By Sanjeev Ahuja
Mobile technology has been a hotbed of innovation and a boon for entrepreneurs. New businesses targeting consumers have flourished, generating hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. Take as proof the successes of gaming, e-commerce, and consumer publishing industries. Now that mobile has established itself as an essential channel in consumer markets, enterprises are harnessing its potential to help them win the race to the business customer.
Consumer Markets Have Committed to Mobile Technology
Console games have ceded their industry domination to mobile games. Dutch market research firm Newzoo predicts that mobile game revenue will reach $30.3 billion next year, an increase of $5.3 billion over 2014 numbers. iTunes alone is expected to rake in $4 billion for mobile games in 2014. By contrast, Nintendo earned $2.4 billion in 2013.
Analysis by Custora shows that, since 2010, the use of mobile devices to access e-commerce sites has increased to 37 percent from three percent of all traffic. Profit from mobile-driven e-commerce rose to $42.8 billion from $2.2 billion over the same period.
For its part, consumer publishing saw a 200 percent increase in digital readership from August 2012 to February 2013.
The mobile consumer market is firmly and viably in place. In January this year, mobile apps accounted for 47 percent of American Internet traffic, for the first time edging ahead of PCs at 45 percent. The remaining eight percent came from mobile web browsers.
Innovation Shifts to Enterprise
Innovation in the consumer market paves the way for similar changes in the business and enterprise markets and that transition is now occurring with regard to mobile technology. Forward-thinking enterprises and industries are already part of this transformation.
Australia’s 40,000 student-strong Deakin University built a mobile app to communicate with and engage its hundreds of thousands of alumni around the world. Any recent college graduate can attest to the alumni donation hustle. Deakin is keeping ahead of the curve by reaching alumni in an accessible, in-touch, and relevant format and using analytics software to measure which channels are most effective in engaging its global alumni population. As a result, the university can determine where to spend its time, effort, and money as it builds relationships with this important audience group.
Amway (producer of health, beauty, and home care products) and software giant Adobe both built mobile apps to track sales across their large distributed sales forces. Their apps also keep sales tools at reps’ fingertips to facilitate the sales process. By tracking representative behavior and mobile sales attribution, both companies are able to determine best practices and refine their sales forces.
Always the innovator, Adobe also built an app for its Behance network, which functions as a portfolio for creative professionals and as a talent acquisition tool for the creative directors looking to recruit them. Recruiters can easily take their searches on the road and pull up a portfolio on the spot, greasing the talent search wheel.
Opportunity for Marketers and Managers
Are you on board with mobile technology’s transition from consumer to enterprise? You should be—that’s where the next wave of opportunity is.
Because mobile is quickly becoming a vital component of business go-to-market strategy, enterprises will require people and technology to manage and drive mobile use as well as the creativity and insight to drive communication, marketing, and sales through mobile channels. Professional marketers, business managers, and newly-minted MBAs would do well to acquire an understanding of mobile, experience in mobile marketing techniques, and familiarity with the use of analytics to provide insight and to drive strategy and tactics. Mobile product development, marketing, and analytics should be an integral part of every executive’s toolkit. Mobile fluency will win the race to the business customer.