Observations and Insights

3 Reasons Why Mobile Devices are the Virtual Highway to Buying Decisions

Chuck Bankoff - Thursday, October 04, 2012

From time to time I like to showcase other digital marketing experts in the WSI network, and today I’m featuring my guest blogger, Mark Colestock, a friend and associate of mine from St. Paul, MN.

By Mark Colestock

Recently a prospect asked me a great question about his customer base in the next 10 years.  “Will young people bring new habits to their buying decisions, or will they change to adopt habits similar to their parent’s decision making?”  His concern is real - his current customers come to him as referrals, but future younger decision makers have new habits for researching and validating businesses.  So how must he change his business marketing to capture future business?  Here are 3 reasons the future buying decision path may be different.

1)     Young People would rather be On-line than On-the-Road

Some of us who are a little older have lived through many changes in computers, internet, smart phones and tablets.  We have learned to utilize new resources and make decisions differently, where we no longer grab an encyclopedia, but pull out tablets or cell phones to search for information.  Today’s young people, whose second nature is searching out answers on smart phones, will adopt new technologies even quicker than their parents.  

More young people are concerned about their phones 4G performance than their car’s V-8 performance, this according to an article in Bloomberg. Another article in the Times of India where it says “Smartphones now rival automobiles as the default symbol of adulthood…”

Social networking online is providing faster and better referrals between people.  Today’s youth have caught these facts faster than their parents.  The virtual independence certainly has car manufacturers worried.  But this impact will go far beyond the car industry.  All businesses need to take note of these changes in demographics.

2)     Mobile device market penetration has grown

Mobile device acceptance has grown quickly.  We often see cults of mobile device users waiting for the next device to be released, as recently seen with such entries as the Samsung Galaxy S3, or the Apple IPhone 5 or maybe they are waiting for the release of the WP8 Nokia Lumia.  A Bloomberg Business Week article shows Google Android OS with 52% of U.S. smartphone market, Apple’s iOS with 32% and Windows Phone with 4%.  However, no matter which OS or mobile device is selected the trend is showing greater market penetration for mobile devices.  The differentiators between these manufacturing rivalries seem to come down to having the right applications and or the best internet search capabilities.  The devices that stay in the winner’s circle the longest are those which convince users that their overall internet experience is the best.  However the bottom line is the number of mobile devices is dramatically increasing.

Today users often buy both tablets and smart phones.  By 2013, the number of mobile device users will pass the number of desktop users according to an article in Search Engine Journal.  The demographics of market penetration provide a trend that requires our attention.  Mobile searches will dominate the search marketplace in the near future as this trend continues.

3)     Mobile device users are making action decisions or conversions

The same Search Engine Journal article mentions a quoted statistic that “70% of Mobile searches result in action within one hour.” It also quoted a Nielsen report saying “73% of mobile users say they regularly look up and call business phone numbers.”  Where business owners do not have a mobile friendly website, they might be missing calls from these potentially high conversion rates.

As numbers of mobile device users grow, with younger users driving the demand we will see more market buying decisions.  Mobile devices are creating a virtual highway to buying decisions.  Can your business be seen on that highway?

Mark Colestock is a Digital Marketing Consultant for WSI DigNet Corporation, a digital marketing agency in St. Paul, MN.



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