What brands need to know about mobile consumers

Aya Lowe
TNS' 'Mobile Life 2013' survey offers brands some insight in how to address their customers in the age of fasting moving mobile data

AHEAD OF THE CURVE. Brands need to know how fast their consumers are moving on mobile in order to be able to tap into the market. Photo from AFP

MANILA, Philippines – As smartphone penetration increases, consumers are becoming more mobile in the way they receive information. In order to be visible, brands need to make sure they can catch up to them.

What do brands need to know about their consumers? TNS’s ‘Mobile Life 2013’ which tracked smartphone consumer behavior across Metro Manila in relation to frequency, penetration and usage of their devices, offers some insight.

“The most surprising is the impact of mobile not only as an additional screen but also in terms of changing behavior. It has impacted on a lot of business. You see it locally and its manifestations through different expressions,” said Gary de Ocampo, managing director of TNS Philippines.

Related: 5 things to know about Filipino mobile users

Provide information on-the-go

Consumers are increasingly going mobile in the way they receive their information on their smartphones.

“It has become a tool which you can load with lots of content and features. It merges the offline world with the digital world,” said Joseph Webb, head of Digital at TNS Greater China.

“53% of the market now owns a smartphone in the Philippines and this number is only going in one direction,” Webb added.

Smartphones ownership, which increased a staggering 326% in 2012, is significantly higher here than in the rest of emerging Asia.

The survey found that 9 out of 10 residents in the capital city currently own a mobile phone.

“Mobile devices are extremely important to Manileños — from being an extension of their personality to being a source of entertainment,” the survey stated.

Mobile for online calls, laptops for videos

According to the TNS survey, mobile phones are now the preferred device when playing games and communicating via Internet while laptops are still used for making video calls or streaming videos.

The top 4 potential services and features that smartphone users will start using their devices for are video calling, watching live tv shows, blogging and streaming video (YouTube).

“Attitudes towards mobile data are changing,” said Webb, something brands should look into and tap in to.

One of accessing potential customers could be through apps or mobile applications. 

“Relevance and free access is key when it comes to applications as users are discerning about what content they will download and use consistently. Apps must be accessible and add value to the mobile experience,” the report stated.

Tap into the ‘circle of trust’

The result of the TNS Mobile Life 2013 show that consumers consider their mobile phones as a personal device, creating their own mobile personal space or ‘circle of trust.

This means consumers are now more empowered than ever.

“Brands that want to penetrate this mobile personal space must be able to address consumers needs by providing them convenience, relevance, independence, experience and reassurance,” said de Ocampo.

“If they are able to identify the right hooks that they can touch on that could be a source of income,” he added.

Offer trust

Security is a primary concern of Manila residents, the TNS survey found. This is an issue when it comes to mobile banking, online shopping or just using a smart device in a public place.

“People who have smartphones are more careful about where they use it. They do it a bit less than they do…if cost wasn’t such a restriction,” said Webb.

Don’t be left behind

The mobile device is developing at an incredibly fast rate, De Ocampo of TNS mobile stated. The pace of adoption in the industry is phenomenal and mobile phone adaption rapidly outplaces Internet connection.

De Ocampo said with this high-speed evolution, brands need to look at ‘path to purchase.’ This includes identifying what are the specific milestones and how could brands enter.

“Last year it was all about searching for brands online. Now it’s more about sharing comments. Those are the differences and kinds of developments,” he said.

“Consumers are ahead but marketing techniques have a long way to go,” Webb added. – Rappler.com




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