Implementation of mobile trends is increasingly becoming a key factor in a business’s success, and it’s not just the corporate giants that have to keep up. Even if you’re a small-to-midsize business (SMB), you need to stay on top of mobile trends if you don’t want to find yourself obsolete. It should go without saying that you need a great mobile app that makes it easy for customers to interact with your business. But what might not be so obvious is that it doesn’t stop there—at least not anymore. Here are some of the big mobile trends to watch out for:
The Internet of Things is here, and everything will be connected
One of Gartner’s observations in the “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014” is that the Internet is expanding beyond just the laptop, tablet, and phone. Our cars and TVs are already connected, and refrigerators, stovetops, and dishwashers are getting smarter by the month. The best example of this is obviously Samsung. With smart washing machines, smart refrigerators, smart phones (obviously), and now one app to rule them all, this appliance giant is perfectly poised to usher in the “Internet of Things” revolution. There’s little doubt that the smart home is just around the corner, and this sets up a whole new playing field for SMBs.
Now, instead of just figuring out a traditional mobile strategy and implementing a location-based mobile ad, businesses will need to think outside the box and strategize for all devices. A pizza shop will need to target smart cars in a given radius, in addition to mobile devices, when offering promotional discounts. In other words, the question is no longer how to reach customers on their smartphones, but how SMBs can begin to reach customers on all of the different Internet-connected products we’ll be using.
Location, location, location
This may not be breaking news, but location-based marketing is more important than ever for SMBs. And it’s no longer just about checking in. Unlike larger businesses that may have more brand recognition and can sit back while customers come to them, SMBs need to actively reel in passersby and nearby consumers. By tapping into location-based advertising, businesses can make special offers to consumers who are already in the area. According to Forrester’s recent survey, “mobile contextual data will offer deep customer insight,” and businesses should use location to shape their service offerings, and customize the content based on their audience.
Content is being shared via video, rather than via text
Despite the smaller screen, consumers are now choosing to get informed from videos (albeit normally short ones) on their phones and tablets, sometimes in place of text. Increasingly, content-sharing sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed are supplying videos, rather than articles, to give their viewers the content they crave. On the advertising front, brands like General Mills, Pepsi, and Live Nation are already utilizing mobile video in their ad campaigns. If you want even more proof that video on mobile is here to stay and getting bigger, consider the fact that Facebook is also catering to this new demand: The Facebook app now automatically plays videos that show up in your newsfeed or timeline. SMBs would be wise to jump on board with their own creative video content that’s created with mobile in mind.
These trends are just the beginning. The tech world changes fast and it isn’t slowing down. Business owners take note: When it comes to mobile tech trends, you’re moving backwards if you aren’t moving ahead. As an SMB, you are inherently more connected to the consumer and adaptable to change. The SMBs that manage to keep up will likely be the big winners in the years ahead.