Why a mobile strategy won't get you very far

Greg Grimmer explains the new era of 'globile' and how experts can help companies navigate this evolving landscape.

Mobile: 87 per cent of UK smartphone owners use their devices to search for local information
Mobile: 87 per cent of UK smartphone owners use their devices to search for local information

Even though most of us still have to deal with 2 per cent battery life by lunchtime, mobile is unequivocally taking over the world. It’s a complex beast. You’ve got 4G, near field communication, Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi and countless other TLAs (three-letter acronyms, to the uninitiated) to navigate through.

To capture this movement, we need a new cliché, and those who know me know I’m the man to deliver it. I present "globile" – global and mobile. It’s how we all live, and now I have saved you three syllables every time you discuss it.

There are apps – 1.2 million in the App Store alone, according to Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, last week.

In comparison with desktop users, mobile users behave differently: they display different purchase behaviours and engage with a multitude of payment methods. The techniques employed to track all of these vary too.

Mobile experts have a comprehensive grasp of the app economy across multiple platforms, which is growing exponentially in size and importance. It is one of the reasons Fetch finds itself positioned in the app epicentres of London, San Francisco, Berlin and, soon, Hong Kong.

Last year in Cannes, the app of choice was Grindr – popular on mobile devices from the Gutter Bar to the conference area. This year, you can expect Tinder use to go off the scale as the libidinous advertising masses fall out of the beachfront and into the Gutter.

The app economy is growing exponentially in size and importance

Fetch has been working with the likes of Google and Facebook to harness the latest innovations that provide us with the ability to keep our clients’ businesses relevant to the "globile" consumer. The pace of change should not be underestimated.  

The UK’s 63 million people currently own 82 million active mobile subscriptions, with smartphone penetration at 62 per cent and growing rapidly, mainly thanks to the increasing number of affordable Android handsets.

Smartphone penetration is going to continue rising and is hugely important for not only large organisations looking to get the most from mobile but also smaller businesses. This is highlighted by the fact that, of all the people with smartphones in the UK, 87 per cent are regularly searching for local information via their handsets. This figure does not even include the tens of millions of tablets.

Despite Western Europe and North America appearing further ahead on the mobile-adoption curve, there is still huge scope for growth, but perhaps more so in other parts of the world – particularly Asia.

China alone has 1.2 billion active mobile subscriptions. Moreover, 98 per cent of users who own smartphones regularly research products on mobile, with 69 per cent having made at least one purchase via this platform.

Being a mobile expert isn’t just about smartphones; tablet sales worldwide have been relentless since the introduction of the iPad, but they are now slowing as "phablets" take hold. When consumption trends are morphing so quickly, having a good sense of what is around the corner is everything; ask BlackBerry.

In 2014, it is simply no longer enough to "have a mobile strategy". You need a mobile expert to help steer with clarity and accurately predict the future trends in the industry.

Greg Grimmer is the global chief operating officer at Fetch