It’s All About Choosing the Moment
It is not just the Internet that has changed marketing. The introduction of mobile devices such as cell phones with web access, mp3 players, gaming devices with web access and electronic reading devices have all made a great impact on the way consumers interact with businesses. Fairwinds Partners states in its edition Mobile Web that “in response to consumer demand for constant information, mobile phones have evolved into handheld mufti-functional devices that allow us to stay connected and interact in many more ways than just speaking with one another.”
With mobile phones, one of the ways consumers interact is with the mobile web. However, they do not use it the same way they would when sitting at home researching something on the computer. If a consumer is looking something up on the mobile web, chances are they want and/or need that information right then. According to an interview of Joy Liuzzo, Senior Director, Marketing and Mobile Research of InsightExpress on MarketingSherpa in Consumer Behavior in the Mobile Channel: 4 Trends Marketers Should Note “mobile Web surfers are different than computer Web surfers. They are often out-of-home and looking for quick, useful information.” Finding local businesses and their information is one of the main ways consumers use the mobile web. Bruce Lennox mentions in his article Mobile Search Changing Online Marketing and Consumer Behaviour on RealtySoft “Mobile search and local search continue to grow hand in hand, as technological advances and changing consumer trends continue to shape a marketing and advertising landscape that is changing and changes consumer behaviour.” [sic] (Lennox, 2008)
Mobile web search isn’t the only way consumers are changing the way they interact with businesses. New tools make it easy for consumers to choose when, where and how they interact with their favorite businesses and products. Consumers now use their mobile phones to keep up with the latest news about their favorite companies and products. Some companies offer instant message updates directly to cell phones. In the interview by MarketingSherpa, “Liuzzo points to data showing that nearly all age groups sign up for SMS alerts. Weather alerts are now the most popular, followed by sports and airline alerts.” Other companies broadcast their latest information on their products or business on twitter, where consumers that are interested can and do follow them to keep up with their news.
Additionally, some companies develop fun or useful apps for mobile phones, either for business or personal use that a consumer can use. In the article Working mobile apps into your marketing mix on iMedia Connection Patrick Mork discusses how mobile apps fit in with marketing. Mork shares Scott Seaborn’s, Head of Mobile Technologies at Ogilvy Group, take on marketing with apps by stating, ”the interactive communication offered by apps is key to their appeal: ‘The most useful apps for brands are those that support communication between the brand and consumers.”
For consumers, it is all about communication and interaction right in the moment and being able to choose when, where, what and how. Jeff Herrman with The Nielson Company talks about this in his article on nielsonwire. Herrmann states, “What’s driving this trend is consumer’s expectation of how using mobile data services will add convenience and improve their lifestyle, and how this aligns with current capabilities of the mobile platform. Making consumer’s lives easier is the most important factor driving increased use in the U.S.” All the data of consumer behavior in mobile devices keeps pointing to the convenience of getting the information the consumer chooses to get right when they want it. All this technology has been developed for it’s convenience and consumers hav embraced it so they can make their choice that is convenient for them.
There are more opportunities to get your content in front of the consumer with their access to their mobile devices, but you have to consider how and where they will be using it. This can be a determining factor in what type of information they will want and how they will want it, whether an app, mobile site, SMS message, email or other delivery method.
Have you had any successes or frustrations with mobile marketing? Share them in the comments.