What You Need to Do for Your Mobile Strategy
Your mobile strategy shouldn’t be set in stone. This might be a little shocking to hear, but it’s true: your customers’ needs and behaviors are ever-changing, which means strategies and goals that you set at the beginning of this year won’t necessarily match up with what your customers want and need come July. So, while your mobile strategy shouldn’t be set in stone, it should definitely be taking shape based on some very telling trends. Here are a few trends and insights for you to consider as you evolve your mobile strategy.
The Current State of Mobile
We’ll start with the obvious: consumers are mobile-obsessed. We really don’t have to look much further than our own habits to confirm this is true; we’re shopping on mobile, searching on mobile, and turning to mobile in our moments of need. Seventy-one percent of overall digital minutes are spent on mobile1–and don’t buy into the myth that it’s just millennials. They surely lead the pack at 93 percent smartphone penetration in the U.S., but GenX-ers follow closely behind at 85 percent2, proving that brands need to provide a mobile touchpoint in order to win in customer experience.
Trends to Watch
A successful mobile strategy is two-pronged: it has to, first and foremost, take into account what your customer needs, and when they’ll need it in terms of their journey with your brand; then, it has to implement future-facing technologies that will ultimately help meet those customer needs. It’s a two way street; you need both customer-centric goals and mobile-centric technologies to truly deliver. That’s why we’ve boiled down some of the major trends in both consumer behaviors and technological advances that will help get you on the right track for your ever-evolving mobile strategy.
Mixing the Physical and Digital Worlds with AR
One of the biggest mobile tech stories of the past year was Apple’s launch of the ARKit platform, which finally put the power to build augmented reality (AR) experiences into the hands of brands everywhere.11 It’s been a quick transition, but with tech giants like Snapchat, Amazon, and Facebook proliferating new technologies like AR, artificial intelligence (AI), and voice command, consumers now expect the digital world to seamlessly mesh with the physical world around them. Experts predict that AR and virtual reality (VR) will generate $67.3 billion in revenue by 202112, which means businesses that are starting to invest in these technologies now will surely see large returns in the near future. Don’t be afraid to think big with how you can implement AR in your marketing strategies–ARKit is making it easier than ever to make those big dreams an augmented reality.
An Out-Of This World AR Use Case
The Star Wars brand put on an AR-based scavenger hunt last year that drove shoppers into big box stores and straight to their merchandise displays, and furniture brand Ikea provides its consumers with an AR experience that virtually places to-scale pieces of furniture in their homes, giving them the ability to take multiple pieces of furniture for a “test drive” before making the big purchase, and decreasing their chances of product returns.
Embracing Voice-Command As A Jumping Point
We’ve all met Alexa, and she’s changing not only the way we live, but the way we browse the internet. It may seem futuristic to think that browsing the internet doesn’t require a screen, but you’re already doing it every time you ask Alexa what the weather will be like this weekend, or how long it will take you to get to work today. Gartner sees this trend continuing, predicting that 30 percent of browsing sessions will be screenless by 2020.13 What does this mean for your brand? It means it’s time to embrace mobile as the assistant to their assistant–providing ways for voice assistants to pull up information automatically on their phone as they browse with their voice. So for example, if you ask Alexa how to make chocolate chip cookies, it’s not too far off to hope that Alexa could prompt your phone to pull up the recipe on your phone without a single tap. With that in mind, brands need to be prepared to create made-for-mobile experiences that don’t require a download, so that when customers ask, you can answer.
The Future of Mobile: Cloud-Based Mobile Apps
The Trend: Users aren’t downloading native apps unless they plan on using them daily.
The Solution: Cloud-based mobile apps. They provide the rich, made-for-mobile functionality that we’ve come to know and love about native mobile apps, but increase adoption by eliminating the cumbersome app store download and update process, allowing you to employ smart activation methods like text, QR codes, and near field communication (NFC). And, when you build cloud-based mobile apps, you can leverage location and user-based data to ensure a highly personalized experience that will travel with your customer throughout their entire journey with your brand.
Consumers Craving Personalization
In 2015, Google noted a staggering growth in “near me” searches. Then, just two years later, something interesting happened: people were still searching for location-based services, but dropping the “near me” qualifier, because they already assumed that the results would be personalized based on their location.14 Consumers are now assuming their search experiences will be personalized, and that goes for their mobile touchpoints with brands, too. Eighty-three percent of customers say they would have a more positive view of a brand that delivered personalized loyalty messaging, and three-fourths of consumers ranked transactional messages (text alerts with updates on orders, etc.) as among their top reasons for opting into notifications.15 We recommend utilizing all of that consumer data you’ve been gathering to start personalizing your customer experience on mobile, and offering a way for your customers to opt-in for their preferred method of communication with your brand–whether that be via text, email, or chat.
Take Your Mobile Strategy to the Next Level
Now that you know mobile’s present realities, its future implications, and the trends surrounding consumer behaviors and mobile technologies, it’s time to take out that mobile strategy and take a second look. Here are our recommendations for taking your mobile strategy to the next level:
Here’s how you can take your mobile marketing strategy to the next level:
- Start Mobile First
- Stop Building Native Mobile Apps
- Make the Journey Mobile
- Text With Your Customers
- Make It Personal
It's Time to Take Action
With shifting consumer behaviors and new technologies emerging quicker than ever before, your mobile strategy can no longer be something that you set and forget; It needs to evolve with your customers’ needs. Because if it doesn’t evolve, then your brand will get left behind.