by Kenneth Rudich
If you follow population trends, then you’ll know we are on the cusp of experiencing a major shift that will have a direct effect on the future of marketing.
An analysis of the United States reveals that the children of the baby boomers — those who were born during the 1980’s and 90’s and are also known as “Echo Boomers” — are just now entering adulthood. Something similar is happening in Europe and, as we also know, many Asian countries have seen appreciable growth as well.
This by itself would not be all that significant except for one thing: these young adults, who are 80 million strong in the U.S. alone, own the distinction of being the first generation to have grown up with mobile technology.
They’ve been indoctrinated to use it in every conceivable manner possible, and it has changed how they interact with the world around them.
Consider this little tidbit: though feature phones and smartphones are phones, the Neilsen mobile research group reports that we now text more than we talk. And who do you suppose is doing the majority of it?
More importantly for marketers, this technology has also influenced the way they shop. The portability of mobile phones and devices, in conjunction with 24/7 connectivity, gives them the luxury of being able to do what they want, when they want. If a random urge arises, it’s typically faster and easier for them to turn to a smartphone or mobile device than it is to boot a computer.
Market Research firm Juniper Research estimates there will be 1.7 billion mobile internet users worldwide by 2013. It’s not surprising that this influx of mobile internet users happens to coincide with the Echo Boomers coming of age.
And since it’s hard to imagine this demographic will suddenly cease doing what they’ve been doing all along, mobile may well be the most critical marketing tool you can have in the years to come. It offers the best possible alternative for being ready and accessible at the moment they decide to act on an urge.
It’s also worth noting that the population has become more diverse than ever, both in the U.S. and in Europe.
The latest U.S. census clearly showed that the composition of the nation is moving down a new path. Since 2000, the Hispanic population grew to 50.5 million, or 16% of the country, making it the number two group behind the white population at 197 million (which actually represented a drop to 64%). The Black and Asian populations also grew. The Black population is 40 million or about 13%, and the Asian population is 14.7 million or about 5%.
The ability of mobile to target an audience with almost surgical precision makes it even more attractive in the face of this circumstance. Nor does it hurt that the technology provides a good mechanism for cultivating personal relationships with customers. This combination far and away exceeds the capabilities of more traditional communication channels.
mobile marketing mandatory?
All of which brings us to the reason mobile marketing may soon become mandatory for business success.
It has to do with the necessity to use communication channels that will reach your target audience – or more accurately in this day and age, help your target audience to connect with you.
A failure to appreciate the critical role mobile can play in assisting your business to connect with future customers could be absolutely perilous for it.