Last month, Yahoo! presented an overview with a few of its 2011 white papers. They cover different topics and are mainly targeted to online advertisers with a focus on the US. However, some of them provide interesting insights regarding a few of the fastest growing digital evolutions. One of those is obviously mobile.
In the paper “Mobile Internet - Delivering on the Promise of Mobile Advertising”, Yahoo! sheds some light on the mobile usage and behavioral patterns, aggregating data from various sources.
"If it feels like mobile phones are everywhere, it’s because they are", Yahoo! says in the introduction. And they sure are. In the US, more than 80% of the population owns at least one, and we know that in several other countries, the penetration is even much higher.
Furthermore, sales of smartphones and tablets have been skyrocketing, with tablets being one of the most bought products in the 2011 shopping season.
Yahoo! rightfully reminds us that "Unusual in the world of consumer electronics, mobile users express intense feelings about their phones, describing the devices as a seamless extension of their person and psyche."
Mobile and the buying journey/marketing funnel
It's crucial that marketers understand this highly personal nature of mobile, just as it's important to see mobile devices as the multichannel communication hubs of the social and connected consumer.
Mobile is everywhere and that includes the buying journey of the consumer. Yahoo! emphasizes that mobile moves consumers through the marketing funnel from "awareness to purchase, repeat buys and advocacy."
It's clear that underestimating the role of mobile makes marketers miss out on important opportunities.
When we look at how people use mobile devices, most of the time is spent on email, followed by visiting portals, social networks and blogs, and search.
The consumer is mobile: consequences
Mobile, especially tablets, are taking away attention from other devices and clearly enhance the impact of campaigns, while being at the same time an opportunity for marketers to interact with their customers and with consumers.
Note that, given the mentioned personal nature of mobile, relevancy is of the utmost importance to be efficient on mobile. It would also be wrong to approach it as a separate channel. Mobile is by definition multichannel and part of an overall experience and thus cross-channel marketing strategy.
Data from Yahoo! show that daytime is primetime for mobile Internet usage. However, regardless of these findings, one thing is clear: offering consumers the opportunity to interact via mobile devices is not an option anymore.
The consequences regarding your actual (digital) marketing strategy are obvious: provide relevancy, among others through a deep understanding of your customers and personalization, integrate mobile in the mix and adapt your existing interaction strategies to mobile usage, bringing the power of cross-channel marketing to the context of the mobile user.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
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