The Real Marketing War Is On the Mobile Front
VoiceSage’s John Duffy has been crunching some important Internet trend numbers – and the results are well worth listening to
Every year, the eyes of the Internet marketing and online brand curator world turns to what is pretty routine – the release of a long lecture and accompanying slide deck.
The lecture in question is the annual Internet Trends report from venture capitalist and cyberspace tracker Mary Meeker, which the industry regards as a ‘state of the union’ audit of how people are embracing technology.
Among her many insights was one that really stood out for us at VoiceSage; the sheer amount of time now spent by most of the planet using the ubiquitous smartphone.
According to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, the group that funds Meeker’s research, five years ago (US figures) time spent per day using a mobile phone was under an hour a day. Now, it’s over three. And that’s a reality acknowledged by the US ad industry, which is pumping $37bn of the total online ad money available, $73bn, in to mobile (see slides 9 and 13, here). Her general conclusion is that it’s about the “the addition of mobile”, since desktop usage hasn’t declined while mobile usage has skyrocketed to this high level for the average American.
Preference – and commitment
There’s some important guidance here for anyone trying to communicate with today’s audience. Mobile and online is becoming a bigger part of the proactive outreach toolbox these days. The message for brands is that it’s the fight for attention on mobile that matters, not on TV or in print.
Meeker’s information is US-based, but the same trend is happening in the UK market. We grabbed some insights into this ourselves, thanks to our recent in-depth snapshot of the UK contact centre field.
That was through our ‘2017 UKCCF Proactive Customer Service Survey’, which we conducted in collaboration with the UK Contact Centre Forum (UKCCF), the national membership group for call centre and customer service professionals.
This exercise whereby we contacted over 150 practitioners in customer contact in a wide range of sectors revealed the UK face of what international analysts like Meeker are seeing – the rise of mobile in consumer (and contact centre customer) day to day reality, especially SMS as the on-boarded super convenient communications tool it enables.
We found that while used by only 6% of organisations as their main Proactive Service communications channel, 11% think that SMS is the channel that customers prefer. When asked why, 38.7% said it was because, ‘It is an efficient communications channel’, 36.6% because, ‘It delivers the best customer experience’, and 35.6% because ‘It enables people to give rapid answers’.
Mobile-delivered text was also identified as the chosen vehicle for Proactive Service, which is rapidly emerging this year as one of the hottest topics in CX (Customer Experience) based marketing. And what is more interesting is that mobile is a great platform for contact centres. Agents can handle many more interactions by mobile than they can by landline, an average of four parallel customer conversations by SMS and Twitter, just under what can be delivered via social media and OTT (LinkedIn and WhatsApp) interactions, which are increasingly taking place on our mobiles anyway.
The state of real proactive marketing today
The message from what Meeker and her team have confirmed, and what we and the UKCCF uncovered earlier this year – is actually only what many brands already know:
Mobile and SMS are not just BAU (Business as Usual) and the baseline for successful operations in today’s Proactive customer world.