Over one billion connected devices will be sold globally this year as consumers demand for seamless connectivity grows. But according to Google’s Sales Director Martijn Bertisen, most marketers still haven’t grasped the importance of mobile, despite the fact that devices now outnumber humans.
As a consequence, what most marketers are able to offer now on mobile will increasingly be seen as an obsolete “clunky” experience, he explained at IAB Mobile Engage – an annual conference focused entirely on the importance of growth in mobile.
The rise in new connected devices, especially the smartwatch, is undeniable. “We check our phones collectively over 100 billion times a day. That’s quite scary. Think about what happens when we all wear a (smartwatch) and we multiply that behavior.”
Scary, certainly. But that’s also a tremendous opportunity for those few marketers who are ready for the future. If you’re one of the forward-looking minds with the technical ability, creativity, and know-how to make mobile work, you’ll be well positioned during the next big wave of the mobile revolution.
Updating Skillsets for a Mobile Age
Bertisen stated most marketers have not come close to crafting a better experience on mobile than on desktop. Alongside that, brands have been too slow to shift their spend to mobile.
As he told the audience full of mobile experts, “I would disagree that as an industry, as marketers, that we are even ready for the mobile phone. Very few of you could put down your mobile phone and show me that the website for your company is better than the experience I get on desktop. Very few of you would tell me you’ve moved the majority of spend to mobile, or that there are more mobile experts than desktop in your building.”
He suggested that very few marketers in the audience would be “proud” to show their mobile site and say that it was better than desktop. Yet the mobile “tipping point” has arrived with searches for products on mobile overtaking desktop in over 10 of the worlds most connected markets.
Bertisen’s claims are backed up by the stats we’ve encountered as a mobile marketing recruiter. Mobile is certainly growing fast, but still only accounts for 23% of the total digital ad market, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau figures released last month.
Key reasons for slow mobile ad spend include a lag in accurate attribution and tracking systems that can compete with what’s already been established on traditional digital platforms.
Bertisen acknowledged the shift to a better mobile mindset would be “painful” and “requires a rethink.” But if you want to remain relevant in the coming years as new mobile channels, strategies and tech emerge, it’s something you’ll have to start doing.
If you need a starting point, begin by following popular mobile news outlets and blogs like:
Marketers can also look into getting one of several reputable mobile certificates or even experiment designing mobile-friendly experiences and apps on their own .
Combining Digital and Tangible Customer Experiences
With the arrival of the mobile tipping point, consumer behavior is changing. And it will continue to do so as the term “mobile” extends beyond smartphones and tablets to wearables like smartwatches and more. “Mobile (experiences) are relatively clunky whereas connected devices allow for more seamless integration,” he said. “I work with a lot with retailers, and I would disagree that they’re ready even for the simplest mobile phone.”
Highlighting need for a mobile experience to integrate with a bricks and mortar offering, Bertisen revealed that half of mobile consumers will visit a local store within a day after conducting purchasing research.
How a Compelling Omnichannel Strategy Enhances Retail Experiences
He added that with 60% of consumers demanding a personalized experience, it is “almost criminal” for retailers to talk to everyone with the same message and tone. “It’s much more about where and what I want – consumers are highly demanding and highly informed. With the data we have, it is no longer acceptable as marketeers to talk to everyone in the same voice.”
Still wrapping your head around how to best integrate mobile into the customer experience? Start here:
- Delivering a Positive Mobile Experience that’s User-Friendly and User-Initiated
- Mobile experience marketing doesn’t mean mobile-first — it means customer-first
Don’t Panic… Yet
Certainly, the influx of data relating to location and behavior will opened up a wealth of opportunities for marketers looking to refine their campaign targeting and personalization. This is largely uncharted territory, and pioneers with the right skills will be able to gain a huge edge over late adopters.
So far, consumers are wary and slow to catch on to smartwatches and other wearable tech.
Luckily for you marketers, you have at least a little time to prepare for the next big leap forward in mobile, at least in terms of wearables. So far, consumers are wary and slow to catch on to smartwatches and other wearable tach.
According to a survey by enterprise firm Apadmi, more than a third of consumers would be “too embarrassed” to sport wearable tech, suggesting the wrist revolution isn’t here just yet. But don’t expect that to last. Start updating your skillset now so when the time comes you’ll be a highly sought after talent source for mobile marketing recruiters and innovative companies.
As for brands:
“Brands are still very much behind and the consumer is leading. How do we catch up? The only way is to create a culture of true innovation. Look at Google and the arrival of Chief Executive Larry Page. One of his biggest focus points was how to bring the company back to being fast, nimble, innovative and that resulted in Google X where we’ve developed things like the driverless car. But not all of these innovations are big and bold, some are simple like Cardboard headsets.”
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