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Adam Levene, Grapple Mobile, CSO
As the eyes of over 1bn viewers watched over Danny Boyle’s London 2012 Opening Ceremony, the “Frankie and June” segment, the love story turned Sir Tim Berners-Lee tribute, particularly sparked my interest.
While The Who sang about “My Generation” and Dizzee Rascal waxed lyrical about being bonkers, our generation watched the ceremony with one eye and both hands on their smart-phones and tablets. We tweeted (over 9.6m times), updated statuses and ironically did just about everything the segment, complete with naff onscreen SMS bubbles, portrayed.
With mobile phones expected to outnumber humans this year, mobile has fast become our primary digital touch point. We have entered the ‘Connected Revolution’ and the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets has brought about one of the greatest consumer shifts of all time. The consumer of today is always connected, and as a result, wants everything now, has higher expectations, is more informed, extremely vocal and at the same time less loyal to brands.
This ‘connected world’ is changing brands and business forever. The technology giants of both Google and Apple know this better than anyone, and have such positioned their entire corporate strategies to be ‘mobile first’ and ‘post-PC’ respectively.
A handful of forward-thinking consumer brands are following suit. Nike, with its Nike+ and FuelBand apps have ‘digitised the athlete’ with over 7m members connected and regularly tracking their activity. Traditional banks like Lloyds TSB are seeing millions of logins to mobile banking every single week, fundamentally changing their digital strategy. Retailers like Comet, who were once victims of price comparison apps, have adapted quickly with their app which now sees customers scan thousands of barcodes in-store each week to access independent reviews and compare prices.
However, not all brands are embracing the connected world and are paying severely for it. It was somewhat telling that on the day that Kodak, a pioneer of photography since 1889 filed for bankruptcy, the photo sharing app Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1bn. The winners will be the brands that place mobile at the heart of their businesses and leverage the channel as a way to solve problems and add value throughout the customer journey. Kodak is testament that without adapting to the connected world, the customer of today can very quickly become the customer of yesterday.