Last month I wrote about the dynamics that are starting to control the industry of mobility. As the future of mobility becomes an ever-growing focus, I noticed several stark points of comparison between the business of mobility and the practice of marketing.
In the digital world, marketers are awash with data - from prescribed research, to behavioural data to social chat. The infusion, analysis and understanding of this data has resulted in the belief that data driven marketing is likely to result in a more successful outreach.
Data has been used to understand transport systems across the world. From understanding that 15% of buses in Brazil run under capacity, to using sentiment mapping to understand where in cities congestion and delays have caused frustration, data is helping to shape how transport issues are dealt with in a variety of areas.
In short, data is the basis for solutions of all kinds. Whether it's campaigns or congestion - data is an integral part of growth strategy across numerous verticals.
Even when smartphones weren't a mass-marketed product, marketing teams across the globe had already identified them as a further communication method. Now it's an $18billion outlay.
The rise of the connected consumer has resulted in a series of mobile innovations aimed to improve the travel experience. This started with navigational applications replacing cumbersome in-car devices. This has now developed into more advanced applications such as Urban Engines that allow journey mapping via an augmented reality mobile experience.
As smartphones become a more integral part of our lives, it makes sense that all industries will latch on to them as a communications hook and method of product delivery.
Sharing is Caring
The growth of social media has given rise to brands looking to the consumer to share their messages - whether it be by Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - in order to make their communications work harder. Prolific sharers of a brand's content - the much vaunted brand advocate - have now become a central part of many brands' content and digital strategies.
The shared economy is a key feature of how mobility is being reshaped. From the rise of Zipcar to Sixt's pledge to make premium car ownership a thing of the past, the burden of ownership - particularly in urban areas - has garnered wide-reaching appeal.
Willingness to share is fast becoming a core consumer attribute - whether it be for the benefit of a brand or self-fulfilment. The power of sharing across these two verticals has had a profound effect on both marketing and mobility, and the evidence based on the success stories this model has created - Facebook, Twitter, Zipcar - suggests that it is here to stay.
A combination of the above factors means that marketing decisions are a spaghetti junction of options. The vast quantity of data available and potential communications paths means that marketing teams are in consistent dialogue regarding which evidence to believe and which path to use to spread their message.
The development of mobility options has left the consumer with an extra layer of decisions to make. Instead of getting a cab, the choice is now whether to take a black cab or an Uber. Instead of buying or leasing a car, the decision is now whether to buy, lease or share.
Both marketing and mobility are in a period of mass transition and evolution. As such, the myriad of consumer choices stretches from the very traditional and conservative to the dynamic and future facing. For marketers and mobility providers alike, the key lies in taking the path which has the optimum consumer-centric solution.
Whilst these two areas share great overlap, the key question is, what will this result in? For marketers it presents a real opportunity to steal the limelight away from technology and engineering as the driving force of the next wave of mobility solutions. For providers of mobility solutions, it means that the marketing battlefield for your products is likely to be one of the most competitive sectors in the modern economy. And finally, for consumers, it means that the next wave of mobility solutions is likely to involve