Emerging Mobile Technologies: Living the “Smart” Life
Taking emerging technology and building customer relationships is what mobile marketing is all about. It’s becoming more than simply engaging your user, who may or may not yet be your customer. You have to move past engagement to marriage. You have to spend time getting to know the person behind their mobile device. Mobile marketing bridges the impersonal to the personal and gives users control over their connectivity.
- There are roughly 4 billion mobile phones in use worldwide
- 1.08 billion of those are smartphones (U.S. Smartphone Market Report )
- 3.05 billion are SMS enabled making text messaging prime real estate for branding mobile web sites and applications
The Power of Choice
People like to be in control in an uncontrolled world. They like choosing whether or not scan a Quick Response (QR) code. They like choosing whether or not to opt-in to a brand’s loyalty program. Choice is power in the mobile marketing world. Marketing teams use emerging technologies like QR codes and Near Field Communication (NFC) to unleash unprecedented consumer interaction onto the mobile world.
With choice comes responsibility. Emerging technology begets emerging technology. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. What we do that technology and the data mobile technology produces will determine if consumers will continue to accept mobile device marketing, applications and information gathering. It is easy for consumers to have the choice whether or not to scan a QR code, but will they have the same choice with embedded radio-frequency tags? Near field communication bumps technology up a notch and it is a real contender for the coming decade. Combining NFC with RFID though may give privacy gurus more fodder for concern. Companies will have little choice but to maintain strict marketing oversight, and adhere to best practices while giving consumers more control over data mining and how others view their collective lives.
Emerging Technology Questions:
How Much Information is Too Much?
Emerging technologies like QR codes, near field communication and Web 3.0 offer mobile marketing companies unprecedented peeks into user lives, their likes, their dislikes, how they manage their time and money. Will consumers consider the gathering of personal information a means to market them more personalized goods and services or as an invasion to privacy? Mobile marketers will have to consider:
- How much personal information will they have to ask consumers to reveal in order to get a bigger bang for their marketing buck?
- Whether to give users a choice who tracks their every move in the name of better consumerism and where and how that information is stored.
- Whether to allow users to control how and when they are contacted by SMS and MMS text messaging by companies that they have opted in to.
- The possibility of a National Opt-Out List? Would it be enforceable? How much would it cost mobile marketing companies?
- And what would a world dependent on mobile marketing do if there were a terrorist attack and there was no way to recharge their mobile devices.