Bring Your Own Device

By Ryan Bonnici, Head of Marketing APAC, ExactTarget

Bring Your Own Device” is a term we hear more and more as technology advances. BYOD’s the reason why there is heightened security on personal devices. It’s contributing to the increased productivity and the workaholic mindset of employees. But most importantly BYOD is blurring the lines between personal and professional use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

The recent 8th Annual Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index notes that 76% of Australians own a smartphone and 38% own a tablet. They predict those numbers to increase to 84% and 70% respectively by mid-2013. Approximately 60% report that they use some sort of social networking sites on their mobile device and 69% have downloaded an app to their phone. 50% use 2-5 apps a week, and about 33% use more than 6 times a week.  So what do all of these statistics mean and how do they connect to the BYOD phenomenon?

BYOD offers both opportunities and problems for marketers. Because personal devices are now becoming work tools, and vice versa, the security features that companies are mandating are interfering with numerous marketing messages. Certain email content won’t pass the security tests and often personal messages get lost in the influx of work-related content. That being said, there are still ways in which marketers can use BYOD to their advantage.

Two solutions come to mind:

1. SMS campaigns and push notifications. According to the Lifestyle Index there has been a 10% increase in SMS/MMS opt-ins over the past year. That means that over half of the smartphone users in Australia voluntarily asked for messages to be sent to them via text from all different kinds of brands – messages that don’t even need a security password entered to be seen.This increase shows that mobile device users are becoming more proactive and willing to respond when it comes to interacting with businesses. These messages provide a valid, acceptable way of communicating with customers wherever they might be. Messages can include everything from bank account notifications, to daily deals, to appointment reminders. As soon as they’re sent, they immediately catch the attention of an opted-in consumer.

2. Push notifications are a similarly useful tool. Urban Airship (a provider of messaging and content tools) reports that this new form of messaging can lead to a 540% increase in daily app opens, 3x faster response time than email, and a 30% increase in social sharing on Facebook and Twitter. Every organisation would like to see their numbers increase like that. In addition, push notifications allow you to use geo-detection and audience segmentation to send out relevant messages to specific consumers. This allows brands to send targeted offers when consumers are close to a store; or send a special deal to a specific audience.  This increases the chances of soliciting a response from your customer and saves you from spending time and money on communications to uninterested parties.

The use of smartphones and tablets and growth of BYOD will only continue to proliferate. If Australian businesses want their message to be heard in this new digital world, they must embrace these new technologies by developing SMS campaigns and getting their customers to sign up to push notifications.

Ryan Bonnici is the Head of Marketing APAC, ExactTarget



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