Transformers - Colloquy

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Transformers - Colloquy

12

C O L L O Q U Y / Volume 18, Issue 1, 2010

consumers, enabling them to take their mobile devices

far beyond just a handset, thanks to a new App Store

universe, as well as improved web browsing and access

to photos and video. The smartphone allows users to

do things they never thought could be done without

being tethered to a home or office computer, from

comparing store prices and searching for restaurant

reviews to checking into a hotel and social networking.

Just as the internet of the ’90s opened our eyes to how

we could expand our lives beyond our immediate

communities, the iPhone of the ’00s gave us a glimpse

into the powerful, personalized future of life on-the-go.

As Optimus Prime says of the mysterious Cube that

supplies his origins, “it holds the power to create worlds

and fill them with life.”

“The iPhone really changed the mobile phone from

being a communication device to being a multimedia

device,” says Maria Mandel, Senior Partner, Executive

Director Digital Innovation at Ogilvy, and North America

Board Chair of the Mobile Marketing Association. “That

opened the floodgates and since then we’ve seen an

overwhelming number of consumers start demanding

those types of devices.”

“My viewpoint is there will be an evolutionary

process for mobile marketing. The amount of what

you have available in the mobile marketing

space is tremendous—there are a lot of toys in

the sandbox.” –Maria Mandel, Ogilvy

As smartphones increasingly entrench themselves as

the ultimate personal device, it’s no surprise that

loyalty marketers are keenly interested in the evolving

role technologies will play in increasing customer

loyalty overall, as well as in boosting reward programs.

After all, these pocket-sized portable wonders offer

promising ways to strengthen the two-way relationship

between companies and their customers, the very sort

of relationships enjoyed by loyalty programs and their

members.

From toys to blockbusters

But exploring these expanded opportunities is not for

the faint of heart. Marketers must be more nimble and

flexible than ever, dynamically staying abreast of quickchanging

technologies, while at the same time working

as careful decision-makers as trends emerge, develop

and mature. For example, a brand may wade into the

wild world of iPhone apps, decide to develop a mobilefriendly

website, or invest in a new mobile couponing

solution, but no one can predict the shape those tech -

nologies will morph into down the road—probably not

into giant robots, but who knows? Therefore, companies

must be able to shift and evolve as consumer behavior

changes.

Still, after years of hearing about mobile marketing

as “the next big thing,” the reality is that smartphone

technologies remain in the early stages of development—

and going forward, Maria Mandel points out, we may

likely see a continued rapid progression and adoption

that eventually leads to total transformation, rather

than the kind of “eureka!” moment that the iPhone

brought to the landscape.

“I don't honestly know if there will be a definitive ‘year

of mobile,’” Mandel says. “Instead, my viewpoint is

there will be an evolutionary process for mobile

marketing. The amount of what you have available in

the mobile marketing space is tremendous—there are

a lot of toys in the sandbox.” That means, she says, more

marketing opportunities—but also more complex

decisions to make and more experimentation to be done

in order to determine the value of those opportunities.

Still, the numbers racked up by consumers using the

new generation of smartphones are mindboggling

enough to keep marketers salivating and plotting next

steps: In just two years, over 2 billion downloads of

more than 100,000 iPhone apps have been counted,

according to a survey by Luth Research and the Mobile

Marketing Association, while 40% of all U.S. adult

consumers have downloaded at least one mobile

application. Mobile web use has also soared, with more

than 450 million users worldwide, a number expected

to surpass the one billion mark over the next four years,

according to IDC Worldwide Digital Marketplace Model

and Forecast.

The stats are so overwhelming, in fact, that according

to Nielsen research, by 2011 smartphones will likely

constitute the majority of cell phones in the marketplace,

with more than 150 million cell phone subscribers

using the smarties worldwide. Nielsen shows that in the

fourth quarter of 2009, 30% of new cell phones sold

were smartphones, up from 25% the previous quarter.

And for the first time, in the third quarter of 2009,

more people accessed the internet from smartphones

than from regular cell phones.

“The center of gravity has shifted,” says J. Gerry Purdy,

Ph.D., Principal Analyst, Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax,

a mobile and wireless market research firm. “People

are spending more time with their mobile devices,

doing more transactions and activity. The value of that

phone is growing.”

It’s already clear that smartphone users are an extremely

attractive audience to marketers, particularly because of

their increased usage patterns. “People with smartphones

are using them more than any other type of phone,”

says Tim McCauley, Director of Mobile Commerce at

Walgreens, which recently revamped its mobile website

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