The Mobile Revolution (And What It Means For Businesses)

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  • 20 September 2013
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Once upon a time, the only people who actually used mobile devices for surfing the net or sending emails were business executives, and Blackberry ruled the day. Today, Blackberry is on a severe descent, and according to a September study done by the Pew Research Center, almost everyone has a smartphone – 91 percent of Americans own a cell phone, of which, 56 percent of all adults were smartphone owners. Certainly, this is quite a huge jump from the good old days. It gets better: 63 percent of adult cell phone users use their phones to access the Internet, up from 55 percent in 2012, and 31 percent in 2009.

How about Asia? Well, Nielsen’s Smartphone Insights Study conducted in 2012 found that in Japan, 86 percent (or almost nine in ten) of smartphone users used their phones to access the Internet. Meanwhile, 80 percent of smartphone users did the same in Korea, as did 76 percent of smartphone users in Hong Kong. It seems that the “mobile revolution” is a global phenomenon.

What does this mean for businesses? Simply put, businesses need to go where the customers are i.e. on their mobile devices, and develop marketing strategies that cater specifically to mobile users.

Take location-based services for example. The increased use of smartphones has also driven increased usage of location-based services (LBS). Hence, this provides an opportunity for businesses to tap into the insight these services present, according to Vishal Bali, Managing Director of Nielsen’s Telecom Industry Group. Says he:

"In particular, location-aware services provide great potential for location-based shopping and convenience services. Although currently both location-based and location-aware services are being primarily utilized by smartphone users in mature markets such as Korea, Japan, Singapore and China, other markets in Asia such as Indonesia and Malaysia where currently the usage is more focused on social networking and search will be quick to catch up as availability of these services improves."

With customers hanging out online more often, the website of the company becomes all the more important in company branding and marketing. As a result, it is imperative that company websites should be optimized for people viewing them on mobile devices. One of the ways to go about this is to use a responsive design, which is basically a web design that “responds” to the environment. In this way, customers will have little difficulty in accessing the company’s webpage and finding the information that they require.

 


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