As we’ve reported in previous section, we asked survey respondents for a qualitative assessment of the changes they’ve made to date, and plan to make by 2015, in their products and processes. On this 1-7 scale, the global industries that indicate the greatest degree of change are those that:
a) Can deliver their product directly through a mobile device (e.g., media content and telecommunications services). Telecommunications had the highest degree of change in products and processes to date to respond to mobile consumers – 5.42 on our scale of 1-7. (See Exhibit VII-2.) Telecommunications scored much higher than the other sectors on this scale. Since they sell the very products (mobile devices and wireless services) that enable consumers to do business electronically when they’re on the go, it’s understandable that telecommunications have made major changes in their products and in the way they deal with consumers in marketing, selling and servicing those products. Media and entertainment companies were fourth, at 4.82. This industry, too, is increasingly delivering its product to consumers’ mobile devices: movies, sports, news, videos, and other digitized content.
b) Must deliver a significant amount of information to consumers so they can better understand what they’re purchasing (retail and travel/hospitality/leisure). Companies in these industries generally don’t deliver their products through mobile devices. Retailers sell consumers physical goods, and travel and hospitality firms provide hotel and other accommodations. Retailers and travel providers finished second and third on the scale of change. Both industries can be seen as businesses that provide information and access to products and services. Retailers, of course, stock their shelves largely with products that they don’t make themselves. Their websites and salespeople help consumers understand those products. Travel agencies provide information to consumers who need hotels, dining and other services when they’re on vacation or on business – as well those services in some cases. Both industries, therefore, have the opportunity to provide consumers with critical information for making their purchases and the ability to make those purchases.
Close behind (at fifth) on our scale was the energy industry. Oil companies for many years have been at the forefront of mobile payments. For example, Exxon Mobil in the US introduced in 1997 a device called Speedpass that placed an RFID chip into a keychain for electronic payment at the pump. No doubt that 15 years later, such energy companies are gearing up to help mobile consumers use modern technology to make their purchases even more efficient.
The banking, transportation, computers and pharmaceuticals companies also had higher than average scores on this scale. (The average score across industries was 4.60.)
Exhibit VII-2: Q9/Global Industries: Cumulative Average Changes to Products, Marketing, Sales, Service and Supplier Processes to Win the Digital Mobile Consumer
(scale of 1 to 7)
The industries with below average scores included some that have little direct contact with consumers: industrial manufacturing, food and beverage makers, and automakers. These industries largely sell through retailers or dealers, and thus may believe that responding to consumers who use mobile devices is largely the work of those retailers.
Curiously, the airline industry was near the bottom, just above government, perhaps suggesting that the sector long ago had adapted to the demands of the digital mobile consumer.
But how do these 17 industries view the changes to products and processes they must make in the near future to respond to digital mobile consumers? Do they feel they need to make more changes, essentially the same, or less?
Across all the industries we surveyed, the average amount of change on this 1-7 scale was predicted to increase by 2015, to 4.93 from 4.60. (See Exhibit VII-3.) Industries that foresee having to change the most:
- Telecommunications services companies (5.52): This isn’t a surprise given they are in the epicenter of the digital mobile revolution.
- Travel, hospitality and leisure (at 5.24): The on-the-go consumer increasingly wants or needs to make or change his travel plans while on the road.
- Media and entertainment (5.23): Mobile devices are becoming a key channel for their content.
- Industrial manufacturing (5.20): This may reflect how much consumers can spend on big-ticket hard goods: appliances, lawn and garden equipment, etc. Maybe these industries believe consumers will increasingly research their products through a mobile electronic device.
- Retailers (5.15): This sector is the main channel to the consumer for many consumer product manufacturers, from apparel to appliance makers. Retailers increasingly must deal with “show-rooming” – consumers who walk into their stores to get the look and feel of a product and then buy it online someplace else.
- Banking/financial services (5.11): Of course, they are at the center of the whole mobile payments scene. But their influence on the digital mobile consumer goes far beyond that – to being the place where the consumer who’s in motion can check on his investments and make changes.
(Scale of 1 to 7)
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Findings: Global Industries