Where's Mobile in 2015: More Apps, More Context, More Sophistication
What one item causes immediate internal panic the moment its owner realizes it was left at home on the kitchen counter, on the subway or in a coat pocket left at a restaurant?
Answer: The smartphone. It's the one item whose absence makes consumers feel uncomfortable and anxious. That's why nine in 10 adults say they navigate their day with a smartphone resting in a pocket, cradled protectively in the hand, or ever-at-the-ready from inside a purse, briefcase or backpack.
According to some estimates, smartphone users spend an average of four hours on their phones and tablets, and they do just about everything they already do (or used to do) on a PC or laptop, from searching and emailing to videotaping, sharing, booking, buying and sending feedback. Marketers are adopting new skills to keep pace in the mobile environment.
To stay nimble in the mobile environment, marketers need to be aware of key trends that are emerging and will find broader user acceptance in 2015 and beyond. A few of these trends include:
1. The Emergence of "Geo-awareness"
Plenty of marketers are already familiar with "geo-fencing" and "geo-location" technologies for mobile campaigns, but the next phase of location-based mobile marketing might better be described as "geo-awareness." The simplest example of geo-fencing goes like this: a virtual "fence" is set up around a retail store that sells men's clothes, and as consumers approach the store, they receive a mobile offer to step inside and take advantage of a coupon at that store. Geo-fencing is made possible by embedded communication technologies that detect a smartphone's presence within a specific area.
Geo-awareness, however, takes into consideration not only the location but the actual surrounding environment, such as weather conditions, relative location or the fact that a particular consumer is in a city different from his or her hometown. If a marketer has access to data showing that an already-engaged, opted-in consumer within a "fence" is in New York instead of San Diego, and if the thermometer reads 20 degrees in New York on that particular day, the mobile offer within the fence might be for a toasty-warm Polartec scarf, or a steaming cappuccino at a nearby café rather than a pair of sandals or an iced latte. The goal of "geo-awareness" is to use all available data—internal and external—to deliver messages and incentives that are truly personal, relevantly, timely and real-time contextual.