In the last three decades, there have been many disruptive technologies that have changed how businesses operate. It is difficult for many people to understand, for example, how companies once conducted business without websites, email or personal computers. Today, some people marvel that a company does not use Skype, cloud computing or social media. Of all the innovative technologies that have appeared in recent years, however, mobile has certainly proven to be among the most disruptive.
Mobile devices have provided customers and employees with the freedom to interact with your company from any location. Mobile apps make it easier for your customers to find you, learn about your products and interact with you. These apps allow you to reach a wider range of customers, and they offer you new ways to deliver your marketing messages. Mobile apps also allow your employees to be more productive. Your sales personnel can check on a customer's order status before leaving the customer's site, collaborate with other employees at remote locations or be notified of any changes to their schedules.
As a marketer, however, what may be of the most interest to you is the data that you can glean from mobile users. According to a report from Ericsson, mobile subscriptions exceeded 7.25 billion in 2015. With a global population estimated at 7.35 billion, this means that there was nearly one mobile device for every man, woman and child in the world. Furthermore, people spend a lot of time on their mobile devices. Mobileinsurance.com revealed that their study found that people spend an average of 90 minutes daily on their mobile phones, which is the equivalent of 23 days per year. Interestingly, most of their time was not spent on phone calls. Approximately 24 percent of the time was spent browsing the web, and almost the same amount of time was spent on mobile apps.
The increased use of mobile phones has led to a sharp decline in landlines. According to an article in "Time," 41 percent of all American households have only mobile phones; among those between the ages of 25 and 29, 66 percent do not have landlines. As this trend is expected to continue, marketers will face increasing difficulties in communicating with customers in the traditional manner.
Why Mobile Serves as a Catalyst for Digital Transformation
Most organizations know that they must become a digital enterprise if they are to remain competitive. New digital technologies and massive amounts of available data have made it possible for companies to improve their efficiency, gain useful insights about their customers and reach new markets. The power, reach and popularity of mobile devices mean that mobile technology is often the cornerstone of a company's digital transformation strategy.
Mobile increases the speed and volume of interactions between a company and its customers. The immediacy of these interactions allows access to timely data that is virtually impossible to duplicate with other methods. Data can be continuously captured from social media, purchases and other interactions. Marketers can gain valuable insights to nurture existing customers or develop new markets. Furthermore, because mobile can provide the customer's location, marketers can target specific customers by geographic location at the most opportune time.
Mobile solutions will become increasingly important over the next five years. A recent survey of CIOs revealed that 71 percent believed that mobile solutions were more important that the IoT or cloud computing; other types of senior executives chose cloud computing as the most important, but they ranked mobile solutions as second. In short, virtually all of the respondents shared an understanding how mobile technology can benefit their company.
A digital transformation is not something that most companies can refuse to embrace. As technology advances and customers become increasingly demanding, all successful enterprises will need to make the move to digital. Choosing mobile technology as the starting point for a digital transformation can be an excellent way to launch your digital initiative.