Guest Blog: Mobile boom is changing how we do business – radically, and forever

Welcome to our first guest blog from Chris Martin, CEO of Waracle, specialist mobile app developer and mobile marketing. Waracle’s been doing mobile for 8 years, and works with some of the biggest and most innovative UK companies. Waracle are based in Dundee, Scotland.

The graph charts the decline of Desktop and Laptop computers while Phones and Tablets show rapid growth (expressed in CAGR – compound annualised growth rate, 2012- 2107)

This means computer, software & IT companies are responding rapidly to changing tastes.  But sadly, for some well-known companies, not responding quickly enough, e.g. Dell.

By extension, it also suggests most businesses will have to market, sell or provide services differently to remain prosperous, with big prizes for early adopters.

Why is mobile thrashing desktop? 

Humans are ‘intensely attracted’ to labour saving gadgets, they want stuff quicker, or more stuff via the same device.  A mobile provides all of this and more, for example:

  • Faster access to social media, content, films, and music
  • Touch is a more natural interface and is easier to learn and use
  • Improved and simplified user interface / experience
  • Always On, portable devices.
  • Workers want access to company systems from any device from any location.
  • A platform to buy multitude of content, products which has billing details stored

It all adds up to a giant wave of “Consumerisation”, i.e.: cool technology, coming from home to the workplace.  People expect to use it, and if you don’t allow them, they’ll work around you.

Mobiles – A different Story in different demographics

  • iOS (Apple) – Premium brand, very strong with professionals (prosumers), and strong with Generation Y & Z
  • Android (Google) – Strong in emerging economies, where price is an issue
  • Android – Strong amongst uber-geeks, e.g.: software engineers
  • Android (UK) – Strong with people moving to first smartphone (late-adopters), these are likely to be older, and more price sensitive.

If you market on the web, or deliver your service via web or software, you need to understand your demographic, region and use-case to ensure you’re prioritising your spend efficiently (web v mobile, iOS v Android).  It’s a nuanced picture and worth taking advice, but big prizes for early adopters.

Mobile – A Different Story in Different Regions

  • Developed economies – UK/US/Australia – Apple is proportionally much stronger
  • Developing economies – Android is strong and Windows Mobile is emerging

It’s a highly nuanced picture.  If you’re marketing or selling worldwide, it’s important you pick your channels which best suit the location.

Apple Ecosystem does better (paid) business

At latest figures Apple makes five times as much money from five times fewer worldwide users of their Ecosystem (Music, Films, Apps) than Android.  This demonstrates Apple users tend to spend more money.

This is why, in developed economies, developers invariably test ideas with Apple first and Android second.  It’s why mobile marketing delivers a better ROI on Apple, but conversely, why there’s more free stuff on Android.  Again, a highly nuanced picture and worth taking advice.

Mobiles – changing marketing and sales – forever

People don’t buy the same way they used to, for example in B2C product sales:  Early in buying cycle, they’ll Google the product category, then check Amazon reviews and identify what they want.  Then they’ll search around for the cheapest provider, but they’ll favour Amazon, EBay, Apple, etc, as they’re likely to have those apps loaded on their mobile.

E-commerce has changed forever, websites that used to do good business are now in decline.

‘Showrooming’ is a huge pressure on retailers – people researching in shops, using shops to test, look at product, then buying elsewhere – there are useful techniques to counteract this.

Similarly if you’re B2B, then they’ll often use Google to create a short list of providers, e.g.: “mobile app developers Scotland” then research providers, and have selected you (or not), long before they’ve picked up the phone.

Therefore, you’re probably losing out, if you’re not investing early in the buying cycle, probably on mobile – where people increasingly research and look for feedback … somebody else will be.

 It’s change or wither time

This is a time of great disruption for business. The pace of change has leapt forward, and we see traditional companies being out-performed by new contenders, start-ups or companies who’ve adopted mobile quickly.

Guest Blog – Chris Martin, CEO, Waracle