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The Evolution of Marketing

My name is Ben Duckworth and I am a member of Rapid Time Networks, with the Kelowna group. I own a company  called Duckworth Consultants and I specialize in helping businesses develop and implement mobile marketing campaigns.

Have you noticed the evolution in marketing that is happening right now?

Would you venture to guess what I’m referring to? If you guess “Mobile Marketing” you would be correct.

What is mobile marketing? It’s not marketing while you drive your car, fly on a jet or while you’re taking a cruise. It is marketing that connects businesses and organizations to customers and prospects on their mobile devices. Those terrible little “smart” phones and tablets that more and more and…. and more people carry with them every where they go.

Before we look at this evolution, lets talk about something that has cause this evolution. Some of you may know this information already and others  may know parts. This is meant to educate the individuals that may not totally see how the world has changed and how this effects business, organizations and entrepreneurs alike.

Since the introduction of the first iPhone and the iTunes App store, there has been a major shift in how the world accesses information. We see it here in North America everyday. The use of smartphones and tablets has become so common place in our corner of the world, many of us think nothing of it.

These technologies have taken over in other countries as well. This is something that many of use take for granted. Yet under developed places can connect by way of a smartphones. Now, at the speed of though, much of the world is connect through this channel. This access to information and communications with the rest of the world has made our world a smaller, more connected place.

The “Information Age” may be a thing of the past for many of us, but we have now entered the Age of Mobile. The whole world is going Mobile.

Let’s look at the effects mobile has had on marketing, where we are currently in this marketing evolution and where we are headed in the next few years.

Currently in Canada there are about a third of the population with a Smartphone. In the next few years, the prediction is that at least two thirds of the people in Canada will own at least one of these devices, and many will also own tablets.

Then we have to consider how attached the owners of the devices are and most are within arms reach 24/7.

It is because of this attachment to our devices that the world of marketing has started a major evolution. Google refers to it as “The Mobile Movement”. We have become attached to our devices to the point that it has changed the way we look for a business, find out about products and services and even the way we shop.

In surveys conducted and published by companies like Google, Cisco and Forrester, it is clear that consumers want to connect with businesses on their smartphones. Cisco reported at the beginning  of February of this year that mobile data traffic grew 70% in 2012 and that mobile data traffic was 12 times the size of the entire global internet traffic back in 2000. Yes, 12 TIMES the data was transferred through mobile compared to the desktop internet in 2000!!

Yet the majority of business do not have a basic mobile presence such as a mobile optimized website.  Yet, there is so much more to mobile marketing than having a mobile website.

Many companies are having mobile websites developed and yet they are trying to give the consumer the exact same information on the mobile version as the desktop. Others still are redesigning a mobile website and providing a unique mobile experience, but they are not taking the time to understand what their customers and prospects really want from a mobile site. We have to be aware of how people use these devices, in order to cater to their needs and earn more of their precious business.

Smartphones are a technology tool and they allow us to access quick information,  at our convenience, in our already very hectic  lives about the companies we are interested in.

For example, if Mrs. Smith can visit my competitors website and get driving directions, call with a touch, request a quote, make a purchase, get a digital coupon, book an appointment all from her smartphone with a few touches, VS finding my website that is not optimized or responsive for mobile and has to zoom in and scroll around, can’t quickly navigate to information. Who do you think she will buy from or contact? Likely not my business.

You and I may not worry about this for our own personal use, but as entrepreneurs and business owners, if we ignore the facts and don’t evolve our marketing with that of the consumer’s habits, it is only a matter of time till we pay the penalties, if we are not already.

These devices are not going away and the percentages of consumers on them will continue to skyrocket.

Mobile is at a very similar stage to the desk top internet and business websites in the early 1990’s. There were many many businesses that said, “I don’t need a website! How is that going to help me in my marketing!” Now, how many businesses that are serious contenders do not have a website? However, it is not like the desktop internet in the adoption rate. It is happening at a pace that no other marketing media has ever experienced.

The time for mobile is now. It is time to learn about how people are changing their research and shopping habits. It is time to learn about the available marketing technologies and which ones will best serve our marketing goals best and offer the best return on investment.  There are so many things to chose from starting at the basics like mobile websites and ranging to things more complex like Augmented Reality and Mobile Ads.

I’m going to leave you with a few more points to ponder in what consumers are saying about mobile and how they are using these technologies. Consider these points many many times, before investing any more of your hard earned dollars into the standard marketing medias that you are currently.

  • One in three Canadians own either an iPhone, an Android or a Blackberry
  • The average smart device user spends more time each day surfing the internet on their mobile device than the desktop internet.
  • Over half of the searches performed to find our business are on a mobile device.
  • Google says that 64% of smartphones users will not look past the first mobile search results page on their mobile device.
  • 80% of smartphone users take action within the our of searching for a product or service on their mobile device.
  • 2/3rds of the users say they are more likely to by from a business that offers a mobile friendly site or a mobile app.
  • Digital Coupons and Offers are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than mailer or paper coupons and offers.
  • By the end of 2013, there will be more devices on Canada connected to the internet than computers.
  • 82% of business websites are not “Optimized” for smartphones.

“It’s still not too late to be early!” Google Mobile Ads

I would love your feedback and input. This is my first post with Rapid Time Networks and I would like to know if there is interest in more information about mobile. My passion is to teach other businesses how to set up and implement mobile marketing, so if I can help one person that reads this article I would be very happy. I would like to pick a more specific topic about a mobile marketing media and talk about what it is, how it works and things to consider when setting up your marketing strategies.

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