Mobile technology is the new frontier for business growth
Posted Monday, July 2 2012 at 20:00
Mobile technology is emerging as one of the most effective platforms of mass marketing today. A 2008 World Bank report acknowledges that “no other technology has been in the hands of so many people in so many countries in such a short period of time.”
Among the world’s seven billion people, mobile phone subscriptions are estimated at a staggering 5.4 billion and this number keeps growing daily.
Even after considering that most people have more than one SIM card and others keep inactive SIM cards, research firm Informa Telecoms and Media still estimates that around 3.9 billion people are connected.
This means that billions of people who are not connected to electricity grids and who lack sanitation and other accessories of development still have access to mobile phones.
These are not mere statistics.
They make a lot business sense because the next marketing battles are likely be won or lost on this front.
Mobile technology is revolutionising how business is conducted in today’s global village. It is presenting numerous new business opportunities while reducing operation costs for existing businesses, when used innovatively.
Mobile phones are no longer ‘calling-only’ devices. Most people are already accessing business information and applications through mobile technology such as the Apple iPhone and iPad or devices running Google Android.
With such a dynamic technology falling in the hands of the masses on a global scale, business thinktanks are already figuring out how they can capitalise on the phenomena.
How to tap opportunities brought by mobile technology, therefore, ought to be on the top list of businesses’ technology agenda.
Combining fast and cheap access to e-mail and web content with mobile devices such as smart phones, tablet computers, ipads and other similar devices will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to communicate to their prospects, staff and other stakeholders as well as conduct real time business transactions such as Mpesa money transfer and internet banking.
Mobile technology enables staff to use organisations’ data and resources from wherever they are, whether in another region, travelling or at home. They can keep in touch, be productive and make use of company resources.
Advertisements through mobile devices have been hailed by experts as the most effective with almost guaranteed returns if targeted to the right people.
For instance, studies show that more than 97 per cent of the people read an SMS within 15 minutes of receiving it and 84 per cent reply or react to it within one hour.
This is impressive compared to average campaigns where response is in ranges of 12-15 per cent or direct mail that averages 2-3 per cent.