The world is going mobile in a big way. In 2013, mobile devices outsold PCs nearly six times. While roughly 300 million desktop and notebook PCs were shipped worldwide last year, the total volume for mobile devices was 1.8 billion. More and more of these mobile devices will be smartphones with internet connectivity. Mobile marketing, therefore, is a key challenge for marketers and brands if they want to send their message across to their customers who are spending more and more of their waking hours looking at a mobile device screen.
What are the big mobile marketing trends for 2014?
Thomas Husson of Forrester Research makes these predictions for 2014:
- Big Data and Analytics will continue to grow in importance. Marketers who understand the behavior or their customers best will benefit from Big Data. Companies have to get better at understanding the context of user searches and other activities of consumers on their mobile devices. Marketers will have to tailor their mobile ads and product discounts and other offers accordingly.
- Mobile contextual data will even impact other marketing channels. Smart marketers will develop ways to interpret the data generated by how consumers use their mobile devices to gather better insights about the consumers’ needs and preferences. So, mobile marketing needs to be viewed in combination with other marketing channels.
- Mobile advertising will mature with the emergence of new mobile-centric ad formats. But user identification will continue to remain a challenge.
Additional mobile marketing trends include greater personalization of advertising. Grocery stores could analyze a regular customer’s purchase behavior via maintaining a tally of the items purchased using the lists generated during checkout. Advertising can then be tweaked to appeal to individual customers based on their purchase history; for example, their food choices such as organic food, or vegetarian food and so on.
Also, location-based mobile marketing will make mobile marketing relevant and useful for consumers. Think of a grocery store ad about discounts for the day being shown to a mobile user when the user is physically close to the store. Similarly, a pizza store could show an ad about their special offer for the day when the mobile user is in the vicinity during the hours of the day when the restaurant is open.
Advertisers will have to learn how to make use of shorter content such as those looping six-second Vine videos or Instagram videos. Mobile ads will continue to use gamification concepts where users accumulate points, badges, and so on. Apart from competing with friends, people also love good deals. Mobile marketers will offer unique and personalized deals that are redeemable from customers’ mobile phones.
For businesses for whom events (product launches, birthdays and other special occasions) are important, the mobile marketing strategy has to include an ability to target the right audience. Customers should be able to easily add the marketer’s event to their calendar. Loyalty programs offered through a mobile device are perfect since people have their mobiles with them all the time and there is no risk of losing their loyalty cards. Customer referral programs are ideal for the mobile platform since a customer’s contacts are already stored on the mobile device.
India has a burgeoning user base of mobile users. At last count, there are more than 600 million mobile users and more than 150 million internet users. As smartphone prices come down and breach the $100 mark, more youth will go for smartphones connected to the internet. This presents a golden opportunity for mobile marketing innovation.
With the growth of online retailers in India, there are thousands and tens of thousands of discount coupons available at any point of time across various retailers such as Amazon India, eBay India, Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Cleartrip, Jabong, Myntra, and others.
Sites like Couponraja aim to provide “visitors and members the latest coupon codes promotional codes from leading retailers/ merchants in India.” Couponraja has seen tremendous growth since its launch in October 2011 with an active customer base of hundreds of thousands and more than 350,000 subscribers on Facebook.
Compareraja is a similar site which helps users find the best online deals by comparing prices at different online retailers such as Home Shop 18, Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Indiatimes, and so on.
There will be more innovations such as Couponraja and Compareraja as the penetration of mobiles and smartphones increases in India. Mobile marketing will get smarter and mobile marketers will learn to better target their ads to the intended customer for a win-win situation for both the retailer and the customer.