Despite several new technologies like augmented reality and Bots coming to market in the past few years, business experts say that a solid mobile foundation is key for future success.
More and more people are using smartphones these days, and: “Emerging consumer technologies such as Bots, intelligent agents, extended reality, connected objects, and IoT will not replace mobile. Instead, mobile will be the key to unlocking these new touchpoints.”
That’s the view of Thomas Husson, a Forbes correspondent and Forrester associate. He says that if companies are going to take genuine advantage of the benefits of a connected world, a durable mobile network infrastructure is key to success. After all, the world is becoming ‘mobile-first’.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pew research shows that 68% of adults in the USA currently own a smartphone – which is up from 35% in 2011.
“Young adults, 85% of whom are smartphone owners, use their smartphones for a variety of information seeking and transactional behaviours. Desktop and mobile combined retail digital commerce reached USD83.5 billion in the first quarter of 2016. During that same period, mobile e-commerce retail spending grew 40% over the prior year.”
So, if you’re selling, selling online (through mobile) is where you need to focus.
“What strikes me is that most brands are jumping into exciting new technologies while still struggling to execute their mobile approach. They underestimate what it takes to truly deliver mobile moments at scale. Instead of considering mobile as an opportunity to create new offline experiences and as the gateway to the connected world, they still consider mobile a standalone marketing and advertising channel,” Husson expounds.
Since ‘mobile’ has become the primary touchpoint to engage consumers, Forrester believes companies should:
Radically increase ‘mobile’s’ share in their marketing mix.
Partner with business technologists to integrate automation technologies.
Invest in App-like experiences for mobile web moments.
“Don’t get me wrong: It makes sense to test and learn early with new technologies, but marketers also need to cut through the hype. While mobile-first is the new marketing mantra, don’t think that because you have launched Apps and responsive mobile websites, you have checked the box on mobile and can move on to the next big thing.”
Mobile Apps – its benefits for businesses
Before you make the leap into high-end digital marketing using augmented reality, virtual reality and Bots, why not consider the benefits that a well-executed App can provide first:
Secure customer loyalty
Mobile Apps can help you have a more direct and instantaneous connection with customers. “This closeness creates a relationship between your business and the consumer that evolves to brand loyalty,” associates at PHIDEV say. “One clear example is Starbucks. Through its App-based point system, Starbucks is able to keep their consumers coming back to earn more rewards each time.
Strengthen your brand positioning
There’s lots of competition out there these days, and attaining top-of-mind status amongst consumers remains challenging for companies to get right. “You want to be number one. This means that when the consumer thinks of a product or service, your business will be the first they recall.” With the right App on their smartphone, you’re now just a click or two away from engaging with your customer.
Stay true to customer needs
Today, people always seem to be on the go. “Going to work, going to the gym, going for coffee. They may not always have access to a computer, but on the go, they always have their smartphone with them.” This means you can travel with the consumer, available when they need you – at their convenience – 24-hours-a-day.
Marketing has to resonate, and by using some of the latest technology, you can make a lasting impact. But, using too much technology, without a solid mobile underpinning can make things tricky for you. In Africa, smartphones are expected to be the go-to device for e-commerce and online ‘window shopping’. If you don’t offer a worthwhile mobile experience, which is free of bugs and able to link with other Bots and Apps, you might lose out to businesses that are regularly refining their mobile foundations.