Opinion: The era of the 'mobile-first' consumer

According to the author, screen-time, videos, social media and personalisation will prove to be game changer for marketers

Mar 02, 2021 04:21:00 AM | Article | Prasad Shejale Share - Share to Facebook

Prasad Shejale

Over the past couple of years, India has made massive investments to ensure advancements in the digital ecosystem, and initiatives like 'Digital India' have improved connectivity across cities and villages. The country has taken a giant leap in the digital revolution through 4G; thus, the aggregate number of internet users in India exceeds the aggregate number of internet users in some developed economies. The country is home to the lowest per GB cost globally; one gigabyte (1GB) of data in India costs $0.26, compared to an average of $6.66 in the UK and $12.37 in the US. It will be interesting to see how 5G changes this landscape in the years to come!
According to global agencies, US consumers spent $9 billion online during the Black Friday sale, up by 21.6 per cent a year ago. Smartphones alone accounted for $3.6 billion in sales - up by 25.3 per cent over the last year as people stayed indoors during the pandemic. This smartphone shop and payments model is a trend that India is going to witness to its full potential soon. 
  • In 2018, we had the world's second-largest internet population with over 483 million users, and out of these, 390 million users accessed the internet via their mobile phones
  • In 2019, over 73 percent of India's total web traffic came from mobile phones. As per Statistica, this figure will reach over 500 million by 2023  
  • According to the latest Comscore's 2020-Global State of Mobile Report released in November '20, India has registered the highest rise (96%) in users' time on mobile
The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has further given a push to the 'mobile-first' mindset. Today, mobile is the 'go-to platform' for online activities such as searches, online purchases, social interactions, etc. For businesses, this means having to shift towards a mobile-first mindset and split brand campaigns effortlessly on every relevant platform with a mobile-focused strategy. 
Some strategies for marketers to embrace the new trend.
Get screen ready 
In contrast to the scenario a decade earlier when mobile phones had just taken off, today, a marketer has to keep mobile at the center of all advertising and marketing efforts. It's not just about making the website mobile-friendly, but it is also essential to make every design, application, social media communication and customer interaction mobile-friendly. Not only this, the loading time of any application on a personal gadget should be less or close to 25 seconds. Also, it is crucial to have tailored communication basis the screen. We have come far ahead of the ‘one size fits all’ times. Screens have increased and evolved now. We need to transition with the changes too. What a person sees on a desktop might not seem perfect or equally appealing on a mobile or tablet screen. Hence, you should be ready to make the necessary tweaks and edits or even design different strategies for different screens, if required, to achieve positive results.  
Some helpful tools: 
Google's AMP that helps to build fast and high performing websites
Canva for making responsive designs
Google Analytics to analyse, track and understand the performance 
Google Data Studio to easily visualise reports and relevant data 
Google’s PageSpeed Insights to achieve insights on how Google indexes your website differently for desktop and mobile versions
Use trending video 
As seen in the past few months, video consumption continues to grow, with mobile video remaining comparable to OTT. As per a couple of industry reports, users in the 25-54 age group consume almost two-thirds of the total mobile video. Hence, for marketers to move ahead, experimenting with video content is a must. 
Google is experimenting with an AI-powered video making tool URL2Video from the webpages. There are many other tools available that can help you analyse the most trending topics, formats, disucssions which will be handy for creating the content.  
Focus on social media 
With an increasing number of Indian population socialising on a virtual medium like social media platforms, it is crucial for digital marketers to co-create campaigns where people can seamlessly engage and contribute. Uploading knowledge-sharing videos, customer reviews, employee interaction, influencer engagements, live video sessions, etc., can be a great way to increase online activity. Also, always keep an eye on the trending topics or discussions and be open to play around with these to share relevant posts. Moment marketing is a great way to achieve higher visibility and engagement. 
There are so many platforms in the market that cater to different types of content or audience needs. Be ready to explore them and actively communicate with your customers. You can also use some social listening tools and scheduling tools to sync the content well as per the audiences’ needs or behaviour. 
Tap crisp content formats
To attract a consumer with an attention span poor-er than a goldfish, brands must resort to 'snackable ads' in the video format. Even with the humble 6–seconds ads, it may be worthwhile to evaluate if brands should topple the campaign process, which usually starts with preparing the ground, moves on to the big reveal, and then finishes with sustenance activities. With increasing competition and an evolved audience, brands could literally 'cut a long story short' and begin with the big reveal and strengthen brand resonance with sustenance activities. 
A lot of platforms these days have inbuilt, easy editing tools available that can simplify your work. Additionally, you can also get help from platforms or tools that can assist with understanding the best ways of drafting your content, checking the relatability and predicting engagement to create maximum impact from the content you share. 
Irrespective of desktop or mobile, the thumb rule is to maintain personalisation depending upon your audience's interest. While this is one key aspect of responsibility, it is also equally essential to be conscious of how 'personal' you get. The ground rule always is to let users control when and how much of their information to leverage. Transparency and consent are prerequisites for building brand trust having a long-term relationship with consumers.
Some useful tools that can help with this include Adobe Target, Google Optimize 360, HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Amazon Web Services, Dynamic Yield, 
Digital markets, consumer behavior and trends have changed on a massive scale in the past few months. As marketers try to lure the mobile-first consumer and build stronger 'on the go' marketing experiences, leaders at the helm need to be prepared to learn about the impact of internet speed on the brand's bottom line.
The author is founder and CEO, Logicserve Digital



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