Australia has one of the highest rates of mobile use in the world. Here's how your business can capitalise on this.

Digital360 on 25 July 2017

Mobile is revolutionising how Australian customers interact with businesses. Customers can find, browse and buy when and whenever they are. This has wide spanning implications for how companies, across all industries, manage their business and marketing.

Those who can capitalise on this shift will find many opportunities for their digital marketing. But what is the best way to get mobile ready? And how can you take advantage of this radical change in consumer behaviour?

To help you get up to speed with the mobile marketing revolution, we have put together a guide on the rise of mobile media and what it means for your business.

Australian mobile use in numbers

Australia has one of the highest rates of mobile penetration in the world. According to a 2016 Deloitte study, 84 percent of Australians own a mobile phone – more than the United States and the United Kingdom.

What’s more, this trend shows no sign of slowing. From 2015 to 2016, the number of people with a smartphone jumped from 79 percent to 84 percent and is expected to continue to perform strongly, pushed in part by the youth market. Indeed, 94 percent of mobile consumers aged 18-24 have a smartphone, according to Deloitte.

These numbers point to a broader shift in how, where and when people look for information. Today it may not be the big billboard that grabs attention but the mobile app, YouTube video or social media campaign.

Social media and mobile in Australia

Another important point to mention is the close relationship between social media and smartphones. According to a 2017 Sensis survey, 81 percent of Australians use a mobile to access social media. This is far higher than the 30 percent who use a laptop computer.

Social media and mobile are inextricably linked. For instance, one of the most popular moments Australians check Facebook is during the daily commute, according to the Sensis survey. Other situations include breaks, lunchtime and first thing in the morning – scenarios where people are not sitting at a computer.

Importantly too, Australians are becoming less adverse to ads on social media. Some 37 percent say they sometimes click on ads they see on social network sites to find out more and 36 percent say they like sponsored posts from businesses they follow on social media.

And those who do use social media to research products on social media are much more likely to do this on a smartphone rather than a computer – 52 percent compared to 35 percent.

What mobile can do for your business

There are many opportunities for businesses that are mobile ready. Firstly, it is a great opportunity for lead generation. Over 16 million Australians have a smartphone. By being mobile ready, you open your business up to a much wider public.

Mobile can also help you to create more effective marketing campaigns. Remember the path to purchase has radically changed with mobile. Today, more and more businesses are creating mobile apps, building alliances with online marketplaces and trying to make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase products and services from their mobile.

Whether it's someone buying movie tickets on the way home from work or making a reservation at a hairdresser while waiting for the bus, the consumer of today is on the move – they are mobile. By reaching them where they are, your business improves your chances of making a real impact.

The risks of being left behind

On the flipside, not providing mobile responsive experiences can hurt a business. Google, for instance, indexes mobile first in search results. If your business is not mobile ready you are likely to be punished by search engine algorithms. Bing and Yahoo also favour mobile responsive sites.

It’s also important to take a look at what your competitors are doing with mobile. If they are creating mobile-first experiences, you do not want to lag behind. Keeping up to speed with innovations in mobile will help prevent rivals stealing your market share.

How you can create mobile-first experiences

There are many ways to prepare your business for mobile-first experiences and marketing. You may want to consider a complete overhaul of your business strategy or simply target key areas.

On the technical side, you need to consider issues like page-loading times, mobile design and on-page and local optimisation. Creating a mobile responsive website can be a challenge. Think about consulting a web specialist for advice.

But engaging mobile customers is about more than just creating a mobile response site. You also need to rethink how you engage the mobile market. An important part of this strategy is considering how you can use mobile users’ information, like location and purchase history, to provide more personalised and tailored experiences.

If you want help or guidance on how to prepare mobile-first experiences, contact one of our digital marketing specialists.