The Young and Powerful—How Companies are Catering to the Mobile Generation

Evolution of mobile phones
The ubiquity of mobile is changing the face of company strategy.

It’s strange to think that I’m part of the mobile generation. We’re glued to the phones that we tote around in our daily life, hyperconnected to everything and everyone in the world.

Years ago, companies would have scoffed at the idea of mobile. But now, firms are doing anything but. The mobile race is no longer facultative, but downright obligatory. Companies need to go mobile to survive. It’s a hard game to play. Stay out and you face imminent extinction, or enter and throw all your efforts into developing the next cutting edge technology with no guarantee of success.

Cue hundreds of companies investing millions to revamp their strategy. They’ve got to find new ways to design, sell, and market their products, and they face the challenge of making each strategy more engaging than the last. Why? Because in this mobile generation, we, the consumers, hold all the power.

It’s a key point that was discussed at the Mack Institute’s 2013 Spring Conference, “How Mobile and Social are Transforming Innovation Models: Flipping the Paradigm?”.

We can map out entire lives on our phones. We command companies to carry out actions with a tap on our touch screens. Do we want to wire money? There’s an app for that. Find the nearest rest stop? A few keyboard swipes, and Google Maps is at our disposal. This power even applies to fields like medicine. There are even apps that act as “OpenTable for doctors,” allowing patients to search for doctors with openings electronically rather than call the office.

What does this mean? Companies are prioritizing developments of convenience in their innovation. Each new updated product has more features than the last to make our lives easier—check your bank statement anytime, anywhere! Listen to satellite radio on the go!— and they blast this message continuously at us from all sides. That’s another result of the developing mobile world: constant bombardment of advertising. Facebook, for instance, is rife with ads, rolling out marketing ploys that it tailors to our interests.

It’s an evolving process. We haven’t gone completely mobile yet, and it’s hard to say if we will. I’ll be the first to admit it: I can’t imagine life without my smartphone. And I, for one, can’t wait to see how companies will strategize for success in the short term. But I’d say one thing: as annoying as those ads are, Facebook is onto something in catering to my interests. Understanding me, the consumer, is the first step.

What do you think? Is our evolution into a mobile generation inevitable? Sound off below!