Mobile analyst and investor Russell Buckley is back to talk to us about the advancements you can expect in smartphone hardware and software and how your organisation can take advantage of everything coming online.
Also see this weeks supporting blog, “Is your business ready for Siri and Google Goggles?”
Following on from this week’s predictions with Russell Buckley on future trends in technology and software, we see some really interesting advances in both hardware such as NFC (the ability to transact simply by touching your mobile phone to a terminal), Google Goggles (information overlaying your vision as its projected into a set of glasses – referred to as augmented reality) and software such as increased use of LBS (location based services) on the horizon.
If you categorise these advances they fall into two broad categories:
As these technologies come into play, will your business continue to be visible to your consumers?
For example if your customers ask Siri (iPhone’s voice recognition technology) a question that you would like your business to be the answer to, or if they used Google Goggles to search, will business or product be brought up or will you be “invisible” to the growing number of consumers using these innovations?
Can they engage with you once they find you?
Similarly, as consumers change their behaviour when it comes to doing business utilising these new technologies, will they continue to be able to do business with you and respond to your call-to-action in the way they want?
Steps to take to avoid falling behind
While some of these technologies have achieved widespread penetration, others are still pre-early adoption, yet close on the horizon (12-36 months). To turn these technological advancements into and opportunity to differentiate your business by engaging your consumers through these mediums before your competitors, there are a number of steps you can take over the next 12 months:
1. Ensure you business has an engaging mobile experience
In its simplest form a mobile web site for consumers to land on is a must to be included in any form of consumer interaction over mobile. So if you want your products to be the answer to consumer need, there should be landing pages for products, if you want your outlets to be the answer, then create landing pages for your outlets.
2. Be “location aware.”
That is, know and publish your businesses physical locations for each product and service offered.
3. When Siri or Google Goggles brings consumers to your web presence, ensure you can close the deal.
For example if a consumer asks Siri a question and you come up as the answer, can the consumer make that purchase, or find that store. You should be preparing, and indeed testing ways for consumers to do business over mobile, so when they are directed to you, you are effective at converting them to your call-to-action.
Thank you to Ross Sleight for his amazing insight in this week’s Appbeat episode on how consumers are driving mobile uptake. Ross cites that 10% of consumer media time is now spent on mobile (whereas newspapers and magazines only account for 7%), however current media spend on mobile is only around 1%.
What does this mean for my business and how do I need to adapt to this change?
Mobile is a unique platform, in that it is physically available to the consumer from the point the consumers becomes aware of a need, through to the point that the sale is closed.
In a traditional consumer journey, your call to action might be delivered from a TV or print ad. Your consumer would then have to find his or her way to your point of sale, whether that is to a store or even a PC, to respond to the call to action and make a purchase.
Mobile reduces the time that it takes for this journey to be completed—the point-of-need and the point-of-sale happen simultaneously.
This means that your business– even your online business– has the potential to lose business to competitors that are successfully employing the mobile channel if you don’t also learn how to make mobile work for you. Your consumers might be aware of you, but in the time that it takes for them to make their way to your point of sale, your competitor might have short-circuited their journey to you by providing a point of sale in the palm of their hands.
We have seen a similar pattern over the last 10 years with the emergence of online sales, in many cases now exceeding traditional bricks-and-mortar sales.
This will transpire as companies learn how to effectively reach their consumer over mobile. This means you should actively work with your agency or digital department to understand how to effectively engage your consumer at point of need through to mobile. This is still a difficult challenge and, indeed, might take a number of initiatives to discover the right formula, which is why companies are still hesitant to commit spend to mobile. TIP: Ensure you draw on your agencies successes & failures – ditch them if they have none!
However daunting, finding early success on the mobile channel will position you solidly in your competitive context. As you discover how to engage over mobile, it will be clear whether your focus should be on completing sales, garnering a commitment to sale or, at minimum, a call to action for the next engagement.
As with the emergence of online sales, there is a huge opportunity for the early adopter companies that grasp how to harness the mobile channel effectively. Indeed, with 10% of media engagement now on mobile, it is no longer too early. Be one of those companies.
Companies developing a mobile advertising campaign will need to be flexible, agile and wary of ongoing developments from the biggest online players in the world, including the resurrection of the Windows operating system.
That is the view of Ross Sleight, chief strategy officer of Somo, who said at Ad:Tech London that mobile strategies are being directly influenced by the likes of Google and Facebook. Furthermore, Sleight claims that the mobile industry should “not write off” Microsoft and expects Windows to be the third most popular operating system by 2015.
“It is a War of the Gods with companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon, whose announcements will constantly affect campaign strategies,” says Sleight. “The upcoming launch of iOS5 will bring 500 new things developers can do to aid consumers. We need to put the customers’ needs first, not the platform.”
Companies constructing a mobile advertising strategy require an agile roadmap, says Sleight. He believes companies should not develop a three-year mobile advertising plan, advising a more flexible three-month strategy, which includes an understanding of how people consume content on their phone.
Somo claims that people are using mobile for three reasons, ‘Urgent now’, ‘Bored now’ and ‘Repetitive now’. Sleight cites ‘Urgent now’ as a request for information, with data from Google Think Mobile claiming that 30% of all restaurant enquiries are conducted on mobile, while games addresses the ‘Bored now’ category, and updating social networking pages or Tweeting is the ‘Repetitive now’ aspect.
Annette Porter, Director of Nylon, has more than 20 years’ experience advising world-renowned brands such as American Express, General Electric and Exxon on strategy and communications. At Nylon she marries this experience with her love of photography and film-making to produce persuasion through pictures.See More