Business By The Numbers: Smartphones

When mobile phones made it to mainstream use by the late eighties to early nineties, they helped untether people from landlines. You could be reached anywhere, any time, as long as you had good reception and enough battery-power.  In the late 2000’s, smartphones basically gave people pocket-friendly computers with voice and messaging capabilities.

The shift was sudden and market penetration took some time, but it did happen. And ever since smartphones came to be an EDC (Every Day Carry) component for most people, businesses have been scrambling to keep up with and adjust to the new demands and changing consumer behaviors stemming from evolving mobile technology.

How are you taking advantage of this particular communication platform to help build a better relationship with your market? If you’re having trouble forming a plan, here are some numbers to help you out:

According to the statistics, over 2.3 billion of the total world population are expected to use smartphones this year, and with some 7.2 billion people on the planet, that number is expected to rise to over 36% of total world population by next year.

If you’re just classifying mobile phones and include non-smartphones into the count, the number jumps to 4.77 billion. Swing back to smartphone-only, then the number goes up from  2.3 billion to 2.87 billion by 2020 –just three short years from now.

The top 10 countries for smartphone penetration all have over half of their populations owning smartphones. The top six:  South Korea 88%  and Australia 77%, the UAE  75%, Israel  74% and USA  72%, then Spain 71%.

Smartphones simply allow people to do more: 53% of smartphone owners use their devices for messaging, with 49% for social media, and 43% for email. It’s all for communication.  People not only connect to other people, they can work over their devices, and connect to businesses whose services they use: car rentals, banking, hotel reservations, airline ticket purchases, product reviews research etc. If your business can help people work more efficiently, and live their lives in a better way, then using the mobile platform intelligently to connect to your market should be a crucial factor to your business’s sustainability and longevity.

You structure your business  communication development to align with smartphone growth and the subsequent consumer behavior trends, you set  it up to grow with the times and the market. Adjusting to new technology is simply intelligent business.

Smartphone use everywhere.
Think of your own circle of friends and family. Think about co-workers and acquaintances. How much time have you interacted with them on social media to keep updated and in touch? Think about how often you use your own smartphone during the day, and for what various tasks it helps you carry out on a daily basis.

In the US, seventy-two percent of smartphone owners sleep with their phones close so they won’t miss any alerts. The same percentage spends more than two hours a day on their smartphones, while over half have between eleven to thirty apps installed, and over seventy percent use their smartphones in brick-and-mortar stores to do product research.

With the smartphone as the platform, your website, your mobile strategy, your responsive website and internet presence must be able to engage easily and seamlessly with the users of the same platform.  Customers are looking for a two-way personalized engagement on their devices, and to be competitive, you need to respect and include the importance of that factor.

Helpful articles:
Do You Have A Mobile Strategy? 
How To Develop A Mobile Mindset

What are you doing to increase market penetration and customer reach on mobile platforms? Is your website mobile friendly?

Helpful links:
Why responsive web design is important [Infographic]
Best practice for Responsive Web Design [Infographic]

The question isn’t really only, “How can you market your products  via mobile?” The  questions are, how can you reach more people in your market who use smartphones?  How can you make your website and your service more accessible to your market via mobile devices? What can you do to make reaching these customers–and help them reach you–securely, easier and faster, via mobile devices?

A website is a place on the internet. A website is a consolidated way to communicate: to entertain questions, share information, and offer a means of asking for more if the FAQ’s aren’t enough. Communication. On-line communication. Always-on communication.

Knowing e-commerce and consumer behavior, you can easily think of apps meant to help people with issues such as the following : where to buy what they want (location) , and how and where to buy it cheaper (comparison).

Throw in speed and pressure into that quest for helpful information, and you come up with the motivation to improve your business by improving your communication–again, easier and faster and evolving towards mobile spread. All successful marketing communication is meant to spread your  business’s messages across multiple digital and traditional media channels.

How can you make it easier for your customers to use your services on their  smartphones. How much faster can they find your website?

Think of Lyft and Uber. Both companies have apps for their users.  The service is transportation, the means via mobile device are branded apps. Just call, you get a ride. Again, think of the apps you use on your own smartphone. Then imagine the apps that your target demographic, the people occupying your market, have on their smartphones.

Marketing is sales and presentation: you sell an idea, an image, a story about your customer’s concerns and how your product can help them. They buy into it, they buy into your product.

But first you have to find them (market research) and then make it easy for them to find you (advertising and  customer service, a strong internet presence ). Adding to that, make it easier for them to get in touch with you, and easier for them to use your product.

For example: Mobile banking and financial tracking, anybody? There are so many ways businesses and companies have made themselves more accessible to their customers via mobile devices — automation is only part of the process, and it is an ongoing process.

So, after all this information you just took in,  what are you thinking about right now to help keep in touch and help serve your customers via their smartphones?

Sources:
Pew Research Center
Smart Insights
Statista
The Hub
GSMA Intelligence

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