The mobile phone has evolved to the point where it has essentially become another root to market for brands and means that there is virtually no time of the day or night that consumers cannot be reached whether they are at home or on the move. This has happened because phones have now reached a stage where they can support a level of internet browsing that is similar to that of a PC. Meaning that social media and search marketing is now applicable to mobile phones which is great.
The invention of the telephone revolutionized the way people communicated when it was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and it has continued to evolve ever since. In the 1980’s phones became portable and were carried around in suitcases that doubled as battery packs to keep them charged. Then in the 1990’s companies like Nokia and Samsung made the mobile phone mainstream and before long they became a necessity. Particularly in business it allowed people to arrange appointments on the go, reschedule meetings at the press of a button and meant that the term “work hours” had effectively become redundant.
The evolution of the humble telephone did not stop there. In the past five years mobile phones have developed beyond a means of communication in the traditional sense. The invention and accessibility of the internet, and people’s desire to be constantly connected has seen the birth of the “Smart Phone”. The smart phone, essentially, has bridged the gap between a desk top PC and a portable lap top.Below is a chart that maps the growth and release dates of smart phones since 2007.
Smart phones have effectively brought the convenience and usability of home internet browsing onto a portable device you can hold in the palm of your hand. This in turn has increased the reach of brands and the opportunities for consumers to gain the best value from their online experience. There are countless examples of how brands have used smart phones to increase profits. It has been well documented by Mashable that many brands have used techniques that involve smart phones to boost profits and increase customer loyalty. Starbucks teamed up with the social network Foursquare, to offer free coffees to people who sign in to particular shops a certain number of times every week. Other brands that have launched similar initiatives include Ann Taylor who is now offering a 15% discount to shoppers who check in at any one of it’s New York city shops (mayors get a 25% discount) and Oscar de la Renta is offering a free iPad clutch to the major of it’s flagship shop on the 17th of July (3 days from now).
Because of this boom in the level of smart phones, both globally and in Ireland Google have taken notice and really improved its offerings within mobile marketing. These improvements are centred largely around bringing search advertising to mobile devises which include sponsored ad listings when viewing Google maps, improved sponsored search ads and click to call (a variation on pay per click). Google released figures on the staggering growth of smart phones and the cultural phenomenon they have evoked. You have already seen the sharp growth of smart phones above and here are some more cool facts that might interest you:
· There have been 3 billion applications downloaded from the iTunes app store in the last 18 months.
· By 2013 smart phones sales will surpass PC sales.
· Over the next three years mobile data will increase by 66 times.
· Half of all internet connections are now mobile connections.
· The world’s favourite device for accessing the internet is now a phone.
I don’t know about you guys but when I heard all of this it made think about whether or not I was being left behind by not having a smart phone? (Especially considering the iPhone 4 is out on the 28th of July). If only we lived in a world where prices decreased as sales increased. Someday! As always let us know what you think.