Has Mobile Finally Arrived?

February 7th, 2013

Over the last couple of years, we’ve continually talked about the arrival of mobile, but is 2013 the year that we move on from the experimental phase and make mobile work? Or put this way, rather than seeing mobile as an extension of an existing offering, will we see brands using mobile to create unique user experiences and offerings?

Taking a step back for a minute, the personal computer is still at the centre of most people’s lives, but mobile is increasingly becoming a huge presence that is only going to grow. From the time we get up to the time we go to sleep, we are attached to our mobile devices. Whether they’re used as an information source, communication device or for simple entertainment, a lot of time is spent on mobile. We no longer solely watch a film or sporting event; we add real-time commentary, offer our opinions and even buy products we see via social channels and mobile sites.

Reports from Nielsen showed that from pre-purchase research to sharing an exciting find with friends, smartphone and tablet owners are embracing their devices to make the most of their shopping experience.

We know, we hear what you’re saying, you’ve been using your mobile like this for years so what’s new?

Well think of it this way: in the last six months there have been many new developments, with the launch of new tablets and notably next generation smartphones such as the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4. This has meant larger screens and more capable operating systems. 4G connections are becoming increasingly available throughout the UK, allowing better connections and enhancing the mobile experience in a way that was not even possible as early as this time last year.

Earlier in the week it was announced that Nike and Morrisons will be the first brands to run mobile marketing campaigns simultaneously across the Vodafone, EE and O2 networks via the Weve joint venture.

Nancy Cruickshank, chief executive at Weve, said she hoped to move mobile beyond a platform for ‘one-off’ drives, and instead make it a platform for ‘ground-breaking, innovative and long-term campaigns’.

Device development and connectivity are great but how do we reach our audience?

Aside from building apps and mobile optimised websites, we’ve also seen a shift in ad development. Analytics can now easily be segmented according to device used – e.g. mobile, tablet –  and this increased understanding of consumer behaviour provides brands with the ability to target and reach core consumers. However, more thought will need to go into producing quality content that consumers find useful.

Working to the tune of “let’s get something on mobile that brings people back to our site” will no longer be good enough. Brands and businesses will need to start thinking “Our audience are using mobile devices, so what can we build or offer to enhance their experience and keep them engaged?”

Brands and business alike can no longer ignore mobile and see it as a second offering. Plans and strategies need to consider how mobile can help them connect with consumers and enhance their experience.

So, will 2013 be the year of mobile?

The potential is certainly there, so let’s see how it unfolds.

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  • http://twitter.com/_VHClarke Vincent H. Clarke

    So far I think many businesses have been able to get away with “tricks” like responsive design to respond to mobile, but if mobile really comes into its own, I wonder how small businesses will be able to react. Sure, big brands like Nike and Coke can afford to spend huge resources developing mobile platforms, but many small businesses haven’t even figured out websites yet. Will mobile continue to isolate them? Will they rely on mobile listings through other services? How successful will this niche be? I’m interested to see what these changes might mean for small business.

    • http://twitter.com/OneNorthernSole Mathew Moore

      Thanks for your comments Vincent, you make some very interesting points. We agree that small businesses may face a number of challenges or resource issues when it comes to mobile and it will be interesting to see what options if any come available to those who may not have the larger budgets. Could we see a number of third party services for example?

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