Mobile marketing is one of the key trends to come out of 2014 with many brands now fully realizing the power of mobile. What does this mean for small businesses and how can they make better use of mobile engagement?

We spoke to James Chandler, Global Mobile Director at Mindshare about recent trends and the future of mobile marketing to better understand what smaller businesses can do to win on mobile.

S&T: In terms of mobile, what changes have you seen in the way individuals are using devices to consume content?

Over the past ten years we have seen massive leaps in how users are interacting and consuming content via mobile devices. If we think back to the pre-smart phone days we had smaller devices doing smaller things; so users generally had extremely limited content to consume.

After the arrival of the iPhone, Android and other smart phones the game changed significantly, users can now interact with the ‘real internet’ and can consume more interactive and engaging content. We have seen a whole app ecosystem come to life allowing brands and content providers to showcase long form content through apps such as iPlayer and Netflix.

We are also seeing an increase in the amount of time users are spending online, with consumers checking their devices between 70-100 times a day. This has really enabled and empowered brands to move away from purely snackable content and start creating fully immersive brand experiences for customers.

S&T: What does this mean for brands trying to reach consumers? Are they shifting their focus to mobile?

We have seen exponential growth for mobile over the past 5 years and the market has grown so quickly that some brands have been caught out by the speed of advancements in mobile technology. We are still seeing brands building micro-sites with flash that doesn’t work on mobile devices and clients still thinking about the 30 second TV advert rather than being mobile first.

The majority of brands have been slow to get onboard with mobile but there are some fantastic examples of mobile interaction by brands; VW’s campaign in Hong Kong around using your mobile whilst driving was particularly powerful. The problem still lies in the massive differential between how much consumers use mobile compared to how much budget brands are putting into mobile; currently it is around 3% of a clients marketing budget.

S&T: How do you think technology will change how we use and interact with mobile devices?

The biggest development we are seeing in technology is wearable tech; Life+, Google Glass and Nike+ are excellent examples. What we are really seeing here is the mobile becoming the remote control to your life; it is now becoming the device that allows you to control your heating (nest), pay your bills (APP eg) and check-in to your flights (Passbook).

In terms of imagery, the future lies in using the real world – real life imagery and UGC imagery that allows users to showcase their own images in conjunction with other users and brand communications. We can see this through apps like Blippar and also the rise of Augmented Reality and how we use the real world to interact with consumers.

S&T What shifts have you seen in mobile marketing?

Location based apps have been the biggest shift we have seen, knowing where people are gives a big indication to the context of the message that a brand can deliver. Context has increasingly become as important as the content, as it allows us to shape personal messages to reach consumers at the right place at the right time.

Another important aspect of location is making use of dead-time (dead-time is the time in which users have nothing to do; waiting at a bus stop, making a cup of tea etc). The mobile has removed dead-time completely, giving brands the opportunity to connect with consumers at any time.

Summary

Mobile is undoubtedly changing the way we interact and engage with consumers and all business types need to become mobile champions. Technology is developing so fast that brands need to stay abreast of latest developments and apps that allow companies to get closer to consumers. Making sure your content is mobile optimized, from your website to the content you create, is paramount in forging these relationships.

Key Takeaways

  • The way consumers use mobile has changed: Users now expect to see engaging, interactive and fully optimized mobile site on their devices.
  • There is disparity between the amount of money spent on mobile marketing compared to the amount it is used, make sure you have allocated some of your budget for mobile.
  • The rise of apps that allow users to interact with your products, site and content help forge stronger engagement and interaction. Think about integrating apps such as blippar to interact with consumers in the real world.
  • Dead-time has now vanished thanks to mobile and brands need to make sure they are winning at these moments. Location based services will allow brands to connect with consumers in a more meaningful way.
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