Building brands in a changing society

The must-read list for better understanding mobile

The mobile must-reads for every marketer

Staying competitive in the field of marketing means staying current with the latest trends and thinking. This is especially true for mobile, a channel evolving so rapidly that the “year of mobile” is perpetually being rolled to the following year. Certainly the device that consumers look at first thing in the morning and last thing at night – not to mention it being their constant companion during the day – deserves the industry’s close attention.

Here are five resources that I’ve found particularly helpful over the past year for better understanding the impact of mobile on consumers and brands. Whether annual reports, tools or one-off studies, each of these is helpful for gathering the numbers and insights necessary for understanding a brand’s marketplace opportunity and devising winning mobile strategies.

1. comScore: Digital Future in Focus

For a look at mobile in the context of larger digital trends and behaviours, this annual series provides a look at a number of key global markets. Statistics on time spent online, reach of key web categories, penetration of video, and more build a picture of year-over-year shifts relating to search, social, e-commerce and, of course, mobile. The release of the 2014 study is right around the corner.

2. TNS: Mobile Life

Narrowing the focus to just mobile, TNS offers an annual report that explores mobile use across 58 countries, all served up in easy-to-use infographics. This resource is particularly helpful for getting the global view of consumer behaviours, motivations and attitudes around mobile. Again, the 2014 version should be released soon.

3. Google: Our Mobile Planet

Ever helpful for those who prefer to self-serve, Google offers a tool for building custom charts that show smartphone adoption and usage across 48 countries. Want to know the barriers to mobile purchase for women aged 25 to 34 in Brazil? Or the frequency of video watching on smartphones by men aged 18 to 24 in China? Google has the answers.

4. Kantar Retail and The Futures Company: The Future Shopper

This report examines the collisions of mobile technologies, consumer expectations and socio-economic change that are transforming the shopping experience. With macro-trends in mind, the report lays out new rules for “rethinking the shopper proposition.”

5. McKinsey: The coming era of ‘on-demand’ marketing

The master class on the future of mobile continues with Peter Dahlström and David Edelman’s look at the implications of evolving technologies for on-demand marketing. They predict that consumers will soon expect all the data that they share on their mobile devices –networks, location, shopping preferences and much more—will translate into hyper- targeted, personalised experiences offered by brands.

Of course, there are many other worthy reports and tools to help marketers navigate the rapidly unfolding mobile revolution. What would you add to the list?

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