Yikes! Where’s my cell phone?!?!
by Dario Cosmelli
QUICK! Which would cause you the most distress if this happened today???
- You forgot your umbrella and it’s going to rain (and you walked to work).
- You’re on a strict diet plan and forgot your custom-made lunch on the kitchen table.
- You left your iPhone or Blackberry on your dresser.
My gut tells me I know what you picked. The majority of you will probably be annoyed at getting wet, but you figure a little water never hurt anyone or you’ll just wait it out. And jumping off the healthy diet bandwagon for one day isn’t the end of the world; you’ll just do more cardio this week. However, forgetting your phone at home… what?! Guess you better turn around.
It’s no surprise society is constantly becoming increasingly over-dependant on technology. We all have experienced this whether in our personal, social, academic, or work lives; and sans the “impersonal” aspect, it has definitely made life easier… or more efficient at the very least. Obviously the Internet has been the catalyst for the majority of the technology that we use every day, and in my opinion, the one device I own that it has made the most impact on my life is my cell phone. I can now do just about everything on my smartphone that I need to function effectively on a daily basis… scary, I know. Funny thing is I use my phone more for the web and email than I do for calling. In fact, I even called my carrier to lower my minutes but upgrade to the unlimited data plan. Scratch that… I didn’t actually call; I did it over the web.
In the past decade, mobile internet access has shifted from being exclusively about the travelling businesspeople making business decisions via their handheld “computers” to the everyday user being able to get information real-time… whether to get highlights from the game, check social networking sites, and access just about everything else the internet has to offer. According to the Pew Research Center’s Online & Mobile Access 2010 study, 40% of US adults use the internet on their mobile device (up from 32% in 2009). This will surely continue to increase as more smartphones continue to flood the market.
And being the diligent marketers we are; mobile media is yet one more avenue for brands to connect more intimately with consumers. In my opinion, mobile users tend to surf the net on their smartphones with a more finite purpose than someone surfing the net at on a PC, perhaps to find the closest Thai restaurant, look for an address of a store, etc. This seems like a perfect opportunity to fine-tune a direct message whether for brand awareness or for a call to action. Also, marketing in the mobile space has gone beyond simple mobile banners display ads with the advent of mobile applications, microsites, mobile gaming, and probably much more that I have yet to encounter.
So it seems pretty clear, smartphone-users are guilty of being overly dependent on their mobile devices. Also, most of us are using our cell phones not only for business but for everyday life. And as a growing breed given the trends in mobile web use; it only makes sense for advertisers to strategically market in this space. So is there marketing opportunity in the mobile space? I definitely think so. What do you think?