There’s no doubt that people are in love with their to their phones. As a result, memes and jokes constantly circulate the Internet about how some people no longer participate in “normal” activities because they simply can’t put down their phones. People aren’t reading newspapers anymore - at least not in print - and they’re fast-forwarding through commercials. So where are they? You guessed it. On their phones.
In a recent article on eMarketer.com, a respected publication that covers the global digital ecosystem: digital marketing, media and commerce, it was reported that 2015 is “a benchmark year for ad spending in the US, as mobile surpasses desktop spending for the first time.”
In fact, eMarketer estimates that mobile will account for almost 52 percent of all digital spending by the end of the year. It attributes the shift to consumer demand and estimates that adults spend almost 3 hours per day on “nonvoice activities” on mobile devices – 1.5 hours of which is on mobile phones.
There’s a very simple - and good - reason companies are shifting ad budgets towards mobile marketing. That’s where consumers are. Not too long ago, when someone decided to go car shopping, the first thing they did was pick up the Friday newspaper to view the section with all of the dealership advertising. Now, they hop online and look through OEM, dealership and third party sites to obtain that information on demand. In fact, the more tech-savvy consumers conduct their research from their mobile device while they’re shopping – right in the store or dealership.
With this ever increasing trend in the use of mobile, I would advise dealers to investigate successful methods to capture the attention of these mobile shoppers. Technology is quickly developing including the strategic use of display ads, geo-targeting and push notifications. If you can reach out to a nearby customer actively shopping in your area and immediately inform them of sales, offers or specials -- without any effort on the part of that consumer -- you certainly could then have an edge over any competitors.
The technology exists today that allows dealers to do this relatively inexpensively, such as through the use of iBeacons, a class of Bluetooth low energy (LE) devices that broadcast their identifier to nearby portable electronic devices. This can be used to determine the device's physical location, track customers, or trigger a location-based action on the device such as a check-in on social media or a push notification. Facebook, for example, offers free beacons to auto dealerships that can be used to push messages to customers at the dealership through the use of Bluetooth and geo-location technology.
As consumers continue their migration away from desktops and rely more on mobile devices, marketing will continue its shift in that direction as well. Just as it is extremely important that your website is compatible with mobile devices, the same now applies to your marketing.