Monday, November 21, 2011

Mobile marketing for B2B is evolving – why should we jump a wagon!

- Why marketers care about mobile?
Mobile marketing is growing rapidly in the last few years. With smartphones already at a significant 38% share of mobile phones according to Nielsen Research, mobile communication and mobile internet becomes primary area of investments to a lot of companies who want to get an access to fast moving and extremely diverse consumer groups.  Moreover, with appearance of tablets in mobile landscape, we also see the trend of mobile marketing enhancing becoming more interactive, relevant and entertaining. By 2015, according to Forrester Research, tablets will outsell PCs, thus making mobile the primary screen for consumers.

Nielsen Research - Smartphone Share

Forrester Research - Tablet forecast

- Why B2B should follow consumer?
After working for 5 years in B2B, I have observed that marketing professionals in B2B industries often follow consumer marketing trends, sometimes just adapting the tools to fit their target audiences. However, more thought should be put into this process than often happens in reality.

- How B2B mobile strategy differs?
With these trends in mind, I wonder why and how B2B marketers should utilize growing mobile penetration to their advantage.
First of all, mobile is a personal device. It is linked to that one person that a marketer can target. I know few people who would leave their house without it or feel comforable living without one. People call, text, access e-mail and internet, do shopping and order food delivery through mobile phone now more often than they used to do in the past. According to Flurry, already in June 2011 web consumption through mobile apps overtook that of consumtion through web.  
Secondly, mobile marketing lets marketers to facilitate and enhace user's experiences on the spot, making decisions faster, easier and hassle-free. It is just obvious, especially with e-mail and research, that people use mobile not only for personal enquiries, but also to cope with day-to-day business responsibilites while away from their office desks.  
What is interesting with enterprises is that there is always more than one target market: decision is often done on various levels and thus value of the product or service can differ within the same company. How can B2B embrace mobile while being relevant to the majority of decision makers? If we think that mobile is a personal device and thus we can reach an individual based on his/her needs, mobile communication helps company deliver a customer a personalized message based on the interests of that person.

- What to keep in mind when entering mobile space with B2B offering?
Several parameters are important when thinking about entering mobile space with a product or service offering:
¡  Simplicity
¡  Instant access
¡  Location services
¡  To save time
¡  Access to relevant information
¡  Communication
¡  Customization (relevant content & preference)
At the end of the day mobile is all about making people's lifes easier whether it is at work, at home or on the road.

Akmaral Bekeyeva (@AkmaBekeyeva)
Graduate Student, Medill IMC 2011, Northwestern University


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