By Jonathan Scolero
What’s an example of a “mobile device”?
If you said a “smartphone”, correct!
If you said a “tablet”, WRONG!
Everyone knows that mobile devices have become the premier marketing communication platform nowadays. However, few companies seem to know how to effectively use them to reach customers … let alone correctly identify what a “mobile device” even is.
According to Jonathan Salem Baskin, guest speaker at this month’s AZIMA event, research illustrates clear distinctions between smartphone and tablet use. Tablet use predominantly takes place within the home as a means of reading publications or watching videos.
Smartphones, in contrast, accompany the user about their day-to-day tasks and thereby merit the title of true “mobile devices.” As such, they serve as tools for users to “get things done”, like price check products, find a mechanic, pick a good restaurant, or google a definition. At first glance, distinguishing smartphones as task-oriented devices may seem inconsequential, but the marketing implications are enormous.
In order to effectively connect with customers during their day-to-day activities, companies must release mobile apps that assist customers in their quest to “get things done”. For instance, rather than McDonald’s neglecting the obvious fact that its food makes you gain weight, why not release an app that allows customers to mix and match meal items to easily choose the combination with the ideal number of calories? When fans can’t find a hockey game on TV because Comcast renumbered it’s cable stations, why not create an app that allows users to share where their favorite TV shows have migrated?
Or when you board an American Airlines flight, why not check your smartphone to see if anyone with a marketing background is also onboard and benefit from the networking opportunity?
Baskin backed his assessment of current smartphone trends with survey data collected locally by Republic Media. The results, which will be posted on the AZIMA website, indicate that Smartphones are largely ineffective as a means of pushing advertisements to consumers. Rather, companies should view them as tools that provide genuine utility to valued customers.
Jonathan Salem Baskin is a thought leader on brands and marketing with 30 years of experience. His work experience includes leading the PR agency for Apple’s first iMac launch, as well as working with Limited Brands, Nissan, and Blockbuster, among others. Baskin has published six books, and writes regularly for Advertising Age and Forbes.