When looking at the rate at which consumers adopted the internet boom of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it’s becoming more clear each day that the mobile revolution is poised to be much more powerful and disruptive to the way consumers interact with businesses, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
Throughout the “How to Start Bridging the Mobile Monetization Gap” report Forrester Research notes that although mobile is evolving faster than the Web could have ever dreamed of, sound monetization strategies are not currently following close behind. In the report, Forrester notes that “few businesses can survive on mobile as a standalone business model, meaning that mobile more often than not takes on the role of an extension of an existent business model.” And, as Thomas Husson (Paris-based analyst at Forrester Research) notes:
“Marketers need to combine new marketing variables such as time, consumer knowledge, and place to deliver more personalized, immediate and tailored content on mobile phones. They need to anticipate the emergence of new forms of interactions with consumers by providing immersive rich-media formats that provide personalized, contextually-relevant content that is not perceived as ads by consumers,” he said. “It requires marketers to identify the value that mobile engagement brings throughout the customer lifecycle.”
Many companies like Facebook, Rovio, Twitter, Pandora, and Groupon often generate headlines in the mobile industry because of their large groups of mobile users. However, these companies have not proven business models that directly support their mobile users. One example of this conundrum is Facebook, which claims that nearly 60 percent of all its user-base is accessing the site from mobile devices, yet revenue generated from mobile only represents 15 percent of the company’s total revenue.
Similarly, Rovio boasts nearly one million app downloads via popular app franchises like Angry Birds, yet thirty percent of the company’s revenue still comes from merchandising and licensing sources, not mobile.
Mobile web is growing at an incredibly rapid pace globally compared to the rate at which the internet grew (and is still growing). While there have surely been growing pains along the way, Forrester forecasts that by 2017 mobile internet will reach 29 percent of the Indian population, 37 percent of the Brazilian population, and 64 percent of Chinese populations; which is absolutely astounding if you consider the rate at which internet is still growing in these countries.
However, there are two key aspects that business models like Facebook and Groupon don’t offer business looking to reach customers on the mobile channel, retention and continuity.
While these mobile models offer consumers the access to businesses via extremely populated channels, they lack a key aspect for businesses to see mobile success: the access of businesses to mobile consumers. This will be the key defining factor in coming years in the success of mobile. Advertising has always been about how to best reach the customer, and how to best influence or encourage their purchasing decisions.
Mobile marketing offers that don’t consider this sort of retention will begin to fall to the wayside as corporations, small businesses, and consumers alike become more aware of the mobile world – leaving only the mobile marketing companies who can guarantee one thing, and one thing only. More customers, more often.