has made this interaction between the devices even more integrated. TV programming now allows viewers to interact with shows via Tweets, Facebook posts, SMS, and more. (If you’re not convinced of this, keep in mind that according to Twitter, 10,901 Tweets PER SECOND were issued as TV viewers watched Adele win Record of the Year at The Grammy’s.) To rethink your customer, you must question how they spend their down time, and the most effective and efficient ways to speak to them.

3. Seamless Integration

With all these different devices, always active and in use simultaneously, consumers expect a seamless transition between all of the screens. Kindle understands their mobile consumer. Their Whispersync technology is a terrific example of this seamless transition and integration. Kindle’s Whispersync allows users to easily transition from device to device, where they left off reading a book (audio version also available), watching a movie, or playing a game. In this seamless world it is important to rethink how you can make interacting with your brand more convenient and easy. You must ensure that a consumer’s interaction with your brand is personalized and seamless whether they are on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Or switching between the three.

4. Hyper Local Experience

All our preferences are saved and our devices are GPS enabled. Smartphones know where we are at any time of day. We make use of this knowledge by searching for local restaurants, stores, events, and deals. This hyper local experience bridges the gap between online and offline consumption. A consumer can easily search for a product, find the lowest price, and find a coupon on a deal site even while in the store itself. In fact, according to Google, 70% of smartphone users use their device while shopping in-store. And customers have come to expect this from stores, restaurants, and brands. Whether you are a national brand or a small mom-and-pop shop, you must rethink how to speak to your customers on a local level. It personalizes their experience, and tells them, “I know what you want and I’ll fill this need for you quickly and easily.”

5. Digital Wallet

In a comScore study, almost 19 million Americans made a purchase on their smartphone during a 3-month period that ended in April 2012, buying things in multiple price ranges from clothing, to groceries, to sporting and fitness equipment. This movement allows consumers to shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where they are located. Consumers are also now paying in-store via their phones, with applications such as LevelUp. LevelUp is a downloadable app that allows users to link a credit or debit card into their phone, and then just scan the LevelUp code at participating locations to pay. No matter what business you are in, your consumer is out there buying on their smartphone and trying to communicate with you.

Our world is shifting, and this is just the beginning. The five mobile trends above just scratch the surface of what is to come. That is why it is increasingly important to not just rethink your mobile marketing channels, but also rethink your mobile customer. Your consumers are out there walking around, available to connect with you. The question is do you know where they are?