Mobile marketing: Can mobile devices alter consumer behavior?
Technological advancement alters behavioral patterns of consumers to a great degree. This post attempts to describe how mobile marketing and related devices have transformed consumer behavior.
Whoever coined the usage ‘at your fingertips’ must be very thrilled with the advent of mobile devices. Today when it comes to information, those who seek shall find albeit through their smartphones, tablets, iPhones, iPads and so on. Except for classified information, that is. For instance, you need to travel to an unfamiliar locality in your city. What can you possibly do? Consult Google map, Waze or similar applications on your smartphone and voila, instant gratification!
Decision making on the fly
If there’s one amazing quality that mobile devices have given users, it is decisiveness. No more endless internal debates. When in doubt simply consult the mobile device at hand for insight that will empower decision making. Let’s say M is out shopping. She sees a new laptop that has most of the features that she is seeking. But on enquiring at the showroom, she is told that no particular laptop meets all her specifications. She is unsure whether she should purchase the laptop and supplement her other requirements with another device (possibly a tablet). She turns to her iPhone for insights from online reviews, descriptions of similar laptops and opinions from dedicated forums. She decides that buying the laptop is a good idea after all. But M then decides to look for competitive pricing on the same laptop model across different retail websites (a practice called showrooming). Within a matter of 10 minutes, M has decided to purchase the product and where she should purchase it from.
Increased relevance in brand messaging
Brands these days are striving to improve personalization across their marketing efforts. Mobile marketing is no exception to that. Through location-based advertising brands work towards increasing footfalls to their brick-and-mortar stores based on promotional messaging that is customized to the target audiences’ proximity. This effort towards personalization has led to consumer expectations of relevant messages, which makes them abhor any stray vague promotions that don’t appeal to them.
The one way that consumers today are staying updated in their dynamic environments is by staying connected with the people and brands they approve of. Mobile devices help facilitate that constant state of awareness. Also when social networking came to mobile devices, they allowed reticent consumers opportunities to reach out and share or promote what is important to them.
Though social networking on desktop computers armed users with the right to voice their opinions, freedom of speech has really kicked off with mobile access to the World Wide Web. Whether it’s approval or dissent, it is immediately made public to the entire world in a matter of seconds. The fact that voicing such opinions is helping shape public perceptions greatly is also furthering the confidence in users. For brands, however, this empowerment is a double-edged sword.
Therefore, what this means for marketers is that studying consumer behavior patterns prior to launching mobile marketing initiatives is not enough. The impact on and changes in consumer behavior are equally important to measure because that is what ultimately leads to a comprehensive understanding of the audience psyche.