In the current “Mobile Trends” report Forrester Research forecast for 2013 a sharp growth of retail sales in the mobile sector and of advertising messages for the mobile Internet. The prime reason for this is the rapid spread of mobile devices. There are already over a billion smartphones in the hands of consumers worldwide, and on top of this around 150 million tablets. According to Forrester’s estimates the number will rise in four years to more than 900 million tablets and three billion smartphones worldwide. The strongest growth is anticipated in the emerging economic regions such as Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Smartphones can now supersede cameras, navigation devices, TV remote controls and portable game consoles. It’s also possible to use it as a travel document, admission ticket and coupon. Given the wide variety of possible functions and the convenience involved, consumers are changing their use behavior. But expectations also change as the flexibility increases. Just as communications and day-to-day planning have become flexible thanks to smartphones, so the services provided in spheres such as shopping, banking and travel will also have to be flexible in future. So-called “digital natives” expect that all information will invariably be accessible quickly, simply and reliably. They want to be able to compare prices online in the shop, handle purchases while lying on their couch, deal with bank transactions in their car and obtain restaurant recommendations online.
The influence of the mobile domain is therefore growing and presenting new challenges in terms of marketing. According to Forrester, marketing experts should promptly adjust to the following factors:
- More intensive interactions with the customers
- A combination of real-time interactions and consideration of the location in the real world
- Context-related advertising and pricing
Competitive companies will first and foremost be those who can respond individually in real time via mobile devices to the relevant situations and locations, preferences and attitudes of customers. This demands not only tackling technical challenges, but also letting go of traditional marketing strategies. The boundaries between the product, the content and marketing are fluid.