More than 91 percent of Americans keep their mobile devices within reach around the clock, according to a study by Morgan Stanley, while Ericsson predicts that smartphone traffic will be 10 times greater by 2019. These are just a few of the most recent statistics which point to one consistent takeaway: the mobile era has not only arrived, it will continue to grow in its role as a vital business tool. Companies that fail to employ mobile-first strategies risk becoming obsolete in the 21st-century global marketplace.

The Mobile Movement
Mobile’s impact is undeniable at the individual level: from taking notes in a meeting to connecting remotely when away from the office, workers have a relatively new power to remain productive at all times. In this sense, mobile has become an integral part of the contemporary workplace.

But mobile’s potential reach as a marketing tool is of far greater magnitude. By the end of 2014, mobile subscribers will number 7.5 billion, according to Portio Research. With mobile as the increasingly prevalent contact point with customers, it is critical that companies implement comprehensive mobile marketing strategies comprising elements; this includes a dedicated mobile app, events, targeted rewards and loyalty incentives, and customer referrals.

While each of these items alone is a positive step toward customer satisfaction, they integrate to form a result far greater than the individual parts: a personal, trustworthy and effective means of creating and enhancing beneficial relationships. In fact, research firm Latitude has revealed that more than 61 percent of customers think better of brands that offer a positive mobile experience.

Not just any mobile platform will satisfy the discerning tastes of 21st century consumers. Mobile communication must be immediate, intuitive and rewarding. Companies also benefit from users who respond with these same traits. Consider how much faster you return a text than an email or phone call. Multiply that across many variables — from more actionable search results to higher coupon redemption rates — and mobile’s potential is even more apparent.
Big Data and Mobile
“Big Data” was the tech world buzz word in 2013, and with good reason: the implications are nearly endless when you consider the potential of integrated information. The amalgam of mobile and Big Data suggests even greater untapped opportunities. Real time data leveraged from mobile devices can lead to enhanced insights and more informed business decisions.
In 2014 and beyond, the business world can expect to see rise in the merger of these two entities into powerful allies. And while many companies struggle with how to unlock Big Data’s big potential, success in doing so is more important than ever in 2014.
When combined with Big Data, mobile puts actionable insights in the palm of our hand.
The critical nature of adopting a mobile-first business strategy cannot be overstated — not only for companies in search of an edge, but also for those merely hoping to remain competitive. Both as a marketing tool and as a complement to Big Data, mobile is the wave of the future offering significant latent power to contemporary businesses savvy enough to wield it.
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