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By Kamal Dimachkie.
October 24, 2013 12:26 by kippreport
According to the UN, the number of mobile phones, at the end of 2012, exceeded six billion globally. Mobile is the most ubiquitous digital medium today. We have already seen what massive and radical changes that smartphones – when combined with parts of the ecosystem, such as social media – can bring about. We have not yet fully appreciated the scale of the seismic change it will ultimately bring about. Marketers and advertisers have to take stock of that and understand the implications and ramifications.
Always on, always with me, personal, not shared – this is the biggest shift in mindset that needs to take place. This requires marketers and advertisers to start thinking differently. In an excellent study, Forrester Research provides a number of interesting thoughts: No device captures context as the mobile phone does. Context includes the consumer’s situation, preferences and attitudes. The device will know a lot more about the individual than any service or organisation ever has and this will enable marketers and advertisers to focus on utility and improve the experience by simplifying it, unlike the analogue marketing era, where they could only get in touch with consumers once the latter raised their hands or initiated contact.
In an increasingly mobile world, marketers and advertisers will have the opportunity to engage with customers throughout the relationship continuum.
As the physical world becomes more commerce-enabled and as marketers add a digital layer to products, the opportunities for transaction and engagement will appear everywhere. Places will be able to ‘talk’ to devices and physical products will have the ability to create experiences through sensors and connectivity. The result will be a logarithmic increase in transactions and the conversation between people and brands will be continuous.
Even when marketers are able to satisfy the above considerations, we will still need an enabling ecosystem that will promote mobile marketing and advertising evolution. In a white paper, Acision – a communications solutions provider –argues that this ecosystem will have four major components: Technology, operators, marketers and their agencies, and people.
Networks need to quickly evolve from their current 2.5G to 4G and beyond. But, it will take an evolution to at least gigabyte connectivity and speeds before marketers are able to harness the full potential of mobile advertising and real-time customer engagement.
This obviously assumes that the tipping point of speed is reached by then and then it will not require a further evolution to terabyte levels. At that time, we may be looking at a completely redefined landscape of connectivity and capability.
As for operators, three things will mark their contribution to this evolutionary ecosystem. Focus will be the first thing, as they shift their attention from dealing with the basic network hygiene factor of connectivity and expansion to a mode where they recognise and fully engage with creating a revenue stream from advertising. The next will be their move to creating and providing inventory of target audiences in the same way media providers do today.