“Mobile is Everything”

22 Feb 2016|Zoe Dowling

“Mobile is Everything” – the tagline for this year’s Mobile World Congress is particularly apt given the conference, now in its 29th year, has swelled to a 100k+ attendee juggernaut that does actually cover “everything”. What’s remarkable is that in the 10 years since the show has taken the moniker ‘MWC’ (from 1987 to 2005 it was the now quaint sounding 3GSM World Congress) there has been exponential expansion of Mobile into every industry; from the sexiest of tech to the most mundane of packaged goods.

The conference’s backbone is still that of Cellular technology (5G being this year’s buzz) but as the reach of mobile has exploded, the core sessions have expanded from the more obvious “App Development” to the more interesting “Retail, Commerce and Marketing” where sessions such as “Brands go Mobile”, “Digital Wallet” and “Community Marketing” are presented by industry experts and attended by thousands of business owners and influencers eager to know how to leverage the new tools and opportunities offered.

It’s easy to get caught in the conference hyperbole – but the numbers speak for themselves. There are approximately 7.4 Billion mobile subscriptions globally, of which 3.4B are for smartphones. By 2020, it is estimated that the number of smartphone subscriptions will nearly double (Ericsson Mobility Report). Within a decade mobile has become everyone’s essential multi-purpose device and its multi-faceted application makes it universally appealing. It has a chameleon-like ability to be whatever it needs to be in the hands of its user and with unerring engagement, this device doesn’t face the fate of being forgotten in a drawer.

As a brand, connecting with consumers via their mobile devices is now essential and an integral part of its brand strategy. It’s easy for Digital Natives and company start-ups to embrace these concepts as they have them hardwired, they maybe even started their lives and businesses on mobile and social media, but for established companies and institutions with set traditions of banking, marketing and management, this is another fast moving technology-driven change and can appear daunting. From social media interactions to engagement with branded channels and content through to commerce and beyond with post-purchase interactions there are a myriad of opportunities to engage and grow using mobile.

Of course we live in an ever changing world and given the current information/technology revolution does not seem to be slowing, no doubt the “next big thing” will be here soon enough. For now we need to make and embrace the shift of mobile-first thinking. Mobile is, after all, everything.

Written by Zoë Dowling, SVP, Global Mobile Capability Leader at Added Value

Image source: Mobile World Congress

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