Cisco recently predicted that there will be more mobile devices than people on Earth by the end of 2013. As that speculation gets closer to reality, marketers with weak or nonexistent mobile strategies will need to adjust their thinking if they want to stay relevant.
Consumer demand for mobile access to your brand will increase exponentially over the next year. According to Scarborough’s December 2012 USAPlus report*, households with a smartphone or tablet increased by over 10 percent in just six months, with the current national household penetration at 59 percent. While this is not yet as high as cable and satellite penetration or home internet service, which are closer to 80 percent, the mobile Web is expected to overtake desktop by the end of 2014. In fact, the whole face of telecommunications has been turned on its head in the past two years. As smartphone usage has skyrocketed, households are eliminating their seldom-used landline service in record numbers.
Mobile Web Accessibility
This desire for mobile Web accessibility, once relegated to the under-30 set, now affects everyone in the household. More and more families are transitioning to shared data plans so everyone can access the Web from their mobile devices. Even the senior population is getting in on the tablet craze. They are buying iPads and Kindles in record numbers and then spending hours playing “Words With Friends,” reading books and “friending” the grandkids on Facebook. Meanwhile, younger family members are not waiting until high school to get that texting phone anymore. These days kids as young as 10 have phones with data plans.
Expecting More From Mobile Devices
Tech-savvy early adopters always stand at the forefront of the mobile wave, pushing brands to create improved mobile communications. They long ago moved past regarding the smartphone as a fun new toy, a GPS device, an audio player and a telephone. They now expect to be able to do virtually everything on their device and demand that brands provide that mobile accessibility if they want to compete for their business. Many brands delivered, flooding the market with millions of apps, mobile sites and landing pages, offering location finders, clicks to call and e-commerce. But now that the smartphone and tablet audience has exploded, there are more customers, more demographic segments, with a wider variety of needs and countless different devices. As marketers, we are all going to have to work harder to meet expectations. But this huge consumer segment does have one thing in common. They want to choose how they will communicate with you, and clearly that choice in 2013 will be mobile.
*Scarborough USAPlus 2nd release 2012