Smartphone adoption is accelerating in South Africa and the rest of the world. This is good news for digital marketers since it will bring more of our customers online in the next few years and give us more ways to reach and interact with those who are already online with Internet-connected PCs.
But it also means that we will need to rethink many of our fundamental assumptions in the digital marketing space since the Web experience on a smartphone is not exactly the same as the Web accessed through a personal computer.
There is a real opportunity for us to deepen our online interactions with some customers and to engage with others online for the first time, provided we develop clear mobile strategies across areas such as search, social media and email.
Consider the example of email. About four million South Africans already access email through their cellphones, according to the Mobility 2011 research from World Wide Worx. Yet most companies still design their email marketing messages on the assumption that their users will be viewing it on a PC. The amount of opportunities to connect and engage with customers lost because of a mail rendering as a complete mess on a feature phone or smartphone must be staggering.