For years, when it came to working in the office, an employee would need to use whatever equipment was provided by the company. The costs of the computers and other devices were the business’s responsibility, but once the equipment was in the employee’s hands, he or she was responsible for what happened to it. In recent years, however, a new trend has emerged that has changed the landscape of how companies conduct their business. It’s called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and it’s also changing how the world of marketing works.
Bring Your Own Device is essentially a practice where a business permits its employees to bring devices they personally own into the workplace for use in performing their work duties. The devices can be almost anything, from smartphones, to laptops, to tablets. The practice has been spreading rapidly, with research showing two out of three U.S. and European workers already bringing their own devices into work.
Tech companies are always trying to come out with the best products meant to attract the most customers, but with the rise of BYOD, their strategy in marketing their devices has changed significantly. Whereas before, tech companies would target much of their marketing to individuals in the hope they would choose their device, BYOD forces these same companies to target businesses and corporations, which may subsidize an employee’s purchase of a particular brand.
Most customers will gravitate towards one of the giant companies, like Microsoft, Google, or Apple, because these companies are providing improved services through their use of big data. Everything a person does online is data that is collected by major companies in a big data database. Before, the separation between work life and personal life was clear, but now BYOD is providing a new source of data that allows the tech giants to analyze, repurpose, and tailor their services. To do this, the tech companies need people to use their devices in order to collect that data, which changes their marketing strategies.
BYOD policies are also opening many new options for marketers as they look to use the latest technology to reach out to prospective customers. BYOD doesn’t just allow marketers to bring their own device to the workplace, it allows them to bring all the information and applications on those devices to work as well. Many marketers are able to bring the influence they have gained over social media to better connect with customers on an individual basis. This provides a distinct advantage for marketers since they’re able to reach out to people who follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or a personal blog. It’s an audience that normally couldn’t be reached if marketers had been forced to leave their personal devices at home.
Marketing is very much a collaborative process, and BYOD allows that collaboration to happen outside of the office. By using the same devices for business as in their personal lives, marketers can keep in touch with their marketing teammates, designers, developers, salespeople, and executives during non-business hours. Many marketers have jobs that take them away from their desks or force them to travel long distances. By practicing BYOD, marketers will never be far away from the important devices that will keep them connected to all the latest happenings in the office regarding marketing campaigns and projects. They’ll be able to work more often and more efficiently.
BYOD is also forcing companies to change how apps are being marketed. Applications that appeal to employees also have to be developed so they work equally well in a business setting while taking into account concerns over security and privacy. Not only are apps being developed across all the major platforms, they’re being designed to differentiate uses depending on if someone is logged in for business or personal use. For example, if someone is using a device for personal use, the app would prohibit access to company data and information. With these dual purposes now a crucial part of app development, marketing practices have broadened to include the effect BYOD is having.
Bring Your Own Device is transforming the business world, offering many advantages that cut costs and increase employee satisfaction. At the same time, it’s forcing the marketing world to change strategies due to how devices are being used at work and at home. As more businesses adopt BYOD policies, marketers will continue to adapt and find effective ways to connect with consumers.