Book overview

Mobile Revolution: New consumer patterns, new opportunities!

By the end of 2011, 6 billion people were mobile subscribers, or an incredible 87% of the world population versus just 5% 15 years ago. This global, en masse adoption of mobile is not without consequences for marketing and CRM. Going forward, how can companies best leverage the marketing possibilities of the mobile channel?

Before investing in a flashy new app, reflect on how consumers actually usually their mobiles.

Consumers are increasingly joining the Web via their mobile devices, especially in developing markets. In China and India, for example, 300 million new mobile subscriptions were sold over the course of 2010 (more than the total number of mobile subscribers in the US!). This represents a significant trend for companies looking to keep up with consumer needs and implement effective mobile strategies.

Three essentials for an effective mobile strategy:
The challenge: aligning practices with user needs.
1. Speed – offering services in real time. Rather than unlimited choice, mobile consumers want targeted, rapid searches. Company or brand generated web content that is fast, easy to access, and provides relevant information is a reliable way to drive conversions and brand loyalty.
2. Simplicity – effective solutions at low cost. “Text messaging may not be as inspiring as the razzle-dazzle of other channels, but it has become a dominant form of communication,” notes Gary Schwartz. This fact has not escaped the notice of Nokia, who uses SMS to offer consumers at the bottom of the pyramid in India (notably rural populations) high value services at low cost with great success.
3. Personalization – customizing offers for consumers. Mismanagement of direct marketing to consumers on the mobile channel runs a high risk of irritating people and breaking their trust. To avoid crossing the line, companies can require consumers to explicitly opt-in to receive mobile marketing services and take care about ensuring the value of promotions or offerings justifies the interruption.

Business leader testimony
Focused on mobile since 2009, Sephora is expertly using the smartphone to bridge online and offline shopping and improve customer shopping experiences. Their first major mobile initiative was the creation of a mobile-optimized website, followed in 2010 by the creation of a smartphone application. And it does not end there; in 2012, the cosmetics retailer, buoyed by its highly successful marketing strategy, continues to invest in the mobile channel to make shopping better, easier, and more fun!

Read our dossier
Mobile Revolution: New consumer patterns, new opportunities!

Business Digest no. May 2012.
Based, among others, on The Impulse Economy: Understanding Mobile Shoppers and What Makes Them Buy by Gary Schwartz (Atria Books, November 2011) and “If you love something, let it go mobile: Mobile marketing and mobile social media” by Andreas M. Kaplan (Business Horizons, March 2012) and the case “Sephora Direct: Investing in Social Media, Video, and Mobile” by Elie Ofek and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld (Harvard Business School, June 2011).

Caroline Schuurman
Published by Caroline Schuurman