Marketing is one of those things that we often understand only through the landscape in which we’ve found ourselves currently, and maybe, if we reflect on it a little more, its recent history. But examining marketing’s long gone past and how it developed into what it is today is interesting. And worthwhile.
It’s commonly thought that marketing has gone through five transitional phases: 1) the simple trade era; 2) the production era; 3) the sales era; 4) the marketing department era; and 5) the marketing company era. Basically, what we have is this. We have an era in which people traded the things they already had—hence the simple in simple trade era.
Once we evolved technologically—namely, during the time of the industrial revolution—and developed the ability to produce products on a larger scale, the production era took the centre stage and allowed us to trade like never before. This is the era in which the slogan If you build it, they will come came to light (an outdated way of thinking to which, nevertheless, many people still cling).
Producing goods is one thing—getting rid of them, however, is another; and when the production era ran its course and we realized that if we simply kept producing and producing without also selling and selling, we’d get a surplus of things. Cue the sales era, a time in which businesses started really hone in on how they could sell their products. Which brings us to the final two eras from which this idea of ‘marketing’ seemingly suddenly sprang.
Mobile Begins To Change Marketing
Now, in the year 2016, we (should) know that there is more to merely building a product and hoping that people will buy it. And we (should) also know that there is more to just selling a product that we’ve developed. What we know now is that in order to sell a product, you first need to market that product, create a brand around that product, create a demand for that product.
Before we can sell something, we need to market it. And after years and years of research in the social sciences, we know that the world of marketing exists as an extension of our social worlds. We know that the key to good marketing and therefore long-term business success is realised by creating healthy relationships with customers.
With so much competition and freedom on the consumer’s end to pick and choose exactly which brands they want to associate with, it’s crucial that businesses give their customer base a reason to be loyal. We’re now living in the sixth era of marketing, which is this: relationship marketing. And this is the reason that mobile marketing is the way forward.
In 2015, it was speculated that ad spend would exceed $540 billion. The way that ad spend is getting carved up in today’s landscape indicates that mobile is at the forefront of marketers minds, as it is consistently seeing a larger slice of the total ad spend pie. And the reason for that is simple. If you want to talk relationships then you’ve got to think about how those relationships develop, and on what they’re based. Mobile technology allows marketers to invite themselves into people’s lives at any given time.
Unsurprisingly, for the past few years, as mobile technology has improved and become more widespread, marketers are spending more and more on mobile marketing.
Mobile Brings Marketing Into Your Pocket
Possibly the biggest reason as to why mobile has so dramatically shaken up the marketing realm is that it's accessible. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Mobile is everything to so many and it's with us 24/7.
Now introduce the marketing element. You want to attract customers as a business right? And what's the best way to do that?
Mobile marketing happens in real-time, giving marketers the ability to connect with their customers whenever, wherever they might be.
And how are businesses engaging on mobile? Take your pick! SMS, push notifications, display advertising, in-app promotions, web displays, sales campaigns... the list is endless.
Fun, Engaging, & Effective
Personally, I believe that the success of mobile marketing comes down to technological innovation. Mobile marketing is fun, it's engaging and exciting. It's not boring and old, you are impressed by it, it excites you and you want to be a part of it.
Why? Because technology makes it that.
Think about the technology now at the disposal of mobile marketers? Virtual displays, 3D coupons, videos, event, streams, QR codes... it has also become more efficient and effective... think about innovation such as ibeacons, location-based marketing, and hyper-local marketing just to name a few.
The technology is endless and it has changed tradition marketing for the better.
Mobile Marketing and Integration
Nothing in the marketing world exists in a bubble, which is why the multi-channel marketing approach is almost always the most successful way implement marketing efforts.
Being able to have different avenues that interrelate to one another—for example, having opt-in SMS promo codes pasted on the walls of a brick and mortar store—allows businesses to engage their markets at every level.
Regardless of whether people are on their phones, at home browsing on their laptops, out with friends and mobile shopping, flicking through Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat, or whatever else, the multi-channel approach to mobile (and other) marketing ensures that their attention, your business will have. And now.
We’re living in a different world, an inter-connected mobile world that can bring anything and everything to your fingertips wherever you are. Our marketing efforts can only be as strong as our relationships with our customers. Building and selling is no longer enough. It’s time to invest in the future.