Which digital channel has the brightest future for business?
Shift 2016, a conference held in San Francisco that focuses on digital disruptions in various industries, invited M&C Saatchi Mobile’s very own VP of Strategy, Gabriel Cheng, to defend mobile’s future.
Gabriel Cheng had five minutes to explain the fundamentals of mobile strategy, its opportunities for business growth and it’s advantages versus other digital platforms such as email, video, social media and augmented reality.
Here is a short summary of the most important strengths of mobile as well as it’s competitors so that you can decide for yourself which platform has the best future.
With large consumer platforms such as Facebook (1.59 billion active users), Instagram (400 million active users) or Twitter (320 million active users) one could argue that social media is the place to be for all businesses in 2017. Consumer presence on these platforms is evident however is this the most appropriate platform to interact with and engage consumers?
According to Global Web Index Q1 2016, 44% of Instagram users tend to buy the brands they see advertised on Instagram meaning that brands have already been able to engage with consumers through this platform which gives hope of a bright future.
There is a real opportunity for brands to grow their strategy and increase this percentage within Instagram and other social media platforms due to various factors:
Video’s greatest advantage goes back to a saying that is as old as time: an image is worth 1000 words. This channel’s future relies upon it’s ability to story tell.
As explained in my previous article, brands need to create an emotional connection with consumers to ensure competitive edge. If used correctly the video channel can create a very emotional connection with consumers through strong storytelling.
Despite this channel’s strength I am not sure it can stand alone and create brand growth without other channels such as social and mobile.. so realistically, can we can speak of video as it’s own channel?
I was surprised to see that this was considered a channel with a brand future of any sort, however the speaker did a great job of pointing out some reassuring facts that demonstrate how email is here to stay!
It’s already so ingrained in our culture: Before the speaker began she asked to see a show of hands of how many people had checked their emails in the last hour.. i’m pretty sure the everyone in the room raised their hand.
This proves that we systematically check our emails for various professional and personal reasons, meaning that the habit of checking our inboxes is already heavily ingrained within us and not changing any time soon.
The only problem I see with this argument is that even if it’s a habit and we are accustomed to receiving various important aspects of our lives through this channel (think flight bookings, hotel bookings, invitations) does this mean it is the best channel to reach a consumer through? How do you circumvent spam boxes?
How do you personalize email marketing? These questions went unanswered meaning that although consumers are comfortable with this channel, we are yet to capitalize on it’s potential, meaning that there is a future of opportunity with email that I hadn’t predicted.
Much like innovation, augmented reality was the buzz word of the conference! The recent success of Pokemon Go got us all wondering if there is a huge potential for advertising in upcoming virtual and augmented reality technology. No one has a straight answer for that just yet but the speaker defending augmented reality made various good points.
The first and most important point about mobile is that it facilitates and empowers all of the above channels. Global Web Index indicates that most of the above channels are consistently mostly accessed through mobile:
Having clarified that none of the other channels can survive or thrive without mobile, let’s have a closer look at the specific mobile traits and advantages.
This point of view summarizes our agency’s overall standpoint on the advantages of mobile. Mobile isn’t just another channel but it’s the platform that enables all other channels to thrive.