EE's Spencer McHugh: In 2014 mobile marketing will no longer be an afterthought

Spencer McHugh, director of brand marketing at EE
Spencer McHugh, director of brand marketing at EE

We've been talking about the "year of mobile" for a few years now. But as smartphones, tablets and contracts get cheaper, better and faster than ever before, 2014 is the year mobile comes first, writes Spencer McHugh, director of brand marketing at EE.

Reaching consumers through mobile is no longer an afterthought tagged onto a campaign. It’s a necessity and will be central to every marketer’s role in 2014.

The mobile demographic is widening too, as smartphone and tablet adoption increases rapidly and new technologies like 4G make it even easier to work and live on the go.  For example, nearly a third of our 4G customers are over 45 (versus 25% at launch just over a year ago), demonstrating just how quickly adoption of this new technology is rising.

Our habits are changing too. Just this week Ofcom revealed that UK consumers are the most frequent online shoppers as almost three quarters of us shop online.[1]

Behaviour is changing fast and the customer journey is becoming ever more fragmented as our mobile is a very personal device.

When you throw 4G into the mix, shopping goes mobile: 66% of 4G users now shop on mobile, and 23% shop more since having a 4G connection. The use of social media, gaming and mapping are also quickly increasing on 4G, compared to 3G.[2]

Behaviour is changing fast and the customer journey is becoming ever more fragmented as our mobile is a very personal device. You choose the apps and the content you want and brands need to mirror this approach by providing more personalised content for consumers.

Whether that’s a personalised product selection when you visit the app, a timely offer for a nearby store when you’re walking down the high street, or a free content bundle based on what you like, brands must ensure they are catering for the individual.

Demographic targeting will of course continue to be hugely important, but mobile gives us an opportunity to go even further. I might like something because I am male, work in marketing and live in London. But if marketers can go one step further and personalise their interaction with me based on what I like or where I am at that moment, I’m far more likely to respond.

In 2014, we’ll continue to see more innovation in personalised content, particularly as the lines between retail, mobile and digital continue to blur.

Integrating the mobile experience at the heart of this – from cashless payments, to live steams of catwalk shows in store, to location-based offers – will enable customers to experience the brand in new ways and in a way that can be tailored for each individual.

[1] Ofcom Communications Market Report, December 2013
[2] EE Mobile Living Index December 2013, based on a survey of 1000 4GEE used by TNS and network data 

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