Mobile is no longer a device

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 When you think of mobile, what do you think of? Devices like iPhones and iPads? The old brand of gasoline?   Both of those answers are outdated. Mobile is no longer a device (and it hasn’t been a gas brand since 1999!). Mobile is now a situation. Mobile is a way people use devices—not the devices themselves. Basically, mobile is a context for life today.

 Think of mobile like the internet: people don’t go online anymore—they are online.

 Marketer Tim Peter gave a great presentation on how mobile usage is changing the worlds of marketing and commerce at the last meeting the NJ chapter of MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group) on this topic. His main point: that mobile is here to stay and we need to adapt to it and adapt quickly.

 Why do we need to adapt to mobile? Because worldwide, more people have mobile phones than have toothbrushes. Let that sink in—I know it’s gross, but the proliferation of mobile devices has tremendous ramifications for the future.

According to Google statistics, 44% of US cell phone users have smart phones and of those smart phone users, 88% use their phones for internet daily. 

 Peter notes facetiously, “you can ignore mobile as long as your customers never leave their house.” Mobile is the future (and the future is already here…).

 The rise of e-commerce in the mid-1990s radically transformed commerce as a whole. Today, there is a similar transformation underway: m-commerce (the “m” stands for “mobile,” obviously). Your customers are using their mobile devices more and more and their desktops less and less. Are you meeting your customers where they are? That is, are you meeting them in the mobile space?

 Do you have a mobile website? You should. Does your website incorporate responsive design so the site will adapt based on the device a customer visits it with? Your website should. Your customers’ language is mobile—are you speaking their language

 We have a culture of omni-channel consuming where our customers—whether B2C or B2B—are engaging with us in a variety of channels. Gone are the days of only phone calls and snail mail. Even in the B2B space, mobile and social are important avenues to meet your customers on.

 Let me leave you with a story: My assistant told me about how a year ago, his in-laws in a remote part of Guatemala didn’t have internet access at all. Even landline telephones were not widespread until a few years ago. Now, most of his family members in Guatemala have smartphones! (Just to be clear, he says they always had toothbrushes.) Change is coming and it’s coming quickly! Are you ready for the mobile revolution?

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