B2Bs Face a Mobile-First Future - eMarketer

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B2Bs Face a Mobile-First Future

Smartphones and tablets invade the workplace thanks to trends such as “bring your own device”

April 2, 2014

Smartphones and tablets are critical companions of on-the-go business professionals, while PCs and laptops have remained the primary tools of the trade when in the office. As mobility permeates all facets of the workplace, this paradigm is rapidly shifting, affecting the business-to-business (B2B) path to purchase and, in turn, altering the budgets, strategies and tactics of B2B marketers, according to a new eMarketer report, “B2B Mobile Marketing: As Buyers Harken to Mobility, Sellers Hasten to Keep Up.”

Workplace technology trends like “bring your own device” (BYOD), which enables employees to use their personal smartphone, tablet or laptop on a company network, have contributed to the influx of smartphones and tablets in the office. In April 2013 polling from enterprise mobility services provider iPass, nearly three-quarters of mobile workers in North America said their companies had a BYOD policy.

Mobile usage isn’t relegated to remote or traveling workers anymore. While 91% of connected employees worldwide used a computer at their work desk, 64% also used a smartphone there, according to Q4 2012 data from Forrester Research. The only other place where more respondents used their smartphone was at home. And, aside from home, the work desk was the top place where tablets were used.

Locations Where Connected Employees Worldwide Use Their Tablet, Smartphone or Computer, Q4 2012 (% of respondents using each device)

PCs may still reign supreme in the office, but some believe that “mobile-first” will become commonplace within the next few years. In a March 2013 study conducted by Forbes Insights in partnership with Google, over half of US business executives said that within the next three years, they would be using mobile devices as their primary business platform instead of PCs.

US Executives Who Use Mobile Devices as Their Primary Business Platform, Today vs. in 3 Years, March 2013 (% of respondents)

This mobile-first shift is under way, blurring the already cloudy lines of “work time” and “personal time” while increasing the demand among business users for high-quality mobile experiences that consumer-facing companies have been focusing on delivering the past few years.

The full report, “B2B Mobile Marketing: As Buyers Harken to Mobility, Sellers Hasten to Keep Up,” also answers these key questions:

  • What role is mobile technology playing to help inform B2B buyers’ purchase decisions along the purchase path?
  • How are B2B marketers factoring mobile into their budgets, strategies and tactics?
  • In what ways are B2B marketers integrating mobile at each phase of the buyer journey?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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