The Race for Mobile Supremacy and How It Affects Your Business Strategy

%social engagement %social listeningIf social media was the big thing in 2010 and 2011, then mobile is clearly leading the charge for the hearts and minds of both businesses and consumers in 2012.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone monitoring the trends and activities over the last 12 months or so.

While QR codes and push marketing via SMS campaigns have started the flow, the recent uptake in smartphone adoption across all parts of the globe means this year is going to be huge for mobile marketing and commerce.

A recent report from comScore emphasizes this point more than ever, and offers business owners and marketers an overview into the strategy they need to be preparing for the coming year.

Analyzing the Data

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Where mobile use was initially strong in the U.S. (and continues to be with 42% of the mobile market there on smartphones), Europe is now leading the charge, with 44% of users in France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Spain using smartphones.
  • The clear leaders in the field are Apple and Google, with their iPhone and Android platforms respectively. Android continues to be the lead platform, with almost half of U.S. users on it, and capturing 60% of the five countries mentioned above in Europe.
  • Shoppers are using smartphones much more when in-store, using apps and search to compare prices and offers, as well as scanning barcodes for reviews and comparisons prior to making a purchase.

These are just some of the stats that jump out immediately. The report also looks at how mobile is driving the amount of interaction on social sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as cross-platform use between smartphones and tablets.

Simply put, the biggest message coming from the report is that you need to have a mobile strategy more than ever, and sooner rather than later.

So how can your business adapt to the findings if you haven’t already?

Measure, Adapt, Implement

While it can be easier for smaller businesses to adapt than larger ones, due to red tape and the approval process, the need to be adaptable is key across all businesses, regardless of size.

It’s why RIM is currently struggling in the smartphone market after leading it for so long. Poor leadership and products that lagged behind a hungrier competition saw the BlackBerry make fall from grace in a way not seen since Yahoo took a dive in the search market.

So, if a market leader like RIM can fall so bad, it shows the need for your business to be on top of its game – especially in the mobile world we’re increasingly live in.

Looking at some of the stats from the report, there are a few ways that you can use the information to ramp up your mobile strategy and build successful campaigns around them.

  • Look at your website analytics and see how many of your visitors are coming in via mobile browsing (whether that’s smartphone or tablet use). Then look at your site and see if that’s been mobile-optimized or, at the very least, if it’s mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, that needs to become a priority to resolve.
  • Take the expense hit and create a simple mobile app that visitors to your site or offline properties can download. This can be an overview of products; a simple e-commerce app; an inventory checker; a mobile loyalty card; or a number of other solutions. Encourage use of the app by giving special offers or discounts to those app users (you can track the uptake and success of these by something like Google Campaigns in your analytics set-up).
  • Market to your market. This might sound a lot like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many businesses lack it… Looking at your analytics, as well as monitoring how your content is being shared (are users tweeting about you from an iPhone app versus an Android one, for instance), you can tailor content and landing pages to the preferred platform. iPhone users may prefer a less cluttered design, while Android users may prefer being able to save a sale inside their Google Calendar directly from their smartphone.
  • Optimize the experience for the experience of the user. As the comScore report shows, the demographics of smartphone use are very different from standard mobile browsing. Take advantage of this, and build offers, mobile promotions and more around the language and purchase cycles of your demographic. Can you tie a fun, QR-code led promotion for surfers during Spring Break, for example? Or a movie tie-in special using mobile-exclusive codes for the Twilight saga, and have SMS specials delivered to moviegoers who text your number for the offer?

Again, these are just some basic ideas on how you can measure your audience; adapt on the fly to time-sensitive opportunities; and implement quickly and smartly (no pun intended) to the smartphone crowd.

The opportunities are pretty much endless. And smartphone users have shown that they’re open to offers, especially if they’re well-planned and executed properly.

But with the information available to businesses from a variety of sources, that should now be the easy part. You just need to make sure you’re in the mobile game to start with.

Comments

  1. Chris Sohar says:

    Your information is always interesting and informative. Very cool too. Not always too sure on the shortforms, but I’m learning.

  2. JugnooMe says:

    Great point- let us know if you need any definitions!

  3. amoyal says:

    @DannyBrown I’m seeing your ads all over the net LOL

    • DannyBrown says:

      @amoyal Hopefully in a good way, sir!

      • amoyal says:

        @DannyBrown It’s a bit of overkill But it’s seems to be the norm Anytime I visit a site all I ever see is their ads

      • amoyal says:

        @DannyBrown I’m seeing yours on media streaming sites I think

        • DannyBrown says:

          @amoyal I wasn’t aware we had an ad campaign in place, I’ll have to check that. The ads on sites are on lieu of our platform costs

  4. Andrea Hypno says:

    Well said Danny. The advance of mobile is really mixing the cards of the net especially about ads and comments. I guess it also depends on the niche, I mean there are some websites which will be strongly affected by mobile and some which will not. You can easily wander around Facebook or Twitter with a smartphone or a tablet but other websites will still require a pc. At least that’s what I hope. Like ebooks which imho will never substitute fully books as there are things which can be done only on paper, like speed reading or taking notes. And reading a book for hours doesn’t strain eyes like a screen. Reason why I prefer ebooks max 50 pages long so I can print them. :)

    • DannyBrown says:

       @Andrea Hypno Great point about the sites, Andrea – for example, how can you optimize a site that has millions of archived articles on it (like the Smithsonian, for example)? Easiest way is to build an app, as opposed to truly optimizing the full site.
       
      My friend Tonia Ries has an ebook about to be published on influence; it’s 57 pages, but knowing Tonia and her smarts, I’m confident the extra 7 pages would be worth your time if it’s a topic that interests you. :)
       
      Cheers, Andrea, hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

      • tonia_ries says:

         @DannyBrown Danny – thanks for tagging me on this; it’s actually really great to hear that around 50 pages is a good size for an eBook, so I appreciate you sharing that.   If I shrink down the pictures & delete 1/2 my footnotes I should even be able to get to under 50 just for @Andrea Hypno ! : -)
         
        Also: great post on mobile here; couldn’t agree more with your points.  We covered a Pew study recently that found that more than 1/2 of phone-toting shoppers use their smartphones to comparison shop while they’re inside a retail store–before making a purchase (http://therealtimereport.com/2012/02/01/in-store-mobile-commerce-52-use-phones-to-make-purchase-decisions/

      • Andrea Hypno says:

         @DannyBrown  Tonia Ries Well, I guess 7 pages more could be fine too. :)
         
        I think that while mobile and smartphones are cool they are also not so comfortable to use for a long time, think like ebooks vs real books. They are growing but they have a certain niche. Like Twitter or sms, they have their place but they can’t substitute comments or a phone call. Clearly there is buzz because of the business of selling smartphones and tablets but I wonder is someone really uses tablets to write articles or even comments longer than “Great article”.
         
        The qr code or app is a good way for certain things and maybe to be found but I guess to really appreciate stuff you need a good screen; or to print it out. :)
         
        Like ebooks, they are a great way to be sold, distributed worldwide, cut out the middle man and so on but at the end to be really appreciated they must be printed and physically touched. Imho. ;)

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