“Mobile is eating the world,” Andreessen Horowitz partner Ben Evans recently declared, arguing that mobile is fast becoming the default for how consumers interact with the world. As bold as that sounds, if anything, Evans isn’t hyping mobile enough.
After all, by the end of the decade 90% of world’s population aged over 6 will have a mobile phone, according to Ericsson data. Nor are we passive owners of mobile devices: the average person looks at her smartphone over 200 times each day, spending over two hours on her device, according to Ofcom studies.
Which is really terrible news if your business isn’t as committed to mobile as your customers are.
For businesses still waiting for the mobile tsunami to subside, don’t. (Or, if you do, don’t worry: there’s an app for mobile denial.) “There is no point in drawing a distinction between the future of technology and the future of mobile,” Evans insists. “They are the same.”
Given this new normal, how should businesses respond?
Not Business As Usual
Every business aims to be customer-centric, but today “customer-centric” must translate to “mobile-centric.” While mobile marketers need to think about how this changes the way they reach customers, mobile demands much deeper and broader change.
Indeed, as Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of Global Marketing, tells Businessweek, mobile “is going to change not only marketing, but business completely.”
At Adobe we’ve had to get ahead of the curve on this, as our own Adobe Digital Index research, which tracks 70% of all online spend across the top 500 online retailers, finds that mobile app users spend three to four times longer with a brand than web users do.
Companies can no longer hope to succeed by plastering customers with ads from afar. Instead, businesses must increasingly engage consumers when and where they choose.
This engagement begins with data.
At Adobe we’ve spent the last 10 years turning data into insight for leading companies like A+E Networks, Apollo Education Group, NBCUniversal, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and others. While Adobe has long been known for best-in-class web analytics, Adobe also leads the mobile analytics market, both for mobile web browsing and mobile apps.
Customer engagement in the mobile world, however, requires more.
As we announced recently, Adobe now offers data-driven marketing capabilities to deliver highly personalized mobile experiences. These new features enable companies to engage their customers with relevant content and messages based on a user’s proximity to iBeacons.
Among other things, these capabilities include:
- Location-based “in-app” messages to drive real-time engagement and then follow up with email campaigns that leverage intelligence about a customer’s past interactions in a retail store, sports stadium and other points-of-interest and
- A new Mobile App Dashboard that helps brands keep app content fresh and relevant and understand how the app is performing in one intuitive view at all times; and
- Multi-dimensional portfolio bidding to place search ads across mobile devices.
We’ve Only Just Begun
Consumers are already mobile. Enterprises, if they want to remain relevant, must also go mobile. Adobe, with a range of services to help companies understand and engage their customers, makes it as easy and effective to do business on mobile devices as we have on the web.
And let’s be clear: by “mobile” we’re not just talking about smartphones and tablets, but also the hundreds of billions of devices that will comprise the Internet of Things. As we’ll show over the coming year, we’re going to give marketers the ability to understand customer data from a new generation of devices, and reach out to customers on these same devices, wherever they happen to be, at the time they most want to hear from brands.
In 2015 you’ll see Adobe continue to invest in mobile marketing, with tighter integration between our existing solutions and new functionality to synchronize personalized content across all mobile touch points.
We lead the mobile market, but we’re nowhere near finished.