2016 has been dubbed “The Year of Mobile” by many — a quick Google search proves just how many have given this year that title. And although I didn’t conduct that particular search on a mobile device, the majority of Google searches are taking place on the small screen. Marketers are now tasked with figuring out how to make mobile work. Regardless of whether it’s a video, blog post or email, the content needs to work the same everywhere.
“They (marketers) have to think through what the consumer experience will be on these smaller devices,” explains Fred Steube, senior director of emerging technology at Cox Target Media/Valpak — a company that provides print, mobile and online advertising solutions and coupons through a network of 160 local franchises across the U.S. and Canada.
The consumer move to mobile devices is also affecting marketers in a different way. According to Steube, it's setting the stage for new technologies such as:
Both mobile phones and wearables are portable devices. Wearables communicate with your mobile device through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
“It’s a great way to present a promotional message that can improve someone’s life,” says Steube.
However, it’ll be up to marketers to figure out ways to take their brand’s promotional message and distribute it in a way that takes advantage of wearables — whether that means using location technology or social media.
And once all these devices are connected and “talking” to each other, that leads into the next emerging technology.
The Internet of Things
Steube gives an example of how the Internet of Things (IoT) could work in the future using General Motors.
“If one of the sensors in their vehicles shows it’s got a low tire or you need a tire change, there’s an opportunity for marketers to serve up a promotional message — whether it’s a coupon or whether it’s a branding message — for that consumer to go to the nearest dealer to save money and have that low tire fixed or that oil change immediately.”
The IoT has the ability to connect brands to customers in more relevant and personalized ways. However, Steube says, it may not be easy from the start.
“Some of the issues will be, ‘How do I as a marketer handle all these new channels?,’” he explains. But, fear not — Steube has some advice for marketers on how to navigate disrupting technologies.