We’ve passed the mobile tipping point. That means mobile is no longer reserved for special use cases like being ‘on the go’ — mobile has become the command center for everything we do. It’s where we check email. It’s where we search for answers and directions. It’s where we look at photos from friends. And it’s where we have important conversations. And don’t just take my word for it:
● 65 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices
● Mobile search overtook desktop search in 2015
● Mobile spend is growing at 3x desktop display
● 100 percent of Facebook’s revenue growth is from mobile
With the incredible growth of mobile, it’s an exciting time to be a marketer. However, it’s time to stop treating mobile as a channel and begin thinking of it as the true ‘home’ for omnichannel marketing. Here are my predictions for what that will look like in 2016:
1. Omnichannel doesn’t exist without a conversation
Mobile is the battlefield for omnichannel marketing in 2016. Consumers are using mobile to search, click and swipe, but they’re also using their mobile phones to have conversations. In fact, in a recent consumer survey we found that people of all ages prefer phone calls when it comes to their most important conversations — both in their personal lives and with businesses. While many marketers are hyper-focused on driving mobile traffic and online form fills, they’re ignoring a critical part of the customer journey: conversations. If your marketing strategy in 2016 doesn’t include phone calls, there’s no way you’re truly taking an omnichannel approach.
2. CMOs will have to become mobile data scientists
In 2016, the CMO role will expand to that of data scientist — especially when it comes to mobile. Mobile use and subsequent marketing spend has been growing for a number of years, but in 2015 it reached critical mass: by the end of this year it will account for more than half of digital ad spending. Next year, marketers will for the first time have enough data about their mobile activities to be able to make accurate decisions rooted in real-time data. The marketers that get ahead next year will be those that analyze the mobile data and use that information to make changes that result in smarter spend and better customer experiences.
3. Mobile search gets contextualized
2015 was the year searches on mobile overtook desktop; in 2016, we’ll see mobile search innovation that more efficiently and contextually surfaces information. Mobile search is the common denominator for content across the Web, apps and social. It will continue to evolve to give people the fastest route to the information they want. Google, for instance, is introducing mobile search features like ability to search app-only content and “stream” content from apps without downloading them. The future of mobile search involves predicting how the searcher wants to engage with the content presented — whether they’d like to read a review, watch a video or call a business directly to get more information.
Mobile technology has been around for a while, but we’ve only just begun to tap its potential. 2016 will be the year when leading marketers think of mobile as less of a channel and more of an opportunity to connect with customers where they are, in the ways they prefer. Increasingly, the mobile customer journey will involve multiple touch points — including both online interactions and offline conversations. Being an omnichannel marketer in this new world means connecting that conversation between each and every step.
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