For marketers that are not already aware, it is time to listen up; the age of mobile is upon us. With 20 million Australians predicted to own a smartphone by 2016 and more consumers going online on the go, the once-humble phone has become a wallet, a boarding pass, a bank of promotional items and a social network rolled into one.
The maturing of the mobile represents huge opportunities, with a mobile device now an integral item for routine, daily tasks, and most importantly, our consumer habits.
William Shakespeare coined the popular adage: “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve,” in a conversation between Iago and Roderigo in The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Although the famous literary figure was ahead of his time, he didn’t quite have the foresight to predict an age where we wore our lives in our pockets, but without doubt, that age is upon us.
Australia embraces ‘mobilemania’
More than half of the Australian population currently own a mobile device, and this figure is projected to increase over the course of the next five years. In the fourth quarter of 2010, smartphone sales surpassed that of PCs – and have done so ever since.
Australia ranks fourth in the world for active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, with users performing a wide-variety of tasks such as shopping, locating their nearest doctor, ordering home delivering and checking their bank balance. A recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that 34 per cent of Australians have shopped online via a mobile phone (and 17 per cent via a tablet) in the past 12 months. Of these mobile shoppers, 57 per cent have increased their level of spend over the past 12 months.
Consumers are ‘calling the shots’
The 2012 Experian Marketing Services Mobile Whitepaper has revealed that Australian marketers are at a crossroads when it comes to mobile marketing, with many yet to take action despite the majority recognising its importance. Faced with a plethora of marketing channels and a mixed bag of priorities, some marketers are confused about where to invest their limited budgets.
What’s more, there has been a paradigm shift in how consumers react to marketing techniques. With the world at their fingertips, or in their pockets, consumers are calling the shots and driving a new dialogue with brands.
The age of mobile represents a multichannel future
What is of particular interest is that the ‘age of mobile’ may not directly fall into the hands of ‘mobile marketing’ techniques. An Ipsos study found a growing number of smartphone owners use their phones while interacting with other channels, such as searching for a product or brand on their mobile device after seeing a TV advertisement.
Mobile devices are therefore becoming a key way to connect with audiences while they consume more traditional media channels, as well as in store or on platforms such as social media. Rather than representing a new age of mobile marketing, the prominent use of smartphones in Australia seems to favour the advent of multichannel marketing, which requires a holistic approach across a wide-range of marketing mediums.
For further insights into the mobile market in Australia download the latest Experian Marketing Services whitepaper.